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Ask the REALTOR® is a regular video series in which I answer your most commonly-asked real estate questions, with a new Q&A posting every week. If YOU have a real estate question for me, drop me a note here.

This week’s question: Cari, what does it mean when a listing says ‘Sale Pending’? Here’s the answer in this brief video, and don’t miss the transcript below.

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Hi, this is Cari McGee with Keller Williams Real Estate. Welcome to this week’s episode of “Ask the Realtor.” Every week, I answer questions from buyers and sellers — and pretty much everyone in between — regarding in real estate.

This week’s question is, “Cari, what does it mean when a listing says ‘Sale Pending’? Can I still look at the house? Can I buy the house if I like it?”

Well, probably not. Here’s the deal: When a listing says “sale pending,” that means that a buyer has offered to purchase the home, the seller and the buyer have agreed to terms on that purchase, and that they’re in the escrow period — meaning they’re proceeding through usually any of the contingencies that are attached, which are often inspection and financing are usually the big two that people need to make sure that they get through okay.

And during that period of time, it will be listed on the MLS and in various forms as sale pending, or under contract, or escrow period. And it’s not advisable to go ahead and look at a house that’s already under contract because you could wind up loving that house, and then you can’t buy the house because somebody else is gonna buy the house. And that’s kind of a heartbreaking sort of situation to find yourself in. So, we usually don’t recommend that at all.

If you are insistent, if a buyer is insisting, “Cari, I’ve got to see this house. I don’t care that somebody else is buying it. I’m sure that I can do this…” Okay, well we’ll call the listing agent to see how strong the other offer is. And if it’s pretty strong, then we’re still gonna say, “I’m not gonna show you the house.” If, however, there does seem to be some sort of … maybe wiggle room going on or some issues that might come up that seem to be making that first deal fall apart, then yes, we’ll go ahead and show you the home, hoping that we’ll be able to make an offer on the property.

Hope that helps. If you have any questions for me regarding real estate, by all means give me a shout via any one of the methods that are on the screen to follow. Thanks so much. See you next week.

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Cari McGee

Hi, I'm Cari McGee. 👋 I've lived in the Tri-Cities since 1994 and I've been a licensed Realtor® since 2004. That's a lot of local knowledge and real estate experience that I put into every article you read on my website! We've helped more than 560 families buy or sell property in the Tri-Cities. In 2023, our community voted us the bronze winner for Best Real Estate Team in the Tri-Cities Best voting. Learn more about me by clicking the link right above. And if you have any questions, get in touch anytime!

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