“Sale Pending”: Does it really mean SOLD?

sale pending

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In today’s digital world, we can do just about anything online and that includes searching for your potential dream house. Imagine drinking your morning coffee while clicking through the latest real estate listings and you finally find the perfect house, in the perfect neighborhood, at the perfect price, with everything on your Must Have List. But then you see it… SALE PENDING. UGH! 

Is this a deal breaker?

What does sale pending really mean? Is it still possible to still buy the house? Are you too late? The simple answer – you could still potentially purchase the house – it’s not a done deal yet.

Sale pending means that an offer has been made on a house and that offer has been accepted. However, that usually means that the offer is still contingent on inspections being done – depending on what is found that can open the door for the buyer to back out or renegotiate the deal. If the buyer is also financing the home, they will still need to secure a mortgage. The bank will do its own appraisal and make sure that the home is worth what the buyer is offering. There are a lot of moving parts that still need to be figured out before a sale is final. You could still be the golden buyer.

While you are waiting to see if the home closes, you should take some additional steps so that if the pending sale does fall through, you are ready to pounce:

  • Contact your Realtor and see if you can still schedule a showing – some sellers will still entertain showings even after they have entered a contract with a buyer in case the original deal falls through
  • If you still love the home and want to make an offer, let your Realtor know just how interested you are in the property. They can still contact the seller’s agent and let them know that they have an interested buyer should the current contract fall through.
  • Do some research on the neighborhood, the property, and the town so that you are ready with an offer if the home becomes active again. You’ll want to be ready with your offer and proof of pre-approval should the home come back up for sale.

Once an agreement is made between the buyer and seller, closing on the property can still take some time depending on how the seller plans to pay for the home. If a buyer is paying all cash and waiving all inspections, a home can close in as quickly as a few days to a week. However many buyers choose to finance their homes, and there is a process that must be followed.

Typically most homes close within 30-45 days from the time of both parties agreeing to the purchase agreement. It’s important to make sure that you have all the paperwork your lender will need in order to move through the home buying process, this usually includes tax documents, W2’s, bank account statements, etc.

Some items that can delay a closing can include:

  • Repairs requested by the buyer need to be made by the seller
  • A low appraisal
  • Delays or issues with securing a mortgage
  • Liens or judgments found against the seller/title of the property
  • Missing insurance information, or lack of an in-force policy
  • Issues found during a title search
  • Negotiations between the buyer/seller based on inspection reports

So if you find a home that is “Sale Pending, it doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. You should continue your home search but keep an eye on the pending home. There is a lot that can happen between when a home goes under contract – Sale Pending status- to when it closes. If you have any questions about the home buying process or what you need to obtain a mortgage – give me a call. I’m always happy to help!


Jennifer Ives-Groebl
Vice President, Senior Mortgage Lender
NMLS MLO ID: 532621

Author: Jennifer Ives-Groebl

Jennifer has been with Litchfield Bancorp since 1994 and was promoted to Assistant Vice President and Senior Mortgage Originator shortly after graduating the Connecticut School of Finance & Management in 1998. Stationed in both our Torrington and Litchfield locations, Jennifer is well known and respected in the local residential real estate community and recognized as a resource for some of the more difficult transactions. Jennifer resides in Torrington and is actively involved in the local community. She is a long time member of the Torrington/Winsted Rotary club and is currently serving as its Assistant Treasurer. Jennifer is involved with Litchfield County Board of Realtors and serves as chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Public Relations Committee. She is also a member of the Fuessenich Park Partnership; and through Education Connection, has participated in the Mentoring Program.