What is “Sale Pending” in Real Estate?

What Does “Pending” Mean in Real Estate

There are many ways to go about buying a house. For the most part, you’ll likely be looking at listings with a real estate agent or looking at listings online. When looking at listings, there are multiple statuses of houses on the market, and they all mean different things.

Understanding the various status meanings that are relevant in real estate will help you as a potential buyer. If you’ve ever wondered what “pending” means when looking at a listing, you are not alone. In this article, we cover what the term “pending” means in real estate.

What Does Pending Mean?

If you see a “sale pending” or “offer pending” on a home, it typically means the seller has accepted an offer from a buyer for the home. It’s important to note that this is not the opportune time to out-bid other buyers, as the sale is basically moving towards closing at this point.

At this point in the home buying process, the seller and the buyer have gone through negotiations and have reached an agreement for both parties. The buyer and seller have agreed on the price, the conditions, the move-in date and have essentially executed the contract. A house for sale in Summerlin (or elsewhere) that reads “pending” stops other buyers from making an offer because it’s saying the listing is no longer active.

Can a Pending Sale Fall Through?

The short answer is yes. Any sale that is not 100 percent closed has a chance to fall through. It’s called “pending” for a reason! However, it may be unlikely. There can be a few reasons why a pending sale falls through, which ultimately puts the home back on the market.


Financing is a very important part of buying a home. The majority of home buyers use a mortgage to buy a home. Situations like a financial emergency, inconsistencies in income and assets, and/or losing a job after the loan process could prevent someone from being able to secure a mortgage.

Home Inspections

An unsatisfactory inspection can cause a pending sale to fall through. It’s common to expect a house to have some issues during this process. However, some issues found in the inspection can be more than what the buyer was prepared for and may not be able to handle.

Buyer’s Remorse

Selling and buying a new home can be an emotional process. As the seller, you are most likely leaving a home you’ve made many memories in. As a buyer, you are embarking on a new adventure with a lot of change. Some people may simply have a change of heart, and second-guess the home buying process, moving, or the home itself.

Can You Still Make an Offer on a Pending Home?

Buying a home with a pending sale is difficult. Typically when a buyer submits an offer letter to buy a home, there’s a clause that states a homeowner cannot cancel the sale, even if a better offer comes in. This means you cannot out-bid the buyer before you. You can, however, submit a backup offer for consideration if the pending sale falls through.


Overall, if you have your eye on a home with a pending status, reach out to a qualified real estate agent. They will be able to answer any questions, help guide you and help you submit a backup offer if the option is available.

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