FAQ: When Buying A House What Does Contingent Mean?

A contingent house listing means that an offer on a new home has been made, the seller has accepted it and the home is now under contract. But before the final sale can advance, some criteria needs to be met.
A contingent offer means that an offer on a new home has been made and the seller has accepted it, but that the final sale is contingent upon certain criteria that have to be met. These criteria, or contingencies, are clauses in a sales contract that typically fall under three major categories: appraisal, home inspection, and mortgage approval.

Can you put an offer on a house that is contingent?

In most cases, putting an offer in on a contingent home is an option to consider. Although it doesn’t guarantee you’ll close on the home, it does mean you could be first in line should the current contract fall through. Putting an offer in on a contingent home is similar to the homebuying process of any active listing.

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What is the difference between pending and contingent?

A property listed as contingent means the seller has accepted an offer, but they’ve chosen to keep the listing active in case certain contingencies aren’t met by the prospective buyer. If a property is pending, the provisions on a contingent property were successfully met and the sale is being processed.

Can a seller back out of a contingent offer?

To put it simply, a seller can back out at any point if contingencies outlined in the home purchase agreement are not met. A low appraisal can be detrimental to a sale on the seller’s end, and if they’re unwilling to lower the sale price to match the appraisal value, this can cause the seller to cancel the deal.

Is it better for a house to be pending or contingent?

If a property is listed as pending, however, the contingencies have been met and the sale is being processed. Neither is better, but pending is further along in the process and harder for another buyer to get a backup offer in and be successful.

How do you beat a contingent offer?

Here are just a few that can help you beat out the competition:

  1. Get approved for your mortgage.
  2. Waive contingencies.
  3. Increase your earnest money deposit.
  4. Offer above asking price.
  5. Include an appraisal gap guarantee.
  6. Get personal.
  7. Consider a cash offer alternative.

How long is a contingency on a house?

The buyer and seller must agree on the timeframe in which the buyer needs to secure mortgage approval. A contingency period typically lasts anywhere between 30 and 60 days. If the buyer isn’t able to get a mortgage within the agreed time, then the seller can choose to cancel the contract and find another buyer.

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Does contingent mean sold?

What does contingent mean when a house is for sale? When a property is marked as contingent, it means that the buyer has made an offer and the seller has accepted that offer, but the deal is conditional upon one or more things happening, and the closing won’t take place until those things happen.

Can a realtor show a house that is pending?

Realtors can continue to show a house that is pending. If this is the case, sellers will allow the Realtor or real estate agent to show the property during closing. Due to the many reasons a pending sale can fall through, it is not uncommon for sellers to continue to show the property.

What does contingent mean in Zillow?

If you see the word “contingent” on your listing, it means that your buyer is working through any contingencies that were a part of their offer — like a financing contingency, home inspection contingency, or buyer home sale contingency.

What happens if seller pulls out of house sale?

Backing out of a home sale can have costly consequences A home seller who backs out of a purchase contract can be sued for breach of contract. A judge could order the seller to sign over a deed and complete the sale anyway. “The buyer could sue for damages, but usually, they sue for the property,” Schorr says.

Can a buyer walk away at closing?

A buyer can walk away at any time prior to signing all the closing paperwork from a contract to purchase a house. Ideally it is best for the buyer to do that with a contingency as that gives them a chance to get their earnest money back and greatly reduces the risk of being sued.

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At what point can a buyer pull out?

Until both parties have come to an agreement on all the contract terms and actually signed the purchase agreement such that you’re in contract, neither of you are legally bound to anything, and you can withdraw your offer without any problem.

Why are so many houses contingent?

Buyer’s market: With fewer offers, sellers agree to more contingencies. In a buyer’s market, the inventory of homes is high compared to the number of buyers. With fewer buyers offering on homes, you’re more likely to deal with contingencies to secure a sale.

Can a pending sale fall through?

A sale that is “under contract” means an agreement has been made between the seller and buyer, but the sale is still subject to contingencies. In a “pending sale,” contingencies have lapsed, and the deal is near closing. A pending sale can still fall through if there’s an issue with financing or the home inspection.

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