by Becky Huebner, Nebraska Home Sales Realtor
Do you know the difference between under contract, pending and sold? We tend to throw those terms around as if they are the same, but they are not. As we say, it is never done until it is closed. Under contract and pending are interchangeable. Sold is closed. Closed is when the buyer pays for the home and takes ownership.
Do you know that not every under-contract (sometimes mistakenly called sold) property does not close? When they do not it is typically due to inspections or financing.
Every offer, unless cash, is contingent upon buyers’ financing. We get our lender letter of approval, work closely with the lender and these days it is rare ( 2007-2008 was a different story) that a pre-approved buyer does not get their financing.
You have heard me speak time and time again about the inspection period. It remains the pivotal point in the sale. Once a property is under contract, a buyer has 12 days to do their diligence (inspections) and negotiate “defects” (in one person’s opinion) with sellers. We agents earn our keep here and most times the deals hold together. Occasionally the fit is just not there, and buyer and seller cannot both get their needs met. If so, the property goes back on the market. ( As an aside our contracts are buyer friendly. I have learned that not every buyer is worth holding onto and I’d rather find this out now, rather than later.)
At this point the property may have been off the market for up to 18 days. Understandably the seller is not thrilled about the days lost off the market, but it is how the process works. (Work with your agent and be thoughtful when deciding to accept an offer.) What happens next? If inspections yield new information about the property, sellers will then amend the property disclosure to reflect that. It’s also possible that the seller has gone ahead and made some improvements to the property. Here is the great news. One buyer’s loss is another one’s gain. The property and usually the sellers are ripe and ready for that next lucky buyer. The smart, prepared buyers may strike gold here and turn it into sold!