How Long Does It Take A House To Go From Pending To Sold?

Navigating through a real estate transaction, especially understanding the intricacies of a pending home sale, is crucial for buyers and sellers. 

This article explores the stages and durations of a pending home sale, a common phase in real estate transactions. 

From loans and cash purchases to regional variations and unforeseen challenges, we delve into the factors influencing how long a home sale remains pending. 

How Long Can A Home Sale Be Pending?

Navigating the timeline of a pending home sale can be complicated. For buyers with a loan, it usually takes 30 to 60 days. However, cash buyers can close within a week. In America, The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that the pending home sales index declined in the Northeast, Midwest, and South in January.

This period allows for finalizing various processes such as escrow, closing, property ownership transfer, and signing final documents. However, it’s important to note that the timeline can vary based on specific circumstances, including mortgage approvals and home inspections.

Issues such as financing problems, appraisal discrepancies, buyer’s remorse, or other complications can lead to the cancellation of the sale. Therefore, buyers and sellers must know potential challenges even when a home is pending.

What Does Pending In Real Estate Mean?

In real estate, a pending status on a house sale means that the seller has accepted an offer and the transaction is nearing closure. This stage follows after all contingencies, such as home inspections and appraisals, have been met. 

Unlike a contingent status, where specific requirements must still be fulfilled, a pending status indicates that these have been resolved and the sale is in its final closing stages. However, it’s important to note that defined pending sales can still fall through due to financing issues, inspection problems, or buyer’s remorse. 

The duration of a pending status can vary depending on the transaction’s complexity and the involved parties’ efficiency. Sometimes, you can offer a pending house, but this depends on the seller’s circumstances and preferences.

Pending Vs. Contingent

What does contingent mean on a house for sale? When a property is listed as contingent, the seller has accepted an offer, but the sale is still subject to certain conditions or contingencies being met. These contingencies could include home inspections, appraisals, or securing financing. If these conditions are not met, the deal may fall, and the house could return to the market. 

The contingencies are designed to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller, and they can be quite varied, ranging from inspection results to the buyer’s ability to secure financing.

On the other hand, a pending status indicates that the seller has accepted an offer and all the contingencies have been met or waived. According to NAR data, potential buyers rushed to lock in deals before rates increased further, helping push pending sales and housing inventory to their lowest levels in 20 years.

This means the sale is in its final stages and more likely to close, although it’s only guaranteed once all legal and financial processes are completed. In the pending stage, the property is no longer considered an active listing, and the seller is less likely to entertain new offers.

The sale is not final in contingent and pending cases, and new offers can still be made in specific scenarios. However, the likelihood of a successful new offer is generally higher with contingent properties than those pending because pending sales are further along. 

It’s essential to work with a knowledgeable real estate agent who can guide you through the nuances of making an offer on a house that’s either contingent or pending and who can advise you on the specific circumstances of each listing.

Reasons Why A Pending Home Sale May Fall Through

A pending home sale is usually nearing its conclusion, but there are scenarios where it might still need to be finalized. These include financial issues, like the buyer’s inability to secure necessary financing, or appraisal issues, where the property’s appraised value falls short of the agreed-upon sale price.

Financial Issues

Financial difficulties often emerge as significant challenges in finalizing pending home sales. Issues from lender co-ops, like loan approval delays or financing problems, are common and can disrupt sales. 

The housing market’s volatility, influenced by fluctuating mortgage rates and home prices, further complicates these financial challenges, reducing home sales. However, the outlook for the housing market shows signs of improvement, with a forecasted increase in existing home sales in 2024.

The anticipated easing of borrowing costs is expected to attract more buyers, contributing to a more dynamic market. Mortgage interest interest rates are predicted to average around 6.3% in 2024, which should help improve housing affordability. This positive trend is set against ongoing challenges, especially for first-time buyers who may not benefit from previous home sales???.

Appraisal Issues

Appraisal issues in home sales can significantly impact transactions, often influenced by factors like the home’s condition, market conditions, and location. Appraisers assess the property’s exterior and interior conditions, sizes, and features, such as HVAC systems, garages, and renovations. 

Market fluctuations can lead to discrepancies in appraised value, and a property’s location relative to amenities and nuisances like traffic or noise also play a critical role. To address appraisal issues, homeowners can review and dispute appraisal reports if inaccuracies are found. 

Renegotiating the sale price may be necessary if the home appraisal is lower than the asking price. Making improvements to the property can also boost its value, but the cost of these improvements should be considered against the potential increase in value. These steps are essential for navigating appraisal challenges and ensuring a smooth sale process??.

Buyers Remorse

Buyer’s remorse in real estate is notably prevalent, especially among those who bought homes during the pandemic. This regret often stems from rushed decision-making in a competitive market, leading to overlooked factors such as high maintenance costs and financial burdens of homeownership. 

Nearly 60% of recent homebuyers report some remorse, with pandemic buyers more frequently experiencing this due to factors like expensive home maintenance and compromises made during the purchase?.

To address buyer’s remorse, it’s essential for buyers to focus on critical aspects such as a property’s layout and location and to be prepared for the responsibilities and financial obligations of homeownership. 

For those already experiencing remorse, renting out part of the property, refinancing, or making incremental improvements can offer some relief. These strategies highlight the need for thorough research and careful decision-making in the home-buying process?.

To learn how to avoid common mistakes during house inspections, which can lead to buyer’s remorse, check out our article on how to avoid house inspection mistakes.

How Long Does It Take a House To Go From Pending to Sold?

Can You Make An Offer On Pending Houses For Sale?

Yes, you can make an offer on a house listed as pending. However, it’s important to understand what this entails and the likelihood of success. 

When a home is marked as pending, the seller has accepted an offer, but the sale has yet to be finalized. This period typically involves final steps such as loan approval, appraisals, and inspections.

While submitting an offer on a pending house is possible, it’s a backup offer in case the initial deal falls through. Leading indicators that might cause a pending sale to fall apart include issues uncovered during the home inspection, appraisal discrepancies, discovery of liens on the property, and unforeseen circumstances affecting the buyer.

To make an offer on a pending house, you should first have your real estate agent contact the listing agent to assess the situation. If the deal seems likely to close, you can still submit an offer but be prepared that you may still need to receive a response. The listing agent might contact you about your offer if the initial deal falls through.

It’s important to note that the chances of a pending sale falling through are relatively low, with studies suggesting only about 4% of such homes fail to complete the sale. Also, in some states like California, sellers can’t back out of a deal just because of a new offer; only the buyer can legally end the deal. 


The transition of a home sale from pending to sold is a crucial and variable phase in real estate transactions, typically spanning 30 to 60 days. This period is influenced by numerous factors, such as contract activity, due diligence procedures, and financial aspects, which can either facilitate or hinder the process. 

Buyers and sellers must be aware of potential obstacles, including financial challenges, appraisal issues, and buyer’s remorse, as these can disrupt or even derail the sale during its pending stage. 

Navigating the complexities of the real estate market demands a comprehensive understanding of these factors. If you’re looking to sell your house in Virginia Beach, we can offer personalized and quick solutions to your real estate needs at Coastline Homebuyers. If that wasn’t enough to sway you, we buy houses in Newport News too.

Working with knowledgeable professionals and staying informed about market conditions and legal implications is essential for those buying or selling property. 

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