What does “Pending” Mean in Real Estate?


Scrolling through Realtor.com, you may find the word “Pending” across a house listing. What does this mean in terms of real estate?


The term pending refers to the house already having an accepted contract. The home sale is not finalized yet; however, the sellers have reached an agreement with an interested party.


What if the house does not sell? 

If the house does not sell for some reason, it will be placed back as an active listing. At that point in time, you should no longer see the status as “pending.”



Should I still look at homes that are listed as pending? 

It depends. If you love a home marked as pending or under contract, you should have your real estate agent contact the listing agent. they will be able to determine if it’s worth going to check out.



Why would I not want to see a house that is pending? 

If the buyers who have the contract on the house have already made it past their inspection period, then it’s unlikely the house will become available again.


Houses still come back on the market due to appraisal issues or the buyer’s financing falling apart. Hence, we recommend having your agent speak to the listing agent about the current transaction on a potential home.



Can I make an offer on the house listed as “pending”?

Sure! You can make what is called a backup offer. [IMPORTANT READING: What to know about backup offers]


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