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Difference Between a Pending & Contingent Sale

Posted by hudsonvalleywebgirl on November 3, 2020

Oftentimes, buyers get their hopes up when they see a home is for sale but later discover that the home is in “pending,” “contingent” or “active under contract” status. What does it mean though for a house to be pending vs. contingent?

House Pending Sale

A contingency means that the seller has accepted an offer, but certain requirements – or contingencies ­– must be met first before the sale becomes official. For example, the buy may demand that the seller have the heating fixed first. As long as the heating issue is addressed and resolved by a certain date set by both parties, the buyer agrees to purchase the house.

Likewise, sellers can have contingencies, as well. A common one occurs when the buyer makes an offer but still hasn’t sold their own home. In that case, the seller can demand that the buyer must sell their home by a certain date or the seller can entertain other offers.

Another common contingency deals with the home appraisal on the property. The “appraisal contingency” allows the buyer to keep their earnest money and terminate the contract if the home does not appraise for contract price.

The big difference between “sale pending” and “contingent” is that the latter isn’t close to being finalized yet. A lot could still happen that would make the listing active again. That’s not to say that a “sale pending” status means the house is off the market. Some MLS’s (multiple listing services) have different categories of statuses. So, be sure to check with your agent if you’re questioning whether a home is truly available or not.

So, can you make an offer when a sale is pending? Yes, even if a listing shows “sale pending”, you can still make an offer on the house. After all, if the sale is pending, then the house obviously isn’t sold – yet. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll automatically bump the current buyer out of the contract.

Have any additional questions regarding pending or contingent sales? Give Michelle from Future Vision Real Estate a call at 914) 406-3118.

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