What you should know about the difference between backup and pending.

What’s the difference between backup and pending status? We recently received this question from a client, and it’s a very fair one! To help explain the answer, I’m going to compare it to dating.

When a property is in backup status, that means that the seller has accepted an offer on the property, but the buyer has contingencies. The buyer is going to “date” the property and check things out to make certain that they truly want to “marry” it. Once they have removed all contingencies, they’ve “bought a ring,” and they’re moving to pending at that point—they are committed. At that point, they’re not going anywhere other than the finish line. 

If the buyer doesn’t move forward after that point, the seller could potentially have grounds for liquidated damages, which is what the earnest money deposit is for. Once the buyer has removed all contingencies, the property is pending. That means that the property is taken and no longer available for “dating.”

If you’re in love with a house that is in backup status, the good news is that it could become available again if the buyer backs out. If you have any other real estate questions or want help with a specific property, my team and I would love to help you. Call or email anytime—we look forward to it!