"Pending Period" in Edmonton Real Estate

It can often feel like the language around the real estate process in Alberta is challenging to understand. Your real estate agent can act as your translator. One of the most common terms that we in the Edmonton real estate market is "pending".  My aim with this blog post is provide clarity around this term. 

💡 NOTE: Making comprehension that much more challenging this time frame is sometimes referred to as the "conditional" or "subject to" period as well.

What is the pending period?

In the real estate process in Alberta, the term "pending" means that a conditional offer has been accepted.  The "pending period" is the prenegotiated time frame between acceptance when the date at which the conditions must either be satisfied, terminate or extended.

What happens during the pending period?

Typically this time frame is used to due additional due dillengence such as finalize financing, complete home inspections, have lawyers review supporting documents (such as lease agreements, titles, Real Property Reports, etc.) Every transaction has it's own set of variables and may need different conditions. Your real estate agent can be a great support in deciding what is necessary to protect you.

How long is a typical pending period?

In general, for a single family home purchase/sale, a pending period in the Edmonton, Alberta real estate process (in 2023) would be 7-10 business days and on a condominium purchase/sale 10-14 business days.  Again, like most parts of the real estate process, there is no standard. The time frame will be very dependant on market conditions and personal requirements.  It is also completely negotiable.

Common reasons for a delay or need to extend a pending deadline.

  • Perhaps financing is taking longer than expected.
  • A home inspection may bring up a concern that requires further investigation by another professional.
  • Challenges obtaining condominium documents from a management comany.

Are there any circumstances in which another purchaser can bump the first offer prior to the pending deadline?

The only time that a new purchaser can bump the orginal offer is if there is a termination clause in the accepted contract. This could be due to the need to sell a home or some other reason. These termination clauses can be any amount of time 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours etc. If this is the case and you are in love with a property that is pending.  You could write back-up offer and if it were to be accepted, notice would be provided and the first purchaser would have to satisfy all of their conditions in the notice time frame otherwise their transaction would fall apart and the second offer would become precedent.

What are some of the biggest misconceptions about the pending period?

  • The pending period is only for purchaser conditions. This is not accurate. Sellers can also have conditions and in many circumstances absolutely should.
  • There are set standardized conditions. Almost nothing in real estate is "set or standized".  There are suggestions and most commonly needed terms and conditions but there are many different variables that need to be considered. 
  • There is a set standardized amount of time. Nope. Every situation is different. 
  • Showings are not allowed during the pending period. Although many sellers do not want to continue to accomodate showings they are still bound by our board rules as an active listing. We can always ask.  The real risk in viewing pending properties is creating an expection and breaking your own heart.

Tips for Buyers and Sellers during the Pending Period

Be prepared, move fast and stay patient. Sounds simple right? There are so many tasks and different people involved in the success of a pending period it is important stay in constant communication.  Anything you can accomplish before this time frame, we suggest you do that.

  • For people selling their homes this might look like knowing your timelines, doing maintenance work, being prepared with answers and associated documents.
  • For buyers, it is important to have as much of your financial apporval in place as possible and have chosen all of your needed professionals so that you can get answers and advice as quickly as possible. 

The pending period is a very crutial time frame during the real estate process in Alberta and has many implications for sellers, buyers and those outside of the contract. It is important to understand what this time frame means and how to best navigate it in the current Edmonton real estate market.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss any part of a real estate process in Edmonton or surrounding areas reach out to one our trusted Edmonton real estate professionals at [email protected].  One of our team members would be happy to assist.

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