Difference Between Pending and Under Contract

If you’re exploring the realm of real estate, you’ve come across a complex array of words and specialized language. Two often-used phrases that might confuse buyers and sellers are “under contract” and “pending sale.” 

In this blog, we aim to clarify these words to enhance the transparency of the house-buying and selling process.

Whether you are a new buyer, seller, or an experienced real estate agent, this book will explain the differences between these stages and assist you in simplifying the process.

Main Points

“Under agreement” and “in progress” indicate different stages in the home purchase process.

A property is deemed “under contract” if a buyer’s offer is approved, whereas “pending sale” is the stage right before completing the transaction.

Transactions can fail at any point, although it is more probable while a property is under contract.

Potential buyers can still submit offers for a property already under contract, and these bids may be considered if the initial contract is canceled.

Real estate deals require a lot of paperwork, but adopting a contract management tool may make the process easier and faster.

Under Contract vs. Pending: What is the Difference?

“Under agreement” and “in progress” are different stages in a real estate deal, each with consequences for buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals.

The main distinction is in the degree of assurance and the particular phase of the sales process.


“Under contract” describes the first phase when a homeowner agrees to a buyer’s offer.

Both parties must meet the contract’s requirements (contingencies) for the property purchase to continue.

Potential purchasers can still submit bids on a home under a contract.

The sale still needs to be completed.

The agreement could be conditional or unconditional, depending on unique circumstances.

Sale in progress:

“Pending sale” is a later phase when all contract contingencies have been fulfilled or waived.

This phase usually comes before the finalization of the agreement.

Both sides prepare for the closing procedure, complete funding, and work with appropriate partners.

Although there is still a possibility that the sale may not happen, the likelihood is reduced.

Comparing Under Contract and Pending

Here’s a comparison chart to make it easier to understand the distinctions between “under contract” and “pending sale”:


The seller has agreed to the offer.

The property is currently under contract, and there may still be some remaining contingencies.

Typically, the property needs to be actively promoted. However, certain listings might consider alternative offers.

Buyers and sellers agree.

The purchaser has the legal right to buy the property if certain conditions are fulfilled.

Parties are required to meet the conditions of the contract.

Potential for the buyer or seller to violate the contract.

Sale in progress:

All conditions specified in the contract have been fulfilled or waived.

The property is no longer available.

The buyer is obligated under the contract to buy the property.

Last-minute preparations for closing are in progress.

There is a possibility of unexpected issues right before the end, but the chances are reduced.

Comprehending these distinctions is crucial for purchasers, vendors, and real estate experts.

Buyers can more accurately assess a property’s availability and possibility of purchase, while sellers can efficiently handle the selling process and strive for a good close.

What is the Significance of Contingencies?

Contingencies are essential factors in the process of buying a home. They safeguard purchasers and vendors by specifying requirements that must be fulfilled for the transaction to occur without any issues. Main reasons why contingencies are necessary:

Ensure Buyer Protection: 

Contingencies allow purchasers to thoroughly investigate the property, preventing them from buying a home with significant problems.

System for Evaluations and Fixes: 

Contingencies enable property evaluations and serve as a foundation for negotiating fixes or changes to the sale price.

Financial Security: 

Loan and finance conditions guarantee that buyers can obtain the funding to finalize the transaction.

Negotiating Strategy: 

Contingencies can serve as a negotiating strategy, enabling purchasers to seek particular solutions or modifications as prerequisites for purchasing.

Contingencies protect the rights of both buyers and sellers, promoting a fair and transparent transaction.

Optimizing Real Estate Transactions with Digital Solutions

Real estate deals frequently require significant documentation and collaboration between the involved parties.

Simplifying the procedure is crucial for effectiveness and precision. Electronic contract management tools, such as PandaDoc, provide an easy method to streamline real estate transactions:


Digital platforms decrease the necessity for physical documentation, allowing individuals to work together and electronically sign documents.


Contracts and negotiations can be finalized quickly with up-to-the-minute updates and digital signatures.


Pre-made real estate templates help create contracts, save time, and ensure all critical information is included.


Parties can interact and discuss within the platform, avoiding the necessity of multiple meetings.


Monitor the transaction’s advancement and preserve a secure record of all papers in a single location.

In a rapidly changing field such as real estate, adopting digital solutions can substantially impact buyers, sellers, and real estate agents.

Streamline the process, decrease paperwork, and speed up transactions with the appropriate contract management platform.

Final Thoughts

“Under agreement” and “in progress of sale” are different stages in the real estate selling process, each with unique qualities. Comprehending these phases is essential for everyone involved in a real estate deal. 

Buyers can make well-informed choices about property availability, while sellers can efficiently handle the selling process and navigate toward a reasonable conclusion.

Contingencies are essential in safeguarding the interests of both buyers and sellers during the buying process. They facilitate careful research, discussion, and financial protection.

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