What exactly does it mean when a home is pending sale?

Pending sale are the words most sellers and buyers look forward while venturing into the real estate transaction.  For some people out there the words pending sale lack clarity and are just a disappointment -- now that the house they saw online last week, or drove by and saw the sign, is pending sale the open house has been canceled and no longer available for them to view. So what exactly does it mean if a home is pending sale?

A home is pending sale when a seller accepts an offer from a buyer.  The transaction will not actually be complete until escrow closed -- a buyer will typically have a property inspection and financing contingency, giving them several days to perform inspections, review disclosures, and have the property appraised.  The sale price of the home will remain confidential until escrow has closed in the event the buyer backs out or transaction falls apart

Why are there no open houses after the home is pending sale?

In most cases, once the home is pending sale it's "go time" for the buyer and seller.  The buyer is in and out of the property doing their inspections and having an appraisal, the seller is typically tired of accommodating showings/open houses and is working on moving out of the property or buying a home themselves.  A seller may decide to carry on with showings/open houses if they feel there is a chance the transaction may not go through, or to simply put pressure on the buyer by saying "Hey, we'll continue to show the house to prospective buyers until you remove your contingencies".