What does it mean when a property is Pending on my Statesville NC Home Search?

Recently I was asked about  the “status” of a property that was for sale in Statesville NCand what “pending” meant and it dawned on me that most buyers do not know the real estate lingo for the different stages a property may be in and what those stages mean so I thought I would pass that information along to you.  The status may have a different name and meaning in different states so be sure to check with a local agent.  The following are for the state of North Carolina.

Home is listed on the MLS:

The MLS is the local Multiple Listing Service that Real Estate Agents subscribe to that allows them to put the property details on a database that is managed by the local Realtor Association.  Our local Association is the Charlotte Regional Realtors Association.  This listing has all the details that the public will see plus additional information that only a licensed real estate agent subscribing to that MLS will have access to.  This information is agent to agent information or even agent to their office information.  The public information is the information that is picked up by other real estate sites you may use such as Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia and others.

Active:

The home is available for sale.  Be sure your agent makes a call to the listing agent prior to looking at the home to determine if offers have come in or if they are currently in the middle of negotiations of an offer.  This is good information to have before you fall in love with a home.

Conditional:

This status is used when the seller has accepted an offer on the property but the buyer still has to do all their inspections.  In NC, buyers have a due diligence period that is agreed upon on the contract to do all their “homework” such as home inspection, termite inspection, survey, check on zoning, make sure they can get financing, get the appraisal back and so forth…..During this period, the buyer has the right to terminate the contract for ANY reason or NO reason.  After this date, the buyer is agreeing to go forward with contract and purchase the home.  There is a due diligence feethat may be negotiated in the offer that goes directly to the seller and in non-refundable unless the seller breaches the contract.  This fee is credited to the buyer at closing.  The seller may choose to still allow showings for backup offers during this time.

Contingent:

This status is used when a seller accepts an offer “contingent” on the buyer selling another property first.  The buyer already owns a home that has to be sold first in order to close on the new home.  The seller and buyer agree upon a certain amount of time for the home to be sold and if not sold, the seller may terminate and put the house “active” again.  The seller may also continue to show the property and take other offers on the home.  If an acceptable offer comes in, the buyer may be given a number of day to move forward and purchase the property by a certain date or terminate so that the seller can accept the other offer.  Hope

Pending:

This status means all conditions and contingencies have been cleared and the home is ready to close.  The attorney will complete their title work and prepare the HUD for review and closing.  A cash deal may go directly to pending status if the buyer chooses to waive all inspections but there may still be a due diligence period in the contract.

Keep in mind that a property is not SOLD until the deed is recorded!  ANY deal can fall through at anytime prior to that and may come back on the market.  If you are having trouble finding a home in the current inventory, ask your Realtor to check the contingent sales and conditional sales.  There may be one there that you may take a chance on.  There may also be  homes that are “temporarily off the market”, “expired” or “withdrawn” that the seller may still be willing to sell but just took a break from having their home listed.  Your Realtor can look through all these listings to find potential homes to fit your needs.

I have many homes listed in the Statesville NCarea and I receive calls all the time on properties that are already under contract.  Some buyers search sites that may not have the status updated yet and it still shows as an active listing, only to find out it is under contract or even sold already.  To save yourself some headaches, make sure the site you are using is updated frequently.