1) Pending Release 2) Pending Show and 3) Pending No Show
1 Pending Release - this means that the seller has accepted a purchase contract from a buyer, but it is contingent on something that the buyer has made a stipulation to the contract. This is one kind of "Contingency." In this case it is usually that the buyer has written the offer conitingent on selling the buyer's property. In this instance if another offer comes to the seller, and the seller accepts it, the original buyer typically has 48 hours to remove whatever contingency the buyer placed in the contract or the seller will attempt to go into contract with the second buyer. I say attempt because in real estate the original buyer usually still has to sign a document stating they have backed out of the contract before the seller can easily move on.
2-Pending Show. This is the status that the original question was about, and yes the seller has accepted an offer and possibly is looking for back up offers. Remember though, once a seller has accepted an offer from a buyer, the seller can not sell it to another buyer. As long as the original buyer performs his/her duties per the original contract the seller must sell it to the original buyer. Even if the seller received an offer millions of dollars over asking. Also, it is the duty of the real estate agent to continue to show the seller any and all offers they receive while the property is still "on the market," all the way up until the day the transaction closes.
3) Pending no show - Typically this means that the seller has accepted a contract and the buyer has removed all of the contingencies to purchase the home. Both buyer and seller are simply waiting for the bank to wire the money to the escrow company and for the deed to record. Even in this status offers can still be submitted and should be presented to the seller. Whether or not any actino is taken by the seller, that is another story.
I hope that helps.
My wife and I made an offer and the seller accepted. We LOVE this house!! The purchase contract is signed, sealed, and delivered. I have all the necessary wheels in motion. I'm 99.9% certain my loan WILL get processed as my credit score is great. I have no contingencies and we own our current home free and clear.
However backing up a little, the property had a "Pending - Still Show" a month prior with a different potential buyer. Apparently the contract fell through. I noticed it came back online and available, so we jumped on it. I'm not exactly sure why, but my realtor speculates that it may have fell through on the appraisal, (the appraisal came back lower than the agreed selling price, perhaps). My guess is that the potential buyer didn't have the funds to make up that difference.
Hopefully I don't run into this same scenario with appraisal, but it's possible. Fortunately though I've taken out a Home Equity line of credit for a substantial amount so I'll have that cushion if I need it.
Anyway my advice would be that if it's a house you really really like and it's "Pending - Still Show", check on it everyday, because you just never know! Also, don't count on the listing agent to call you if the house comes back on the market because they didn't for me.
One last thing, apparently there are some other agents that are quite ticked off at the listing agent that they weren't notified either, and also the original buyers are mad because they apparently put a statement on their contract to the seller that they would agree to split the difference in the price gap of appraisal vs. agreed selling price, and they're trying to claim that the seller was not made aware of this. Not only that, I heard they had about $1,000 invested in inspections, (I'd be upset too).
On the other hand, I say too bad because that's your job along with the buyer's and seller's agents jobs to make sure everyone reads and understands everything in the contract including it's contingencies, stipulations, and counter-offers, etc.
Yay for us though :-)