what's the difference between contingent and pending sale?

Asked by Maria, Saint Augustine, FL Mon Nov 8, 2010

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Kelly Moore, Agent, St Augustine Beach, FL
Mon Nov 8, 2010
When a sale is classified as "contingent" it means that while the property is sold, there are still some issues that need to be resolved before the sale can be finalized. Some typical contingencies are; inspections to be performed and approved, buyer's loan approval, and sale of buyer's current home. Usually if a contingency is not met then the buyer's good faith deposit is returned.

A pending sale means that there are no contingencies to meet or that all contingencies have been met...all there is left to do is wait for the scheduled close date and finalize the sale.
9 votes
thank you for the simplified explanation
Flag Mon Jun 9, 2014
Antonio Vega…, Agent, Saint Cloud, FL
Mon Nov 8, 2010
Pending significa que hay un contrato firmado por ambos lados, esto significa que todos estan estan en acuerdo.
Contingent significa que aunque estan de acuerdo en un signumero de partes en la oferta, aun queda una o dos cosas por cumplirse para que haya una aceptacion total. Por ejemplo, haceptamos este precio "pero solo si la casa aprecia por la cantidad" o "haceptamos comprar pero solo si el banco nos presta a este porciento" o "compramos si la inspeccion no revela algun dano grande", etc. En otras palabras los "contingencies" estan hay para proteger condiciones especificas dentro del contrato. Espero esto fuera de ayuda.

Tony Vega
Charles Rutenberg Realty.
5 votes
Karen Peil, Agent, Saint Augustine, FL
Mon Nov 8, 2010
Dictionary.com defines contingent as "dependent on something not yet certain." In the terms of a real estate contract that "something not yet certain" could be the buyers home inspection contingency, financing, or something that you will see in the purchase of a condo - the 3 days the buyer gets to review the condominium documents and financials. If, during the contingency period which is set forth in the contract, the buyer doesn't clear one of the contingencies (ex. is unable to get the financing or property does not pass inspection.), then the contract does not continue. If the contract is "pending" that means that the buyer has gotten through their contingency items and the parties are simply finalizing the paperwork, etc, to close.

I you need any more help with any real estate terms or practices, please don't hesitate to let me know. Karen Peil
1 vote
James DeMarco, Agent, Chicago, IL
Fri Feb 5, 2016
Contingency/ CTG= This means that the sellers of a home or condo have accepted an offer (executed contract). However the buyer's and seller's contingencies must still be met i.e. attorney review, inspection, loan approval, review of condo docs or homeowner's association docs etc.

Pending/ Pend= All contingencies have been met. Buyer/ seller have worked past contingencies and are waiting on closing date.

Hope this helps!

James DeMarco- Chicago, IL
0 votes
Karen Roberts, Agent, Weatherford, TX
Mon Dec 21, 2015
The status of a contingent sale changes to pending when all contingencies have been met. That would include financing or the sale of another home, for instance.
0 votes
Brad Barfield, Agent, Saint Augustine, FL
Fri Oct 26, 2012
Hello Maria:

The answers below are all correct, but please see the link below with additional information on the differences between contingent and pending sale:

Please let me know if you have any further quesitons,


Brad Barfield REALTOR®
Watson Realty Corp.
0 votes
mikebuonomo60, Home Buyer, Wyandotte, MI
Sun Sep 16, 2012
does sale pending mean that apprasial has been done
0 votes

No, it does not.
Flag Tue Feb 10, 2015
Carol Tunis, Agent, St Augustine, FL
Mon Nov 8, 2010
Hi Maria! I see you've received many answers and they are all great! I can't think of anything else to add to it. If you are thinking about homeownership, let me know. I'd be happy to take you around...
0 votes
Debra B Albe…, Agent, Port St Lucie, FL
Mon Nov 8, 2010

This is such a great question. I find myself explaining this to our buyers regularly. Contingent is actually considered an ACTIVE listing. It is under contract that is, signed by the buyer and seller, however there are contingencies to be removed to make it a pending contract. Contingency examples include...home inspection...waiting for the appraisal...bank approval for the buyer...in a short sale, bank approval for the seller. So it is not off market.

A pending means that both parties have signed the contract and they are going to closing. They have a closing date and there are NO CONTINGENCIES...there is a "Meeting of the Minds"

Hope this helps!

Debbie Albert, PA
Keller Williams Realty
Web Reference:  http://www.ronanddebbie.net
0 votes
Amy Gibbs, , Saint Augustine, FL
Mon Nov 8, 2010
When a sale is contingent, the Buyer is still meeting their requirements of the contract: inspections, financing, etc. Once te Buyer has performed all of those requirements successfully and the sale is ready to close, the contract then becomes pending. Contingent contracts have more "outs" for the contract to fall through vs. a pending sale.
0 votes
Sean Hess, Agent, Saint Augustine, FL
Mon Nov 8, 2010
A pending sale is typically a stronger contract or one that has already hit the "clear-to-close" stage. A contingent contract means there are still inspections or a bank-approval, or some other contingency that needs to be satisfied before it can be cleared to close.
0 votes
Suzy Bagan, Agent, Saint Augustine, FL
Mon Nov 8, 2010
A pending contract is an offer accepted by the buyer and seller which has no contingencies. Cash would be a good example. A contract to purchase a home where a mortgage will be obtained is a contingency - meaning the financing must be approved before closing - the deal is "contingent" on the buyer getting financing.
0 votes
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