Last Updated on March 27, 2024

What Does Pending Mean? | Real Estate Definition

By Alan F Macdonald

What does Pending Mean in Real Estate?

In real estate, pending means that a property’s seller has accepted a buyer’s purchase contract, but the home isn’t sold yet because some conditions must be met first. Pending is short for “sold pending conditions” or “sale pending.”

On the Edmonton Real Estate Board system, pending status is shown as ‘P’.

Real Estate Agent Explains Pending

When a house is pending, it isn’t sold yet – which is why we don’t call it sold! There are still things to do with respect to the contract and if they don’t get done, the contract ceases to be and the house is back on the market.

There are time limits for any pending contract. Properties that are pending are not usually pending for very long. It doesn’t usually take that long to remove conditions on a contract in real estate – often a week or two at most. Sellers do not like a contract to be pending conditions for very long because other buyers will usually not want to look at the home if it is pending. This is why sellers would not want their home to be pending for long, because if it doesn’t go together, potential buyers may not even have seen it while it was pending. Perhaps they have already purchased something else.

Sometimes, real estate agents in Edmonton avoid posting homes as pending because it deters showings. If a house isn’t sold, there is not much reason not to keep showing the home. Therefore, the status of a pending listing may be left as active to make sure people know it’s not gone yet, and if they want to see it, they may.

Why Does it Matter?

When a house goes pending, a lot of people think that it is sold. It is not. Sold pending conditions means it’s not sold yet. It may or may not sell at all. It is very important to understand that a contract with conditions is really not a complete contract – it’s a great start, but something could easily happen to make it all fall apart. Often there are conditions regarding financing, an inspection or review of condo docs. We have this in-between term to describe a house that isn’t still technically for sale if everything goes together, but isn’t yet sold either.

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