The Difference Between Contingent and Pending

At last… you found your dream home! It’s everything you were looking for in a new home! It’s the perfect size with a big yard in a fantastic location… everything you wanted!

Wait… there’s a small sign that says “pending” on the for sale sign. Oh no!… does this mean that your dreams of owning this house are crushed?

It’s possible… but you might still have a chance.

Orlando real estate deals fall through every day for one reason or another. So as Lenny Kravitz would say… “It ain’t over till it’s over”.

If you’ve been looking at real estate listings, you’ve noticed there are a few different statuses. In this post we’ll be comparing contingent vs pending, so you’ll know exactly what they mean to you as the buyer. So, the question is… Can you still make an offer on a home under these conditions and what are your chances?

A Real Estate Contingency

Once a property goes under contract, the seller and buyer have made a promise to go through with the sale. For instance, If a house goes under contract, the seller can’t accept any other offers or sign another contract. The seller has to adhere to the terms of the contract. Typically, a buyer puts down an earnest money deposit to show that they’re serious. If they walk away from the deal for no reason, the seller gets to keep the deposit.
So what if something happens during the process that makes one of the parties want to walk from the deal?

It’s exactly for this reason that real estate contingencies exist. Both seller and buyer are free to add contingencies to any real estate contract. A contingency means the sale of the home is contingent on a specific condition. If that condition isn’t fulfilled, the buyer or seller isn’t obligated to continue with the sale.

What Are Some Common Contingencies?

  • Home Inspection- Buyers hardly ever request a home inspection before submitting an offer. That’s why the most common contingency is the home inspection contingency. So what if something negative comes up in the inspection report? Either the parties will negotiate the repairs or cost of repairs and adjust the price. If the issues are bigger than the buyer wants to handle, they can walk away from the deal and get their deposit back… all thanks to the inspection contingency.
  • Appraisal- An appraisal is always a nerve-wracking part of a real estate transaction. The buyer’s mortgage company orders an appraisal to know the true value of the home. They want to make sure if the buyer defaults, they can retake possession of it and recover their investment. The appraisal is generally based on the market value of a home. The appraiser should make adjustments depending on upgrades and needed repairs. If the home doesn’t appraise for the contract price then the lender will deny the loan. In this scenario, the buyer can walk and collect their deposit.
  • Financing Contingency- Also designed to protect the buyer is the financing contingency. Besides the appraisal, there are a few other reasons the lender may deny a loan. For whatever reason… if the lender denies the loan, the buyer is free from the contract and can collect their deposit.
  • Home Sale Contingency- A buyer can have a contingency that allows them to sell their current home before buying. Buyers usually do this if they need the money from that sale for the down payment of the new home.

What Does Pending Mean?

Once all the contingencies of the contract are met, the listing status changes to pending. A pending listing is no longer considered to be an active listing. It means the sale hasn’t closed yet but is scheduled to.
Although, this doesn’t necessarily mean buyers can’t make an offer…

Pending — Accepting Backups
This means the seller is taking backup offers in case the one they have falls through. It’s important to note the seller can’t accept any other offer until the first one falls apart. Buyers can have their real estate agent follow up to see how it played out.

Short Sale

A short sale is a condition when a home is being sold at an amount less than what is currently owed on the mortgage. In a short sale scenario, the lender has the final say whether an offer gets accepted or not. Every offer has to be approved by the lender before getting accepted.

You should know going in that short sales are anything but short. Most banks are slow to respond. If you need to buy a house fast then short sales are not for you (especially as a backup buyer). However, if you’re in a position where you can wait a month or two…or three to buy, then you could end up with a great deal… if the previous buyer falls through.

Real Estate Terms: Contingent vs Pending

You should now understand the difference between contingent vs pending status on a listing. I hope these real estate statuses are less confusing to you when the time comes.

If you like a home, go ahead and put an offer on it… even if it’s pending. Orlando real estate deals fall through all the time and you might just get lucky! You’ll never know if you don’t try.

If you still have questions regarding this post or anything else related to real estate contact me today! I’m happy to help!

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The Importance Of Orlando Realtors

When buying or selling a house many people tend to overlook the importance of enlisting the help of Orlando Realtors. These people believe that using a real estate agent is a waste of money. They’re convinced that they are better off taking on the task themselves. Saving money isn’t the only motivating factor for people not wanting to hire a realtor. Unfortunately for some, it’s because of a bad experience they’ve had in the past or something bad happened to a loved one.

Although these may seem like legitimate reasons to dismiss the idea of hiring an Orlando real estate agent, assuming that all realtors are bad news can actually hurt you more than help you. It’s just like any profession in the world, amongst all the good ones, there are bound to be some bad ones. The truth is that hiring a good realtor is crucial to be successful when buying or selling a home.

Just imagine a young family that wants to buy their very first home, yet they are completely clueless about the real estate process. However, they still want to take on the task by themselves because they know how to use a computer and they heard how easy it is from their friend [who probably never bought a house either].

After reading a few articles on the Orlando real estate market, they feel like they’re practically realtors themselves. This is not good! You may be able to gain some basic knowledge about the market on your own but this is a far cry from knowing how to handle a real estate transaction, especially when problems arise…like they always do!

Thinking that you know about how the real estate process works when you really don’t, can end up costing thousands of dollars and even land you in hot water if you’re not careful. Realtors go through countless hours of training on real estate law as well as how to complete a transaction from A to Z.

Experienced Orlando Realtors are equipped to handle unexpected issues that are common in most transactions. This is why it’s so important to have a licensed real estate agent in your corner to look out for your best interests.

Orlando Listing Agents Are Crucial When Selling

Homeowners that are serious about selling a home would also be wise to enlist the help of a realtor. Selling a home without the proper guidance of a professional can easily lead to disaster, especially for those that need to sell their house fast for top dollar.

Have you ever seen a home with a “For Sale By Owner” sign in the front yard? Then six months or even a year later you see that same home with the same crappy sign? This is usually a sign [no pun intended] of the owner not pricing the home correctly and or lack of exposure. By using the help of a real estate agent, not only will know what price to list it for but your home will be seen as being “for sale” by thousands of other realtors and their potential buyers. This will give you the best chance at selling your Orlando home fast for top dollar.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying all realtors are perfect. As a matter of fact, I’ve had the displeasure of working with some really awful agents in the past. And many times people just aren’t satisfied with their agent because of one reason or another [This is common when people just hire the first agent they speak with instead of taking the time to interview several of them]. 

However, you should never neglect the importance of these professionals and the role they play in the real estate process. Whether you buying or selling a home, the need for help from a licensed real estate agent is inevitable.


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Orlando Realtor – Seller Series part 3

This is the latest edition in our 6 part “home seller series” designed to help Orlando homeowners sell their homes for top dollar in the least amount of time.  This week’s focus will be on pricing the home correctly from the start.

Research from our own listings clearly shows that homes that are priced correctly from the start, spend about half the time on the market when compared to homes that were priced too high and had to adjust.

One of the most critical steps in selling a home is determining what price it should be listed for. Your Orlando listing agent should prepare a comparable market analysis [CMA] on the property. A CMA is an in-depth report about the subject property and comparable properties that were recently sold in the surrounding area as well as properties that are currently listed and under contract. This report is designed to educate the homeowner and help them to come up with the right listing price for the property.

We’ve found that an Orlando home that is accurately priced and in decent condition will usually have at least one offer on it within the first few days.

 Beware of “Yes Man” Agents

Unfortunately, Some real estate age resort to using shady tactics in order to get a listing. One of these tactics is to list the property for an unrealistically high amount in order to make the homeowner believe that they will actually sell the home for “over market value”.

Even though the agent knows that the home doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell at selling for that price, they list it anyway and after a few weeks of no activity, they suggest to the homeowner to lower the price.

Unfortunately, it’s the homeowner who suffers the consequences by losing valuable time on the market with no activity. Even worse, homes that continually get lowered in price on the MLS usually end up being sold for below market value and take several months longer to sell.

Easy Exit Listing Agreement

Homeowners can easily protect themselves by hiring an Orlando realtor that uses an “Easy Exit Listing Agreement”. This listing agreement contains a clause that allows the homeowner to cancel the listing at any time without paying any cancellation fee or penalty.

When interviewing your listing agent, ask about their listing cancellation policy. If they want to charge you a cancellation fee, then chances are they may not be confident enough in their skills to get the job done. An easy exit clause will keep the agent motivated to get that house sold quickly for the highest amount the market will allow.

Need free real estate advice now? Visit our site for immediate assistance.

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Orlando Mortgage Brokers Speak Out

Orlando Mortgage Brokers Spill Their Guts

Recently, top mortgage brokers in Central Florida were asked what their biggest challenges were in their industry. A few of them had this to say…

Some claim that the mortgage market still has ways to go before it fully recovers and that home sales are still below normal levels when you compare them to last year. Brokers feel that inventory levels still haven’t quite caught up with the demand. They went on to say that many people are still reluctant to buy because of the overall lack of confidence in the job market.  All of these factors have a tremendous impact on home purchases in Orlando. Some believe that there is a building demand from new families as well as baby boomers that want to move into a smaller space to begin their retirement.

A mortgage broker’s role is to help their clients understand the entire process involved with a mortgage and how to make sense of it so that they can become homeowners or refinance their existing mortgage. As an Orlando Realtor, I depend heavily on my relationship with a few select mortgage brokers that have proven what they can do through past transactions. It works the same way for them. I get a steady stream of short-sale clients from the mortgage brokers that I work with because they know that I’m an Orlando short sale expert and they can count on me to get the job done.            


Customer Service Is King …                                                                                                                                                                              Mortgage brokers would also be wise to really focus on making their customer’s experience a good one. I can’t tell you how many times mortgage brokers get blamed when something goes wrong at the closing table. Turn around time is key when you do mortgages and the most successful mortgage brokers are the ones that get the job done and get it done fast. Even though mortgage brokers take a lot of heat when something goes wrong at the closing table, People should understand that many times it’s completely out of the mortgage broker’s hands.

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Central Florida’s Real-Estate Bust May Just be Over

Word is around the Orlando real estate market that Central Florida’s real estate bust has come to its end. There are not one or two, but three different sources that are ready to vouch for the positive turn of events in Central Florida. The three different sources and data contained in their industry reports  – all of which were released within a week’s time, point toward a growing industry.

Three sources, three reports, and several reasons to revel

Industry reports focusing on the real estate and construction market of the US as a whole as well as the states individually show signs of recovery and a rosy future. The sources include the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Urban Land Institute, and Economic and Demographic Research’s Florida Office.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks Florida number one in the nation in terms of state construction growth. The state’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research cited buildings as the reason Florida’s economy was recovering. Further, reports from the Urban Land Institute project a rosy, bubble-free future for Florida’s real estate industry.

While the dark clouds of foreclosures still loom large – Florida sporting the highest percentage of foreclosures in the nation – real estate agents in Orlando and industry experts alike, agree that the numbers are merely recession leftovers.

What Orlando Real Estate Experts Have to Say

What’s more, is that several industry experts are in agreement with the views expressed in the three reports. According to Cecelia Bonifay, who chairs the Urban Land Institute (Central Florida), the real estate industry has gained momentum throughout the nation, and Florida is no exception. She notes how all factors were aligning themselves for an extremely “positive marketplace” and adds that the positive sentiments were shared by almost all sectors of the US economy. Bonifay also points out that the recently released reports were essentially different because the recovery has become broader and spread across pretty much all economic sectors.

Leo Nimkoff, the Chair of the Commercial Council of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association is another expert who agrees that Florida’s real estate bust has approached its end. He reasons that people moving into Florida have helped the state grow – something top Orlando Realtors will agree with. Orlando itself has seen its fair share of new constructions, many of which are multimillion-dollar projects like the $56 million Crescent Central Station complex.

According to Nimkoff, people moving to Florida to settle permanently or the ones moving temporarily for work, generate jobs that go well beyond real estate and construction. Retails, restaurants, and malls spring up to meet the demands of a growing Floridian population and jobs get generated for the locals in such retails, restaurants, and malls.

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