FAQ #14 for Buyers: What Does Sale Pending Mean?

Real Estate Agent with Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group S44645

Buyers seem to ask this question a lot. The status of the listing is reflected on their MLS personal webpage and it is assumed that if it is on the broker's site as an active listing or on Realtor.com, that it is still available to see.

What Does Sale Pending Mean?

Sale pending means that there is an offered that has been accepted by the sellers on the property.  The sale is pending the inspections, appraisal, financing, title opinion, and closing. 

During the first 10 days of the acceptance of the offer, the buyer is required to perform their inspections.  Based on the findings and the sellers' willingness, or unwillingness, to make the required or necessary repairs, this is the contingency that is used most often by buyers to release them from the contract.  Therefore, some listing agents will not change the status of the listing from active to pending until AFTER these inspections are completed and released.

Keep in mind that other websites like Trulia, Zillow, and even Realtor.com, are only as reliable as the MLS data that they are acquiring their information from in the first place. 

So, as a buyer, when you are trying to see the available homes, don't be surprised if occasionally there will be a home that is still showing as active that already has a contract.  This means that the property is not available to be shown, but if you are interested, your agent can request to be notified if the property comes back onto the market.

Sometimes the appraisal can be an issue, meaning that the home is not worth as much as what the buyer is willing to pay.  If the seller will not reduce their price to meet the appraisal value, the lender will not allow the buyer to purchase the property, resulting in the listing coming back on the market.  If the seller does not reduce the price, YOU will have the same issue!  Be careful of properties that are sale pending and then revert back to active.  There is usually a reason, whether it be inspection issues, title issues, or appraisal issues. or sometimes it could be that the buyer's financial situation changed and they were no longer able to purchase the property.

When you meet with me for the inital home buyer consultation, we will make sure that you see all of the available listings that meet your criteria and price range.  If there is an offer on a property, we will forgo viewing it.  There are plenty of homes available and there is no sense in seeing one that you cannot have.

Happy house hunting!




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Karen Feltman, REALTOR®, ABR, AHS, CHMS,                                                                      CNE,CRS, e-Pro, green, GRI, SRES, TRC

Keller Williams Legacy Group

4850 Armar Drive SE Ste B

Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403

Email: karenfeltman@gmail.com

Mobile  319-521-0701


Licensed in the State of Iowa

© 2010-2018 by Karen Feltman, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Relocation Specialist 


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Scott Hayes
(512) 786-8300 - Austin, TX
Realty Austin, Broker Associate


That is a good explanation of a status, that people don't always understand. And good point about homes that were previous pending, and somehow came back to active.

Jan 21, 2011 05:03 PM #1
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Karen Feltman

Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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