Contingent vs Pending: What You Should Know!!!

contingent vs pending
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If you’re looking for a home in real estate, and you come across an active contingent vs pending home sale, you’ll need to know the difference between the two before considering these listings in your home search. Read on to know if you can still make an offer on a home sale listing you want to purchase.

Real Estate Contingent vs Pending

A contingent home sale occurs when a seller accepts a home selling offer but decides to keep the listing active in case the prospective buyer fails to meet certain contingencies. Contingent offers will still be in the active listings since they are subject to contract termination if the necessary provisions are not in place. However, if all works out the contingent deals will now shift to the pending stage.

When a property is pending, it signifies that the buyer has met the provisions on a contingent property and that the sale is ongoing. As a result, pending sales will no longer appear in the active listings. A home will stay in the pending stage until all legal paperwork is complete.

Once the seller agrees to the deal and the homebuyer fulfills all the requirements of the contract property. it will shift to the pending stage. With the listing as pending, the property is no longer on the active list for other purchasers. But it will remain in pending sale status until the buyer and the seller resolve all legal parts of the transaction between the

Most often, homebuyers add several common contingencies with their purchase bids. These contingencies may include, a home inspection contingency, a finance contingency, or an appraisal contingency. The pending status implies that the seller and their agent are optimistic that the deal has cleared the key hurdles; and is on its way to completion. Below are some contingent vs pending status you may find on home sale contracts.

How Often Do Contingent Offers Fall Through?

The deal: The buyer’s offer depends on the home being appraised for the same amount or more than the offer. We know that appraisal problems caused 6% of deals to fall through in May.

Can a Seller Back Out of a Contingent Offer?

Most real estate contracts have clauses that allow sellers to back out if certain things don’t go as planned. For example, the seller may say that they will only sell their home if they can buy a new one within 30 days.

Contingent Status

The following are important details about contingent status.

#1. Appraisal Contingency

An appraisal contingency permits you to pull out of the contract if your lender finds out that the home’s value you are purchasing is less than the purchase price.  In the case of a home purchase, a professional home appraiser need to assess the home from the inside out to determine its fair market worth.

#2. Financial Contingency

A financing contingency, sometimes known as a mortgage contingency, permits you to terminate the contract if you are unable to acquire a mortgage. Ideally, you’ll be pre-approved for a mortgage before placing an offer to purchase a home. Even if you have a pre-approval, the lender may discover more facts during the screening process.

However, your financial status may deteriorate, or mortgage rates may rise, making it more difficult for you to qualify. In such cases, you may be unable to obtain a mortgage and, as a result, will be unable to purchase the home. 

#3. Home Inspection Contingency

Home inspection contingency entails you, the buyer, paying a professional home inspector to examine for major issues that may impair the home’s value, safety, or livability. If the house inspection reveals major problems, you and the seller can work out a solution to keep the contract intact. For example, the seller may do the necessary repairs or reduce the purchase price by the estimated cost of the repairs so that after closing the work will not be incomplete.

#4. Title Contingencies

The buyer and lender will need a title check to inspect for liens, validate the legal property description, and identify the actual sellers. As a buyer, you should obtain an insurance policy. If there is an involvement of any bank. It will certainly require a lender’s title policy to protect their interests.

#5. Kick-out clause Contingency

A kick-out clause in a house purchase contract means that the seller and buyer have agreed that the seller will consider backup offers as long as the buyer’s offer is contingent on the sale of their property.

A kick-out clause works in tandem with a sale contingency.  The listing may include a “48-hour kick-out clause” or “72-hour kick-out clause,” stating how long the buyer currently under contract needs to renounce their selling contingency and provide proof of financing before the seller can accept a backup offer.

#6. Sale Contingency

A sale contingency permits you to get out of the contract if you are unable to sell your current house. Assume you’re moving from New Orleans to Nashville and just want to transfer your possessions once.  In order to receive the funds to purchase a new home in Tennessee, you must first sell your current home in Louisiana. You should include a sale contingency in your purchase agreement so you don’t lose your earnest money if your home doesn’t sell within the time frame in the purchase contract.

#7. Closing Contingency

Assume you’ve found a buyer for your home, but the transaction isn’t yet complete. A closing contingency, also known as a settlement contingency, allows you to cancel your contract without penalty if your buyer fails to close within a certain time frame.

Pending Status

  • Short-term Sale. External banks and lenders must endorse short-term sales over which neither the sellers nor the purchasers have any influence. This signifies that the procedure may take some time.
  • More Than Four Months: An offer can be put on hold for roughly four months. This delay could be due to deal discussions, construction, the processing period, or an agent oversight of the current state of the listing.
  • Creating Backups. While the sellers accept the buyers’ bid, something erroneously happens during the closing stage. If the agreement falls through, the sellers are now in a position to entertain backup bids, and if a backup offer meets their requirements, they can pursue the sale.

How Long Is Contingent Pending?

A home sale contingent offer usually lasts between 30 and 90 days.

What Is the Biggest Reason for Making an Offer Contingent?

The most crucial reason to include a house inspection contingency in your offer is to confirm the absence of a severe flaw. The majority of the time, home inspectors identify 100 or more minor defects, but occasionally we find substantial issues.

Active Contingent vs Pending

The term active contingent vs pending home sale in real estate refers to a home that is on the market and available for purchase. A possible buyer may see the house and will make moves to purchase it. An active contingency means that an offer for the house has been made and accepted by the seller; nevertheless, specific requirements must be complete before the sale of the house. The homeowner/seller is responsible for resolving any difficulties or problems.

While contingencies help both the buyer and the seller, they are more beneficial to the buyer. this is because they allow the buyer to cancel the contract with no consequences. The buyer may also receive a refund of their earnest money. This can save a homebuyer a significant amount of money, time, and effort.

Active Contingent vs Pending Home Sale

When the seller accepts an offer and all contingencies are met, the listing status switches from contingent to pending. Active listings with contingencies are still active listings on real estate, which means that other buyers can still make an offer.

The property will be listed as pending once all contingencies have been cleared and have completed the active contingency stage.  Also because the pending deals are not active listings, no one else will make an offer on the home. The home will be listed as pending until the completion of all legal works.

Can You Make an Offer on a House With Active Contingency?

You can make an offer on a house at any point in the process. Estate agents can assist you in navigating particularly complex or difficult transactions. They can assist you in strategizing and negotiating when attempting to pounce on a home that is active contingent vs pending.

Owners who have a contingent offer on their home can accept a backup offer. If the initial deal falls through, your offer will take place. The duration of the active contingent period varies, but it is usually only a few weeks. However, it may take a little longer

When a home has an active contingent status, it indicates that the closing is not far away. The possibilities of the house being put back on the market are limited.

However, the home might be put back on the market. It is necessary to keep in mind that you can make an offer on a home at any stage of the process, which is why having the most up-to-date information and a real estate agent that understands how to handle complex situations is vital.

Are Contingent Offers Good?

You should act with caution before accepting a contingent offer, or if you receive an offer without conditions, you should shun them completely. Contingency-based offers are riskier since if the conditions aren’t met, the agreement will collapse.

How Often Do Contingent Offers Fail to Materialize?

While it is difficult to measure contingent vs pending offers that fail each year. Studies indicate that approximately 4% of all house transactions fail. That is, while the vast majority of sales are completed, transactions might fall through for a variety of reasons.

Ways to Win a Home Before It Goes Contingent vs Pending

#1. Take Immediate Action 

You can take immediate action to see any home you’re interested in so that it does not enter the contingent vs pending stage. This will help you to avoid making offers on homes that are contingent or pending.

2. Request That Your Agent Communicates With the Listing Agent.

Find out what the current status of the contracted offer is. What are the inspections they perform? What are the buyer and seller’s thoughts on the transaction? Is the current contract open to counter-offers?

#3. Consider Making a No-Strings-Attached Offer.

Although it is dangerous, eliminating contingencies or making an offer without them is appealing to sellers. Also, depending on the contract they have signed, may allow them to convince their present buyer to waive their stipulations or abandon the discussions entirely.

#4. Write a Personal Letter.

It doesn’t hurt to write a personal plea to the present homeowners if there is a house with contingent vs pending that you simply can’t give up. It is not always feasible to know the dynamics of a home sale, regardless of the listing status or what the listing agent claims. If the homeowners are not okay with the talks, delivering a compelling offer with a convincing letter may give you an advantage over the existing buyers as well as any prospective offers.


When you understand the difference between an active contingent vs pending in real estate home sales. This will help you in purchasing your choicest house. You can as well contact our agents for guidance if you are confused at any point in your home search.

Contingent vs Pending FAQs

How long are most contingent offers?

The contingent period usually lasts anywhere from 30 to 60 days. If you have a mortgage contingency, the buyer’s due date is usually about a week before closing.

Can a seller cancel a contingent Vs pending offer?

A seller can back out at any point if contingencies outlined in the home purchase agreement are not met. These agreements are legally binding contracts, which is why backing out of them can be complicated, and something that most people want to avoid.

How long does it take to go from contingent to pending?

It all depends on how long the escrow process is and the agreed-upon contingent time frame, but you can (usually) expect a house to go from contingent to pending in about nine days

Can I outbid an accepted offer?

If your offer is contingent on bank approval, you could lose your offer to the buyer who overbid you. This is rare, but it can happen. Another buyer can also send an offer directly to the bank and bypass the listing agent and the seller altogether. Again, it’s rare, but a buyer could do it.

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