Know Your Terms

Know Your Terms

Understanding real estate terminology is crucial, especially in the dynamic Portland, Oregon market. If you're looking to buy a home in Portland, it's important to know the difference between 'under contract' and 'pending.' This guide, compiled from various expert sources, will clarify these terms and help you navigate the home-buying process more effectively. For personalized assistance, Peter Cutile is always ready to help.

1. Understanding 'Under Contract'

When a property is 'under contract,' it means the seller has accepted an offer, but there are still contingencies to be met before the sale is finalized. These contingencies might include financing, appraisal, and home inspection. 'Active under contract' indicates that the seller is open to backup offers.

2. The Meaning of 'Pending'

A 'pending' status usually means all contingencies have been met, and the deal is close to closing. Unlike 'under contract,' pending listings are less likely to accept backup offers. However, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, so it's always best to check with the seller.

3. Real Estate Terminology Explained

Windermere provides a detailed explanation of various real estate terms. 'Under contract' indicates the early stages of a sale, while 'pending' suggests the sale is closer to completion. Contingencies play a crucial role in determining the status of a property.

4. Pending vs. Under Contract: Buyer's Perspective

From a buyer's perspective, understanding these terms is key to knowing when to make an offer. A property 'under contract' may still accept backup offers, while a 'pending' property is less likely to be available.

5. Key Differences and Implications

Prevu highlights the key differences between 'under contract' and 'pending.' While both indicate a sale is likely, the stage of the process and the possibility of making backup offers differ.

6. Practical Considerations for Buyers

PandaDoc discusses practical considerations for buyers, such as the likelihood of a sale falling through and the potential for making backup offers.


Understanding the difference between 'under contract' and 'pending' is crucial for anyone looking to buy a home in Portland, Oregon. This knowledge can help you make informed decisions and time your offers correctly. For expert real estate advice in Portland, don't hesitate to contact Peter Cutile.

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Navigating the sale or purchase of a home can be one of the biggest and most worrisome seasons of life. Peter's goal is that, by answering questions, providing education on the process, and being available, he will be able to help make that season a sweet and wonderful journey.

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