Ask the REALTOR: What does it mean when a listing says ‘Sale Pending’?

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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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About The Author
Cari McGee

My husband and I came to the Tri-Cities in 1994, and we thought it would be a temporary stop on our way to larger cities. He was a television sports anchor at the time, and we planned to go wherever the "next step up" took us. Twenty-plus years later, we're still here and we've loved every minute of it! We have two children now, and we've found the Tri-Cities area is a wonderful place to raise a family. It's a great place to do outdoorsy things -- I like to hike Badger Mountain or run along the river path. I also love reading ... by a cozy fire in the winter or a beautiful picture window in the summer (with the A/C on!). I've been a licensed Realtor since 2004. I earned my managing broker's license in 2016, which means I can run my own brokerage, or create a team of real estate agents and supervise them, which is exactly what I did when I formed the Cari McGee Real Estate Team in 2018! We have administrative and marketing personnel, as well as additional agents to serve you. I became a director of the Tri-Cities Association of Realtors Board of Directors in 2016, became Secretary/Treasurer of the organization, and was elected to Vice President in 2019. Want to talk about real estate? Click here to schedule a meeting with me!

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