Pending Versus Contingent: What’s the Big Difference?

In 2018, approximately 5.34 million people bought homes. When a person buys a home, the process begins with an offer. 

The seller then must respond to the offer. If they accept it, the process continues forward toward closing. During this time, the home sale listing might contain the words contingent or pending. 

Do you know what these words mean? Do you know the difference? In this guide, we will explain the difference between a contingent home sale and a pending home sale. 

The Definition of a Contingent Home Sale

As you begin learning the differences between contingent and pending sales, you might want to begin by learning what contingent means

A contingent home sale means that the home is under a contract with contingencies. The person buying the house included contingencies in their offer, and the contingencies are not yet met.

When you define contingent, it basically means that the sale has contingencies the buyer and seller must meet. A contingency is a request or condition the buyer or seller must meet. 

For example, the deal might have a contingency that states the home must appraise for the offer amount or more. This contingency will not be met until the appraisal is complete and comes back with the right amount. 

A home sale can have other contingencies too. For example, a buyer might state that the home purchase is contingent upon the buyer selling and closing on their existing home. 

The Definition of a Pending Home Sale

When a real estate deal progresses, the buyer and seller slowly complete the contingencies. At some point, all the parties will meet and complete every contingency in the purchase offer. 

When the deal reaches the point, the status of the home sale changes from contingent to pending. A pending home sale means that the parties have met all the contingencies, but the deal is not completely through. 

The lender might have a few more steps to complete before the buyer can close on the home. Therefore, the listing is pending, meaning that they are just waiting to close on the deal. 

A home sale will stay in the contingent state for a longer period than the pending state. 

How These Statuses Affect Home Buyers

Now that you see the difference between a contingent vs pending sale, you’ll know how to handle the different statuses you see on home listings.

You might not be able to view a pending home sale, but you can view contingent real estate. Therefore, if you see any home listings that state they are “contingent sales,” you might want to schedule viewings to see them. 

Start Looking for a House Today

If you’re ready to purchase a home, you might want to begin by talking to a real estate agent. The agent can help you find home listings to view, and they can explain more about contingent home sales if you have questions.

If you enjoyed reading this article, check out the rest of our site for more informative articles about real estate. 

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