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Difference between a Pending vs. Contingent Home Sale

Any homeowner can tell you that home buying or selling can be a complicated process. Two of the most misunderstood terms in real estate are “pending” and “contingent.” They are vital words throughout the process, and it’s extremely important to know the difference between the two.

Pending vs. contingent home sales:

  • Contingent: This is the term used when a buyer has placed an offer and the seller has accepted that offer, but there are some conditions to be met before finalizing the sale. This puts contingent sales as still active on the market. Sometimes the contingencies cannot be met or agreed upon, so the sale falls through. When the contingencies are met, then the sale moves into the pending stage. Types of contingencies include appraisals, home inspections, additional inspections, title contingencies, and buyers needing to sell their home, just to name a few.
  • Pending: Pending is the next stage in the buying/selling process. Once all the contingencies are met, the home moves into Pending. This removes the home off the market. It is no longer considered Active. The home will remain Pending until all of the legal paperwork has been filed and approved. The sale is expected to close from there.

Many listing agents and sellers will leave their home in Contingent status until closing even after the Due Diligence period and agreements have been met if the seller still wishes to make the home available for showing and marketing. It is always a good thing to have your agent check with the listing agent to see how confident they are in a home selling before ruling it out. While looking through the many different homes for sale, don’t give up on the ones that say “contingent.” Who knows if the contingencies will all be met. Additionally, don’t fall super in-love with a house that’s pending. Odds are that it will close soon.

Don’t give up hope if the house you’re eyeing is “contingent” or “pending.” Raleigh Cary Realty is guaranteed to help you find the home of your dreams. Home buying can get difficult and frustrating, but our realtors will be here every step of the way! Contact us today.

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