When “Sold” Doesn’t Mean “Sold”

At least in Minnesota, when you see a “Sold” rider above a “For Sale” sign in front of a house, it doesn’t mean “Sold” — it means “Pending.”


The (admittedly confusing) convention is to pronounce a home that’s under contract and past Inspection — but not yet closed — as “Sold,” even though it’s technically still “Pending” on MLS.

So, why not just put up a sign that says “Pending?”

That would be my suggestion (and is the practice in at least some states).

However, I suppose then people would just be confused about what “Pending” means.

Whichever term is used, the goal is to let prospective Buyers know that the home in question is spoken for (and maybe, just a little, cement the Buyer’s sense of ownership).

When the home is really sold, you’ll know . . . because the “For Sale” sign will be gone.

P.S.: “Confusing Real Estate Terms – Advanced Beginner”: so, who are Realtors referring to when they say the “selling agent?” The agent representing the Buyer (the listing agent represents the Seller).

See also, “Quick! Who Does the Selling Agent Represent?“; “Accepted Offer” vs. “Fully Executed Purchase Agreement”; and “Final Acceptance” ” Real Estate Edition.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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