Pending Back Up means there is a signed offer on a property and the seller is asking for Back Up offers. We are now seeing a lot of listings with Pending Back Up status because of the number of Short Sales that have signed offers with Sellers and those offers have been submitted to the lenders. Since we are experiencing very long closings with Short Sales in many cases, the listing agents are requesting Back Up Offers.
There are several reasons for this. One is that some Buyers are giving up on the Short Sales. In the NWMLS we have a special Short Sale addendum that specifies whether or not the Seller can take multiple offers and also allows the Buyer to back out with notice to the seller.
Due to the natrue of short Sales, lenders like to have multiple offers to review, so the legal opinion of Annie Fitsimmons who answers questions for the Legal Hotline for Realtors, is that if you, as a listing agent, don't show the lender "all the offers", you jeapardize the short sale.
We have always had the ability to ask for back up offers, but until the last two years when we have had a much higher number of short sales, they were rare. Since you are in Seattle, I imagine you are a member of the Northwest MLS and I encourage you to go to the Northwest MLS Express Forms library and read the Back Up addendum and the Back Up Response because they will give you a lot of insight into the procedures.
In a short sale situation, it means certain boxes have been checked on the NWMLS Form 22SS that allow the seller to present more offers to the bank and it leaves the home on most broker web sites.
In a non-distresssed situation, it could mean that the seller just wants to keep their options open OR they are not confident about a buyer's ability to close. In a non-distressed situation, it most likely means that the only contingency remaining is that of financing.
I hope that helps
I wish they would have a Pending-Short Sale category because Pending BU is useful, but I don't want to taint my listings with any inference that they might be a short sale when they are not.