Pending vs Contingent: The Difference Between the Two in Real Estate in Tampa FL

You’ve discovered your dream home, and it seems perfect in every way. However, there’s a catch—the listing says it’s pending. Does that mean you’ve missed out on your dream home? Not necessarily.

Real estate transactions can be uncertain, and deals fall through occasionally. So, it’s not a done deal until it’s truly finalized. When browsing real estate listings, you may come across different statuses like pending and contingent. In this article, we’ll explain the difference between these terms and whether buyers can still make offers.

At, we are your local Tampa FL home buyers, and we can assist with your situation. We purchase houses in Tampa, Florida, and we’re well-versed in handling these situations.

What Is a Real Estate Contingency?

When a property is under contract, both the buyer and the seller commit to the sale. For instance, once a home is under contract, the seller can’t accept another offer and start a new contract with another buyer, even if the home hasn’t been sold yet. On the flip side, the buyer provides earnest money as a sign of commitment, and walking away without a valid reason may result in forfeiting that money.

However, what if something arises during the closing process that makes one party reconsider? To address this, both the buyer and seller can include contingencies in the real estate contract. A contingency means that the sale depends on a specific condition. If that condition isn’t met, the party is no longer obligated to proceed with the sale.

Common Contingencies:

There are several common contingencies that appear in many real estate contracts:

1. Home Inspection Contingency: Buyers often don’t have time to conduct an inspection before making an offer. What if the inspection reveals significant issues with the house? By making the sale contingent on the inspection, buyers can back out if major problems are found.

2. Appraisal Contingency: Lenders require an appraisal to ensure the home’s value matches the loan amount. If the appraisal falls short, an appraisal contingency allows the buyer to walk away without losing their earnest money.

3. Buyer Financing Contingency: This contingency protects the buyer in case their loan is denied for any reason. If financing is denied, the buyer can exit the contract without forfeiting earnest money.

4. Previous Home Sale Contingency: Buyers may make their home purchase contingent on the sale of their current property. This can be risky for sellers and is not commonly seen.


The listing status changes to “pending” once all contingencies have been met. Typically, pending listings are not considered active. The sale hasn’t closed yet, but it’s expected to. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that buyers can’t make offers.

Pending — Taking Backups:

This status indicates that the seller is still open to offers in case the current one falls through. However, they can’t accept a new offer until the current one actually falls through, so buyers may need to wait for a response.

Short Sales:

A short sale occurs when a house is sold for less than what the seller owes to their lender. While sellers can accept an offer, it must be approved by their lender before the deal can proceed. This process can be lengthy, and buyers may wait for months to hear back.

In conclusion, understanding the difference between pending and contingent statuses can be helpful when navigating real estate listings. Even if a home is listed as pending, it’s worth considering making an offer since contingencies can be challenging to fulfill, and real estate deals sometimes don’t go through. For more real estate tips and advice, feel free to explore our blog.

Sell My House in Tampa FL:

If you need to sell your home quickly, we can help. Avoid the stress of waiting for your sale to go through by selling to a buyer who pays cash for houses in Tampa FL like us. If you think you need to sell your house in Florida fast, we’re here for you. We are local homebuyers in Tampa FL, and we can make you a quick and fair cash offer. For more information or if you have any questions, please give us a call at (786) 904-1444 or fill out the online form, and we will get in touch with you.

Get More Info On Options To Sell Your Home...

Selling a property in today's market can be confusing. Connect with us or submit your info below and we'll help guide you through your options.

Get An Offer Today, Sell In A Matter Of Days...

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *