What’s the Difference Between Contingent and Pending?
In some states, there is no difference between contingent and pending statuses on a house. In other states, contingency is the first step in the home buying process. Once the contingencies are met, the seller can change the status to pending.
Types of Pending Statuses
There are three main types of pending statuses you may find attached to a real estate listing. These are:
In the first scenario, pending taking backups, the seller has accepted an offer but is willing to accept a backup offer if another buyer is willing to make one. In this scenario, the buyer will likely have to offer an amount above whatever the other buyer has already negotiated. This is an excellent position for the seller but a problematic position for the buyer.
Pending a short sale means that the seller has accepted an offer that is less than the remaining balance owed on the mortgage. These types of transactions were common, especially after the 2008 housing market crash, where many homeowners found themselves underwater—where the mortgage is more expensive than the value of the home.
A short sale is a way for homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage, either avoid foreclosure or get out of an underwater home. However, the lender has to approve the sale, and this can take several weeks to several months.
The final scenario, pending extended for many months, is typical for newly constructed homes though rare in the general real estate market. It means that an offer has been accepted, but that there has been a long delay, usually based on the construction schedule.
However, sometimes a house is listed “pending extended for many months” simply because the real estate agent never removed the home from the multiple listing service (MLS). If you’re interested in a house with this status, just ask your real estate agent to inquire about the listing.