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Understanding Pending Sales: Is It Worth Making an Offer?


In the world of real estate, “Sale Pending” is a phrase that can evoke a mixture of excitement and uncertainty. For homebuyers, it’s a sign that a potential dream home might be slipping away, while for sellers, it marks a crucial step toward closing the deal. But what does “Sale Pending” really mean, and should you make an offer on a property with this status? In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of pending sales and provide guidance on whether to pursue a home in this stage of the transaction.

Understanding “Sale Pending”

“Sale Pending” is a term used in the real estate industry to indicate that a property is under contract, meaning the seller has accepted an offer from a prospective buyer, but the sale has not yet been finalized. This status typically arises after the buyer and seller have agreed on a price and signed a purchase agreement, but before all contingencies and conditions have been met.

Contingencies and Conditions

Contingencies are provisions in the purchase agreement that must be satisfied before the sale can be completed. Some common contingencies include:

  1. Financing: The buyer must secure a mortgage loan to purchase the property.
  2. Inspection: The buyer has the right to conduct a home inspection and request repairs or negotiate the price based on the findings.
  3. Appraisal: The property must be appraised at or above the agreed-upon purchase price for the buyer’s lender to approve the loan.
  4. Title: A clear title must be provided, free of liens or other issues that could affect the transfer of ownership.
  5. Sale of the buyer’s current home: The buyer’s existing property must be sold before the purchase can be finalized.

Should You Make an Offer on a Sale Pending Property?

While a “Sale Pending” status might seem discouraging, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the property is completely off-limits. There are situations where a pending sale can fall through, and the property can return to the market. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether to make an offer on a sale pending property:

Evaluate the Contingencies

If you’re interested in a sale pending property, speak with your real estate agent to get more information about the contingencies involved. If there are multiple contingencies that have not yet been met, the chances of the sale falling through may be higher.

Assess the Competition

In a competitive market, properties can receive multiple offers. If you believe the property is a perfect fit and the pending sale falls through, you may want to submit a backup offer. This way, you’ll be next in line if the original buyer’s offer doesn’t work out.

Consider Timing

If the property has been under contract for a significant amount of time without progress, there might be a higher likelihood that the deal could fall apart. Consult with your real estate agent to determine if it’s worth pursuing an offer in such a situation.


While it’s true that a “Sale Pending” property is not as straightforward as an active listing, it doesn’t mean you should automatically rule it out. By understanding the contingencies involved and assessing the competition and timing, you can make an informed decision about whether to make an offer on a sale pending property. Always work closely with your real estate agent, who can provide expert advice and guide you through the process.

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