Last updated on May 21, 2020
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When is a listed home considered SOLD?
Technically, a listing is not sold until title transfers to the new owners. At that point, the seller no longer has a listing to sell. The deal is done. Up until that time, others may have a chance to buy the property, depending on the circumstances.
When the seller accepts a purchase offer, the listing is said to be a pending sale. This means the buyer and seller have reached a mutually acceptable and mutually binding agreement for the sale of the property.
There are several kinds of pending sales.
Some leave opportunities for other buyers to buy the property, and some don’t.
The most common pending sale is one that is contingent on the buyers’ inspecting the property and obtaining financing to complete the purchase. As long as the buyers remove these contingencies by the deadlines specified in the contract, another buyer will not have a chance to buy the property.
Sellers can negotiate with other buyers for a backup position.
A backup offer moves into the primary position if the contract in the primary position falls apart. But the sellers can’t arbitrarily move the backup buyers into primary position.
HOUSE-HUNTING TIP: A sale pending release is another type of pending sale that offers purchase opportunities to other buyers. With a listing that is pending release, the sellers can release themselves from their purchase contract under certain circumstances.
What is a ‘contingent’ pending sale?
In most cases, a pending release listing is one in which the sellers have accepted an offer that is contingent upon the sale of another property.
From the sellers’ viewpoint, a contingent sale contract is risky. If the buyer’s home doesn’t sell within the time specified in the contract, the seller may have to find another buyer.
So when is a listing under contract considered sold?
In the Multiple Listing Service, a listing that is under contract is designated pending until the property transfers to the buyers. Only at that point is the listing status changed to sold.
THE CLOSING: A sold banner is often used to indicate that all contingencies have been removed from the contract.