The Phoebe Files | What’s the Difference Between Contingent and Pending?


Your Weekly New England Real Estate Conversation

Phoebe Schreiner, our Real Estate and Lifestyle expert, answers your questions about the Connecticut and New England real estate market, along with other great coastal finds and designs. Take a scroll to see the latest Q+A on The Phoebe Files.

Dear Phoebe, What’s the difference between Contingent and Pending?

Phoebe Says:

Great question Tessa.  Real Estate lingo can be so confusing.  Add to it, Real Estate websites do not use all the same verbiage and…wait for it…they do not always have accurate information (if I had a dollar for every time something is not accurate on those sites, I’d be lounging beachside with a Mai Tai).   But let’s get these questions answered for you.

ContingentWhen a property is marked as contingent, an offer has been accepted by the Seller.  The property should be identified as “SHOW” status on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).  There are contingencies that need to be met for the deal to keep moving forward.  Some examples of common contingencies; inspection, financing, appraisal.  (More to come on these topics!) Once these contingencies are met and Buyer and Seller are satisfied with the resolutions, the property will move to Pending or Deposit Status.

Pending: When a property is marked as pending, an offer has been accepted by the Seller and all contingencies have been satisfied.  The property should be identified as “DEPOSIT” status on the MLS.   The house will stay in this status until it closes. 

Can you make back up offers? What do all these contingencies mean?  How long does this all take?  You may be asking yourself these very same questions.  They are asked of me on the daily from my clients.  Stay tuned as over the next few weeks we’ll be talking shop on all these topics.  

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Have a question for me? I’d love to hear from you. Just hit that the ASK PHOEBE button below or email me at And be sure to follow me on Instagram @phoebeschreiner for all things Real Estate, New England, Design and Living on The Shoreline.

From My Nest to Yours,


• about the author •

Phoebe is an award-winning real estate agent who is a lifelong New England resident.  She currently lives in a 1790’s farmhouse on the Connecticut Shoreline with her two teenage daughters and husband. She’s known around town to be the go-to for anything Real Estate, local hot spots as well as handing out tips on her design knowledge.  

Phoebe believes everyone should love where they live, and she’s deeply committed to elevating her client’s real estate experiences. Nothing gets her more excited than helping someone buy their first home or sell one they’ve happily lived in for decades. 

As a realtor, she services all of CT and specialize in the Shoreline area including Madison, Guilford, Branford, Clinton, Westbrook, Old Saybrook, Killingworth and Haddam, but knows all of Connecticut well, being a lifetime resident. 

Phoebe is passionate about design and is constantly offering creative and sustainable decorating solutions to friends and clients.  She has a collaboration with the online Auction website,   @auctionninja and has been chosen to be their Guest Curator.  Phoebe also has a weekly article on  called ‘The Phoebe Files’ which focuses on all things Real Estate.

When not working with clients, you can find her on the yoga mat, riding a horse or sipping coffee at East Wharf Beach.