It may or may not be functional and will not really be able to be know until it is filled with water and able to operate...whether it does or not.
Bill Jones, agent
Provided there is a barrier around the pool, an empty pool is usually less of a hazard than a filled pool. A pool with water and no maintenance is a mosquito pond. Mosquitos are more than annoying. They carry West Nile Virus.
Without maintenance, a pool turns green and is an eyesore as well as a hazard.
And then there's the problem of animals of all species, including people, drowning in the pool.
Pools were designed to be filled with water. When it's empty, the water is not exerting outward pressure on the pool walls. The ground around the pool will still exert inward pressure on the pool walls, which can result in damage to the pool.
So if the pool wasn't leaking when it was drained, it might start leaking when it is filled.
It is not likely the seller is going to be willing to fill the pool so you can check whether it works. You can ask for this in your purchase contract, but it will cost the seller several hundred dollars. Expect to buy the pool as is.
some will fill and have regular maintenance.
and yes it could mean it won't hold water,
this is something that you will have to get permission to fill during inspections or get a pool guy to look at
VA or FHA require the pool be filled - either with water or covered over - for loan approval.
Best of luck.
You should check with your Buyer's Agent/Realtor and your lender for further clarification.