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How to write a home sale contingency into an offer

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Learn how to effectively write a home sale contingency into your offer to protect yourself when buying a new home. Discover the key steps and considerations to ensure a successful transaction.

Buying a new home is an exciting yet complex process, and it's essential to protect yourself from potential risks. One way to safeguard your interests is by including a home sale contingency in your offer. This article will guide you through the steps of writing a home sale contingency into an offer, ensuring a smooth and secure transaction.

Understanding the Home Sale Contingency

A home sale contingency is a clause in a purchase offer that allows the buyer to back out of the contract if their current home does not sell within a specified timeframe. This contingency provides buyers with the flexibility to avoid being financially burdened by owning two homes simultaneously.

Step-by-Step Guide on Writing a Home Sale Contingency into an Offer

  1. Discuss the Contingency with Your Real Estate Agent:

    • Engage in a thorough conversation with your real estate agent to comprehend the implications and benefits of a home sale contingency.
    • Assess market conditions to determine the viability of such a contingency in your specific circumstances.
  2. Specify

For example, a home inspection contingency would state a time frame for the inspection to take place and give the buyer a certain number of days to ask the seller to make repairs or lower the sales price.

How do you write a contingency clause?

A contingency clause should clearly outline what the condition is, how the condition is to be fulfilled, and which party is responsible for fulfilling it. The clause should also provide a timeframe and what happens if the condition is not met.

What is an example of a contingency?

A contingency is a potentially negative future event or circumstance, such as a global pandemic, natural disaster, or terrorist attack. By designing plans that take contingencies into account, companies, governments, and individuals are able to limit the damage done by such events.

How do you make a strong contingent offer?

Options that could make an offer more attractive include offering more than the asking price, offering a larger Earnest Money Deposit than requested, letting the sellers choose the closing date, picking up the sellers closing costs and limiting the time period for your house to sell.

What is the most common contingency in real estate?

Home inspection contingency Home inspection contingencies are one of the most common home buying contingencies. According to NAR, around 80% of homebuyers include a home inspection contingency in their purchase agreement. Home inspection contingencies are one of the most common home buying contingencies.

Can a seller accept another offer while contingent?

Contingency with a kick-out clause That means the seller can continue to show the home and accept offers during the sale contingency period. If the seller gets a better offer, they'll allow the original buyer 72 hours to drop the sale contingency and proceed with the deal.

What is the difference between contingent and pending and under contract?

The difference is that contingent listings still need to meet one or more specific conditions before moving forward. With pending deals, conditions have been met, and both parties are planning to move forward to closing. As a buyer, you may be able to make a backup offer on a listing that's under contract.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why don't sellers like contingent offers?

Contingent offers provide protection to buyers. But there are risks involved, especially for sellers. Because contingent offers require some other event to take place – such as an appraisal of a home for a certain amount or a home inspector giving a residence a passing grade – they can fall through.

What is a contingency clause may require the sale of the buyers?

A home sale contingency is one type of clause frequently included in a real estate sales contract or an offer to purchase real estate. With a home sale contingency in place, the transaction is contingent on the sale of the buyer's home. If the buyer's house sells by the specified date, the contract moves forward.

What is a contingent sale addendum?

With a home sale contingency in place as part of the sales contract, the transaction is contingent upon the successful sale and settlement of the buyer's current home. If the buyer's home sells by the specified date, the contract moves forward.

What is the wording for the sale of a home contingency?

Home Sale Contingency Example This offer is contingent upon the buyer selling their current property located at (Address) within X amount of days from the acceptance of this offer or any extensions signed by the buyer and seller.

What should not be included in a letter to a seller?

What Should You Not Include in a Letter to a Seller? Avoid saying anything in your letter that is too personal about race, religion, national origin, color, familial status, sex, or disability — the protected classes under fair housing laws and the federal Fair Housing Act.


How long is a contingent offer good for?
30 to 60 days The contingent period usually lasts anywhere from 30 to 60 days. If you have a mortgage contingency, the buyer's due date is usually about a week before closing. Overall, a home stays in contingent status for the specified period or until the contingencies are met and the buyer closes on their new house.
How does contingency work when buying a house?
With a contingent offer, you have stated that a certain condition must be met before the sale moves forward. If it doesn't, the contract is void, and the seller can move on to a backup offer received while the sale was contingent.
What is put at risk if a buyer misses a contingency deadline?
If not protected by the contingency, and you do not close on time, you could be in breach of contract, lose your earnest money deposit, and the seller could come after you for additional damages.
How does earnest money work with a contingency?
A mortgage contingency – also known as a financing contingency or a loan contingency – is a clause that allows buyers to cancel the contract of the home purchase without penalty and receive a refund of their earnest money deposit if they're unable to secure a mortgage.

How to write a home sale contingency into an offer

Do you lose earnest money on a contingent offer? Property buyers get their earnest money back if the deal goes south for reasons covered in contingencies. Otherwise, there's little or no chance of a refund. If you change your mind late in the buying process for reasons other than contingencies, the seller can keep the earnest deposit.
How quickly is earnest money due? Within three days Earnest money is usually due within three days of a signed and accepted offer. The earnest money check can be wired to an escrow account, or delivered to the seller's agent. It's important to get that money to the seller as soon as your offer has been accepted.
Is earnest money paid by the seller before the contract is signed? In most cases, earnest money is delivered when the sales contract or purchase agreement is signed, but it can also be attached to the offer. Once deposited, the funds are typically held in an escrow account until closing, at which time the deposit is applied to the buyer's down payment and closing costs.
Who keeps earnest money if deal falls through? Seller The purpose of earnest money is to provide the seller with compensation in the event that the buyer backs out of the deal through no fault of the seller and in violation of the agreements in the purchase contract. If that happens, the seller gets to keep the earnest money.
  • What is an example of a home offer with contingency?
    • For instance, if a seller offers a certain price and you, as the buyer, say the price is fine (provided the home inspection comes back clean), you have made a contingent real estate contract. In this case, the sale of the house depends on the inspection not having problems defined in the contract.
  • How do you put an offer on a house contingent on selling yours?
    • Here are a few tips that can help:
      1. Offer a higher price than your competitor. In 2022, the average home sold for 100% of the listing price.
      2. Let the seller stay a while longer.
      3. Consider using a bridge loan.
      4. Include your current home's list price with the offer.
      5. Make it personal.
  • What is an example of a contingent offer?
    • For example, a candidate might receive a contingent job offer to work for an event planner . Their job will require them to use a company credit card to purchase decorations for venue spaces, so the employer could check their credit score to see how they handle their finances.
  • How to write a home sale contingency into an offer
    • 8 days ago — But a sales contingency could also make it harder to get an offer accepted. Find a Top Agent With Experience in Home Sale Contingency Offers. If 

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