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Does pending sale mean under contract? If so, is it a firm contract?

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January 02 2011 - Cumming
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Answers (8)

Pending means the home is under contract - however if it is a short sale my experience has been most will fall out from being under contract around the 6-7 week mark as the buyer gets tired of waiting for the bank.  If it is not a short sale it is probablly a good contract with the normal financing, apprasial and inspection/due dilgence contingencies.
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May 05 2011
Yes, Pending Sale does mean a property is Under Contract. However, in today's "sketchy" market, I would recommend contacting both agents involved to try and get the "low" down on how solid the Buyer is and how likely the deal is to close...and whether or not it's wise to take the time to bring in a back-up offer.
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February 11 2011
John is right.  I'm seeing just over a third of houses "under contract" fall through and become active again in the Middle Georgia market.  Usually due to financing.  Those are pretty good odds!  However, the better the house is, the less likely it is to fall through in my opinion.
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January 05 2011
I am going to piggy back Jonathan a bit, and add that many contracts these days are contingent upon the deal being financed. Consequently, there are many "pending" sales that never see the cosing table. As a buyer, you hold a strong position unless the house you found is "the house". Put in a back-up offer if you want a shot at the house. The worst case scenario for you is that you will be looking for another house in a few months. The current trend of deteriorating values could mean that you get a better deal if that happens.
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January 05 2011
Teresa,

The other comments have used the term "escrow" or "in escrow".  This is not used the same way in Georgia real estate.  They are referring to a process were an escrow agent manages the final transaction details.  We don't do that in Georgia, where an attorney conducts the closing and escrow only refers to accounts where money is deposited for future purposes.

To answer your question literally: it is a firm contract.  However, most real estate purchase contracts can be cancelled with enough "cause".  The best thing to do is to work with an agent to see what is going on with the deal.  You can put in a back-up offer, and if properly designed, you would be in line to buy the property if the original fails to be completed.  In 99.9% of Georgia Real Estate, once a purchase contract is binding a new buyer can't show up, make a better offer, and get the house (if that was what you were wondering).

I hope that helps! Best of luck!
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January 04 2011
In most cases, pending should mean that there has been an offer and acceptance, hence a contract.  Once it goes into pending, escrow is opened and there are several steps that must be completed by both parties to help insure a successful close.  I do know of some agents that will put a bank owned property into pending when the buyer has made an offer and the bank/seller has verbally agreed to the terms.  If you are interested in a property that is in pending, by all means have your agent contact the listing agent to check on the status of the deal and assess the likelihood of it closing escrow.  Even those deals that seem like a sure lock to close encounter unforeseen, last minute hiccups that cause the deal to fall apart.  You may inquire about submitting a back up offer if you are so inclined.  Best of luck!
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January 02 2011
Yes, pending does indicate an accepted offer has been received.  In todays market nothing is definite until the loan is aproved and closing is finalized. 
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January 02 2011
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Pending sale generally means that the seller has accepted a contract from a buyer. It does not mean that inspections have been accepted/completed, that the buyer has an accepted appraisal or financing.

Houses fall out of escrow all the time for inspection, appraisal or finance issues so if you're interested it never hurts to ask if the seller is accepting back up offers.
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January 02 2011
 
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