Pending with Release - what does it mean?

Real Estate Agent with Compass CalBRE# 01839597

What does "Pending with Release" mean?

My buyer asked me yesterday what "Pending with Release" means and I realized that the average buyer may be confused by the different terms.  

Let me explain the property status codes with you: 

morgan hill real estate

ACTIVE: When a property is first listed the code is ACTIVE and available for sale.

PENDING with RELEASE: When a buyer places an offer on a property which is then accepted the listing changes from Active to Pending Release  (PR) which means that the property is sold contingent on the sale of another property. My buyers didn't have to sell a home first but that usually is a contingency that needs to be cleared. This status means that while the release clause of the contract is in effect the property will continue to be shown and backup offers accepted.

Sellers could consider another offer and request the first buyers to clear the contingencies they placed in the contract within a certain time frame or accept the offer of the second buyer.  This is not always as easy as it sounds; the first buyer will have to sign the "cancellation of contract, release of deposit and joint escrow instructions."

PENDING SHOW (PS) is the second stage of the escrow process.  The property has been sold on a contingent basis without the release clause and will continue to be shown, backup offers are still accepted but sellers can't accept another offer, even if they are better, as long as the original buyers continue to clear the contingencies they placed in the contract.

PENDING NO SHOW (PN) is the third and last stage of the pending stage.  Sale is still pending but buyers have removed all contingencies and the property can not longer been shown and backup offers are not accepted.  Both sellers and buyers are waiting for the bank to wire the money to the escrow company which can then finalize the paperwork so that the deed can record.

SOLD. After close of escrow the listing will change from Pending No Show to Sold.

EXPIRED. Listings have expiration dates and if they don't sell before this date they expire. 

CANCELED. Listing has been canceled due to the termination of the contract.

WITHDRAWN. Listings which are withdrawn temporarily.  Properties are taken off the market but a valid contract is still in place between the seller and the listing agent.


Agents are required to change the status of the listing by the end of the next business day.  They are in violation with the MLS regulations if they don't do so and risk a hefty fee imposed by the MLS.


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Anja K. Kerstens



Buy or Sell with your area specialist and REALTOR® getting homes sold faster.


Comments (5)

Don Wixom
RE/MAX Executives Nampa, ID - Nampa, ID
"Looking out for your next move..."tm

Anja, I think it is important for the consumer to understand our terminology. Our MLS status are slightly different, but it sure helps people understand when we clear it up...

Feb 22, 2011 02:54 PM
Sophia Lin
Intero Real Estate Services - Sunnyvale, CA
Sunnyvale CA Real Estate Specialist

Thanks for clarifying; sometimes we take for granite that we think our Buyers/Sellers know our lingo, when actually they absolutely don't! 

Feb 22, 2011 02:54 PM
Anja Kerstens, 669.270.8034
Compass - Morgan Hill, CA
GRI, NHCB, CDPE, CHS. Silicon Valley Homes

Don and Sophia, frankly I think that even some of our fellow licensees don't always know how to explain it to their clients.  I figured I will blog the question for future clients as was suggested by, I believe, Bob Stewart in an earlier post morgan hill realtor.

Feb 22, 2011 03:00 PM
Nor Yeretsian
Envoy Capitol Realty Inc. - Toronto, ON
Envoy Capitol Realty Inc., Brokerage Toronto

Thanks for the insight Anja,


Nor Yeretsian

Feb 22, 2011 03:06 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Great post. I'm sure the average buyer IS confused by the terminology. What makes it even worse is that a buyer coming to you from a different state may be familiar with the words, but attach a different meaning to them because of the difference between states.

Wouldn't it be nice if the words meant the same thing everywhere? And if the rules and regulations surrounding the practice of real estate were the same across the country?

Feb 22, 2011 08:43 PM