When is a house Sold?
A listing is sold when:
- When a Seller accepts an offer from a Buyer,
- When all the contingencies are removed from the purchase contract, OR
- When title to the property has transferred from the Seller to the Buyer.
Depending on whom you ask, any or all of the above are correct. Technically, a listing is not sold until the property title tranfers to the new owners. At that point the seller no longer has a listing to sell. The deal is done. Until that time, other buyers may have an opportunity to purchase the property, depending on the circumstances. When the seller accepts an offer to purchase his home, the listing is said to be pending sale. This means that the buyer and seller have reached a mutually acceptable and mutually binding agreement for the sale of the property.
There are several kinds of pending agreements for the sales. Some have the opportunities for other buyers and some don’t. The most common pending sale is one that is contingent on buyer’s inspection on the property and on the buyer’s obtaining financing to complete the purchase. As long as the buyer remove these contingencies by deadlines specified in the contract, another buyer will not have an opportunity to buy the property. Seller can negotiate with other buyer for a backup position. A backup offer moves into a primary if the contract in primary position falls apart. The seller can not arbitrarily move the backup buyer into primary position.
In the multiple listing service, a listing that is under contract is designated “PENDING” until the property transfers to the buyer. Only at that point, is the listing status changed to “CLOSED”. However, you may see a sold banner on a for-sale sign, or in a reality ad before title transfers and none of the contingencies have been removed from the contract.