You have been searching high and low for the perfect house. Realtors, Zillow, Foreclosures, and low and behold, there it is, looking you right back in the face. It's beautiful, in a great neighborhood, and it fits your budget. There is only one problem in the way: It's sale pending. What does sale pending mean? Are you out of luck? Has time run out? Do you still have a shot of landing this majestical beast of a home?
The short answer, is that if you have fallen in love with a house that is pending sale, then hold onto hope!
What Does Sale Pending Mean?
A sale that is pending means the seller has accepted an offer but the deal has yet to be closed. (Bear in mind, that this is different from a contingent sale.) A property is placed in pending status the minute a contract is executed. But there's still a chance the home can be up for grabs again—say, if the inspection doesn't check out or the buyer can't pull together the financing.
Pending does not mean 'Sold'. Until the deal is done there is still plenty of time and opportunity to land that marvelous, magical, dream home.
There is a ton of wiggle room than you would expect, especially if the market that you're in is competitive. Generally, most sellers will hold out for the best bid, and that could end up being yours!
If you're looking to swoop in and steal this house, here are five ways that can improve your odds:
Make sure that your interest in the pending home is known to the seller. You won't be wasting your real estate agents time when asking about a sale pending home.
Mose agents will continue to show the property to potential buyers up until the very last minute. If they can obtain a more compelling offer, then they will do everything in their power to do so.
You'll also want to let your agent know how obsessed you are with the house. Doing this will help ensure that you're first in line in case any issues come up with the pending sale.
No transaction is legally binding until the ink has dried on the contract.
Get the lowdown on the home
Call the listing agent, and find out insights on parts of the deal that aren't firm. Then try find out how many other offers are on the house, and if they have any potential concerns about the initial bid. Once you have this information, you can use it to your advantage.
You will want to get on the listing agent's radar, and make sure that you stay there.
Learn as much as you can about the neighborhood by driving through it. You will also want to know about the community and as much as you can about the house as feasibly possible. Check the address with Google, check out the property tax records, and see what comes up. You might not this information, but in the chance that you do it will help shift the odds to your favor. Think of it in terms as getting a leg up on the competition in the case that the initial deal falls through.
Then work to negotiate with the seller in order to beat out other buyer's deals. You might not always have to put in a higher big, but this certainly helps as well.
If you happen to be financially comfortable, then consider offering more than the selling price. You can also try and present convenient terms. Maybe you could waive a mortgage contingency, closing costs, etc. Overall negotiation is the best bet in this situation.
Make the case that you are serious about this purchase and convey a sense of urgency to the owner. Make it as difficult as possible to refuse your offer.
Use a personal touch
Create a handwritten note explaining your interest to the seller. Keep in mind that the human connection can be a huge contributing factor for the seller's final decision.
You should also try the approach of being aggressive, even if this is not in your normal character. If the initial sale does fall through, then you'll be the obvious next bid. Make sure that you're able to communicate in any form possible: email, phone call, text, etc.
Don't despair the next time you run across a pending sale, just put your nose to the grindstone, and start getting to work!