Persistence Pays Off: It’s Not Closed Until It’s Closed

After months of looking, you’ve finally found the home of your dreams. It’s the right price, in a neighborhood you love, and even has that backyard you’ve been hoping for. You tell your agent about it, and then they give you the bad news: it’s pending.

To avoid this disappointment, you want to be sure you’re searching for homes on a website that’s up-to-date like We even built the Listing Check tool, so you can find out whether a home is really for sale or not.

While many (if not most!) pending sales do go through, it’s possible that the home will become available again. “Pending” or “under contract” or “contract pending” all mean that the seller has accepted an offer, but that contingencies must be met before the sale is final.

Pending sales can go back on the market for these reasons:

  • Buyer’s Remorse - buyers can get caught up in the excitement of owning a home (or the stress of a bidding war) and find that they’ve overextended themselves financially, so they walk away from the sale
  • Low Appraisal - If a home is appraised for way less than a buyer’s offer and the buyer doesn’t have the cash to make up the difference between what the loan will cover and their offer price, they will walk away from the sale
  • Revealing Inspection - if the inspection raises serious, expensive issues, a buyer may choose to walk away from the home
  • Loan Rejection - whether a buyer didn’t get preapproved or had a change in their financial situation that affected their financing, if the money’s not there, a buyer will walk away

These are always possibilities, so if there’s a home you really love and you don’t have a tight timeline for moving, ask your agent to keep an eye on the pending home. Here’s what happened for Beverly Dove and her client in Southern California:

Our county was one of the hardest hit by the housing bubble, but in the last twelve months, we've been hot, hot and hotter! My client wanted to be in a neighborhood where some of his family members lived. In about three months, a perfect home came on the market, and we submitted an offer.

We were disappointed when we saw its status changed to “Pending” on May 27th, 2012.  But I kept watching it, because I’ve learned that some of these contracts fall apart. On June 21st, the home came back on the market, and we made another offer. But on June 23rd, it changed to “pending” again!

Well, guess what? On July 12th, the home was back on the market for a third time. And again, it changed to “pending”. At this point, my client was really disheartened and wanted to give up.

I told him that it's not over until they close Escrow, and believe it or not it, came back on July 20th. We resubmitted our offer, and we got it! They say three times a charm but in this case it was four!

What an awesome story of persistence! Making 4 offers isn’t going to work for everyone’s situation, but just remember: it’s possible!


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