More Pending Sales Closed in Q3, One in Five Still MIA

Let’s take a look a the latest data on pending sales volume versus closed sales volume.

For this series I roll the pending sales and closed sales data up by quarter, with pending sales offset by one month. In other words, the third quarter numbers below represent pending sales from June, July, and August and closed sales from July, August, and September.

Pending & Closed Sales of King Co. SFH

As of the third quarter, just under one in five pending sales (19.1 percent) were still failing to ever show up in the closed sales numbers.

Quarter Avg. Diff
Q1 -29.4%
Q2 -29.2%
Q3 -23.1%
Q4 -24.0%

This number is closer to zero than it has been the last few quarters, but it’s worth mentioning that there appears to be a slight seasonality to this statistic. The table at right shows the average difference between pending and closed sales (offset one month) by quarter since the NWMLS changed their definition of “pending” in July 2008.

The takeaway for sellers is that historically the third quarter has been the best time to sell your home if you want the best chance of the sale actually going through.

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1

    The Reason This Is Happenning Could Be Bear to the Local Real Estate Market

    It could be bear, if the bank tightening on credit is causing loans to drop out early, that are borderline…..thus giving the buyers left that qualify a better chance of closing on pending sales.

    Sales volume may be driving it simultaneously too, as unqualified buyers could be sifted out early by the banks before they can artificially up price offers….

  2. 2

    I suspect the seasonality has more to do with changes in volume than anything. About the only thing that might affect this based on the seasons would be rainfall and discovering water issues.

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