In Real Estate What Does Contingent Mean? (Correct answer)

“Contingent” in any sense means “depending on certain circumstances.” In real estate, when a house is listed as contingent, it means that an offer has been made and accepted, but before the deal is complete, some additional criteria must be met.


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

To be clear, you can make an offer at any stage of the home buying process. Until the house is listed as “sold,” you are able to put an offer in on a contingent home. The process of making an offer on a contingent home is relatively the same as that of any other offer on an active listing.

What is the difference between contingent and pending in real estate?

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.

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.

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.

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.

Are contingent offers bad?

All in all, the drawbacks of accepting a contingent offer include: The deal might fall through. You might have to renegotiate or accept a lower price. It could take longer to sell your home.

Can you still make an offer on a house that is pending?

You can usually still submit a backup offer on a home that’s pending, but you may not be able to view the property. If you decide to submit an offer, make sure that your finances are in order and stay in touch with the home’s listing agent before applying for a mortgage.

Can pending sales 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.

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.

Is contingent the same as under contract?

A contingent status means that the seller has accepted an offer and the home is under contract. But the sale is subject to, or conditioned upon, certain criteria being met by the buyer and/or seller before the deal can close.

How do I get a contingent offer accepted?

10 Ways To Get Your Offer Accepted In A Seller’s Market

  1. You’re finally ready to take the plunge and put in an offer on your dream house.
  2. Make Your Offer As Clean As Possible.
  3. Avoid Asking For Personal Property.
  4. Offer Above-Asking.
  5. Put Down A Stronger Earnest Money Deposit (EMD)
  6. Waive The Appraisal Contingency.

Can you withdraw an offer on a house before it is accepted?

An offer to purchase a property can be rescinded or withdrawn at any time before it is accepted. For a rescission to be effective it must be given as a notice in writing and received by the other party. Rescission of an offer is not effective until it is delivered to the other party.

Can you bump a contingent offer?

If a buyer’s offer contains a condition or a contingency, such as the sale of the buyer’s existing home, a bump clause allows the seller to accept the offer but continue receiving offers from other prospective buyers.

Can I outbid an accepted offer?

If the purchase contract hasn’t been signed, the seller could accept another offer, even if you think they’ve accepted yours. The seller generally cannot cancel your contract if you are in compliance simply because the seller received a better offer from another buyer.

Can I Still Buy That House? Contingent, Pending, & Under Contract in Real Estate

Finally, after much deliberation and thorough investigation, you’ve discovered the house of your dreams… The ad is labelled as “contingent,” “pending,” or “under contract” when you look at it on the internet, but it is not indicated as such in person. What exactly does this mean? Is it still possible to make an offer, or do you need to start over with your search? Not to be concerned! This essay discusses how to distinguish between contingent, pending, and under contract offers, as well as the many alternatives available to you when making an offer on your first house.

What does contingent mean when a house is for sale?

“Contingent” is one of several real estate terminology that you may come across while describing the current condition of a property listing. If you are on the market for a property, you may come across this term rather frequently. Even if you’ve discovered the right property for your family, the process may be quite difficult at times… then you’ll note that the current status is indicated as “contingent.” So, what does it imply in real estate when a property is dependant on another? When a property is categorized as contingent, it signifies that a buyer has submitted an offer, and the seller has accepted that offer; nevertheless, the contract is conditional on one or more events occurring, and the closing will not take place until those events occur, as described above.

Contingencies in real estate transactions can be triggered by a variety of difficulties and reasons.

  • Property inspection contingency– When a buyer’s offer is accepted and the buyer has paid a “earnest money” deposit on a home, the sale is nearly always dependent on the home having a satisfactory home inspection from a professional home inspector before the deal is finalized. The buyer and seller will review the agreement if the inspection reveals flaws with the home that were not mentioned prior to the agreement being reached. They will then attempt to come up with a solution together. The buyer may demand that the seller make necessary repairs, or the seller may agree to lower the sale price to pay the costs of repairing the problems. The buyer’s earnest money is refunded and the house is placed back on the market if the two parties are unable to reach an agreement on a fair resolution to their dispute
  • Contingency on mortgage approval– If a house buyer has not already been pre-qualified for financing, the sale may be dependent on the buyer’s ability to obtain financing. Alternatively, if the buyer cannot locate a lender willing to accept a mortgage, the transaction is invalid, the seller retains the earnest money, and the house is placed back on the market. In the case of a house buyer asking for a mortgage, the mortgage lender may appoint a professional third-party appraiser to determine the fair market value of the home in order to guarantee that their investment is profitable. Buyers who purchase a home whose appraised worth is less than the purchase price may be required to get extra financing. A buyer’s failure to comply with this requirement results in the cancellation of the transaction, withheld money from the seller, and the house being placed back on the market. Purchase agreement with a house sale contingency– A home buyer who already owns a home will occasionally make an offer that is contingent on their ability to sell their present property within a certain time period. This is frequently done in order for the buyer to be able to obtain financing for the new acquisition.

It is not rare for contingent transactions to break apart as a result of the contingency included in the agreement, which is not uncommon. A backup offer can be accepted by a homeowner whose home is in contingent status, and that backup offer will take precedence if the initial transaction does not go through. If you are interested in a contingent property, it makes sense for you to make an offer on the listing so that you will be in a position to purchase if something goes wrong with the initial transaction.

If you have any concerns or require assistance in navigating this sort of transaction, please do not hesitate to call a local Howard Hanna representative.

What does under contract mean in real estate?

A home that is active under contract, like a contingent property, is one in which the buyer and seller have agreed on terms, but the transaction is still in its early stages and may not come to fruition. It is possible for a property under contract to be placed back on the market owing to unanticipated complications that interfere with the terms of the present contract between the seller and the potential buyer.

In the meanwhile, you can make an offer on a home that is already under contract, and if your offer is approved and the initial transaction goes through for whatever reason, you will be in a position to acquire the property.

What does pending mean in real estate?

When a house is classified as pending, it means that an agreement has been reached, all contingencies have been resolved, and the transaction is on the verge of closing. Because all of the contract’s required criteria have been satisfied at this point, the contract has been executed at this point. It is still possible for a purchase to fall through in this circumstance, mainly as a result of a failed house inspection or finance difficulties. It is, on the other hand, far less prevalent. Depending on the situation, some real estate brokers may not be ready to take offers on houses that are currently under contract.

Please refer to our Real Estate Glossary section on real estate listing statuses for further information on what each of the different listing statuses means.

Please contact one of our Howard Hanna agents if you have any concerns regarding the property buying process or if you would like to make an offer on a specific listing that is contingent, pending, or under contract.

What Exactly Does Contingent Mean in Real Estate?

You will come across the phrase “contingent” at some point throughout your house selling journey. There are a variety of circumstances, including contingent offers, contingent listings, house sale contingencies, appraisal contingencies, finance contingencies, and more. So, what exactly does the term “contingent” mean? In real estate, the term “contingent” refers to a situation that indicates that the seller has accepted a buyer’s offer that includes contingencies, or, in layman’s terms, certain conditions that must be satisfied in order for the transaction to be completed.

Because this scenario would send your house sale stumbling back to the starting line, it’s safe to say that the word “contingent” is not your friend in this situation.

Most of our contracts state that clients would receive a refund of their money, which is most likely the case…

(Image courtesy of Juice Flair Via Shutterstock)

What are the most common contingencies?

According to the most recent Confidence Index Survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 76 percent of offers contained conditions in May 2020.

The following are the four most often seen contingency in real estate contracts:

Inspection contingency

Buyers frequently want a house inspection to safeguard their interests — they want to “lift the hood” of the automobile, so to speak, before committing to a purchasing decision. The home inspection report may also be used by buyers to negotiate a better bargain with you, such as by requesting that you make repairs or grant repair credits. If you reject and you are unable to reach an arrangement, they have the right to walk away.

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Appraisal contingency

It is usual practice for lenders to need a house assessment in order to guarantee that they are not lending more money than the property is worth in the current market. When you have an appraisal contingency, your house must appraise for an amount equal to or more than the buyer’s offer in order for the transaction to be completed. If the appraisal comes back with a low value, you’ll need to negotiate a reduced sale price with the buyer, ask if the buyer can make up the difference in cash, or contest the original evaluation if there’s a good cause to suspect it was inaccurate.

Financing contingency

The finance contingency, often known as the mortgage contingency, says that the buyer has the right to withdraw from the transaction if they are unable to get financing. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 86 percent of purchasers financed their home purchase in 2019, making this contingency quite frequent. It may still be a huge hassle, with polls suggesting that buyer finance concerns are the source of 35% of all closing delays. If you have an option between a mortgage-backed offer and a cash offer, cash is always preferable.

Home sale contingency

A buyer’s purchase of your home is contingent on the sale of their own home, which is known as a home sale contingency. In other words, the transaction will only be completed if and when the buyer’s house sale is completed, thus putting your home sale on hold. A house sale contingency poses a unique threat to a transaction: the destiny of your home sale is dependent on the success of your buyer’s buyer, which is something you have no influence over in the first place.

Should I accept an offer with a home sale contingency?

The risk associated with contingent offers is why Donnelley advises sellers to proceed with caution when making one: “If the buyer hasn’t accepted an offer on their house, it’s in our best interest as sellers to keep that interested party engaged, but tell them that we’d love to see their offer once they accept an offer on their house.” “There’s really no need to hold up the sale of your property while you’re waiting for someone else to sell their home in the hopes that something better may come along in the meanwhile,” says the author.

She also recommends that they check in with her on a regular basis to see whether they have made any progress with their property sale.

(Photo courtesy of Federico Lopes / Unsplash)

Can I negotiate a contingent offer?

Yes! Everything in the world of real estate is negotiable. If you decide to accept an offer that includes a house sale contingency, begin by negotiating the conditions in your favor by including a kick-out option in the contract. This provision specifies that you are free to continue promoting your house and that if you receive a better offer, you can cancel the contingent offer and pursue the superior offer. Ordinarily, you must offer the buyer with sufficient notice (such as 72 hours) so that they have one final opportunity to remove their contingency and complete the transaction.

  1. In California, both the seller and the buyer are required to execute a contingency form to verify that all parties are on the same page about the transaction.
  2. That is to say, they are similar to math problems as compared to writing an English essay, where you may approach it in a variety of ways.
  3. One is, do we have the authority to essentially force this buyer out of the house if we receive a better offer?
  4. Though an appraisal is required for a lender-backed buyer, a cash buyer may choose to waive the requirement if they believe the house’s worth is high enough, or simply because they want to obtain their ideal home before other buyers do.

If you’ve taken the proactive step of obtaining a pre-listing house inspection, you may be able to persuade a buyer (whether cash or lender-backed) to forgo an inspection contingency in order to expedite the transaction.

If I accept an offer with contingencies, what happens to my listing status?

After accepting a contingent offer, your agent will alter the status of your listing to reflect that your property sale is in progress but has not yet reached a final conclusion. A contingent listing or pending listing status indicates that prospective purchasers can still submit bids on the property in the event that the transaction falls through, unless expressly mentioned (for example, Contingent – No Show/Without Kick-out in a Contingent Listing). Please keep in mind that you cannot just terminate your initial buyer’s contract when a better offer comes in; the original contract would have to be terminated lawfully before you could accept a second or third offer.

Contingent listing

This status informs buyers that you have accepted an offer subject to certain conditions. Because your house is still on the market as an active listing, you must continue to show it and accept bids from other prospective purchasers. Days on the market will continue to accumulate while the account is in this active condition. Because it communicates to buyers that they can submit a better offer if the offer does not contain contingencies, the contingent listing status is favored over the more generalunder contract status when a sale is stalled owing to contingencies, rather than the more generalunder contract status.

Pending listing

If your home is listed as “pending listing” in your state, it might imply that you have accepted an offer but are still negotiating or waiting on unmet stipulations, or it could signify that you have accepted an offer and are just required to complete the final paperwork and close. With this status, your listing is no longer active, and the number of days it has been on the market will no longer be accrued. Backup bids from potential purchasers, on the other hand, are still acceptable. If it is feasible in your state, Donnelly suggests that you change your status from ‘contingent listing’ to ‘pending listing’: As a general rule, regardless of the kind of pending (whether it’s a simple offer or one that is contingent on the sale of another house), I like to alter the status to “pending” since it will prevent days on market from accruing.

How can I best protect my home sale from contingencies?

The most effective approach to prevent contingent offers is to sell your house to a cash buyer as quickly as possible. Cash buyers are ready and eager to pay for your home right now, without the need for a third party to get involved in the transaction. Cash purchasers do not require financing or appraisal conditions since they do not have a lender. Additionally, if you’ve previously conducted a pre-listing inspection, they may be willing to waive the inspection contingency. In addition to the fact that cash purchasers are few and far between, accounting for only 14 percent of transactions last year, we have previously said that cash buyers are rare and far between.

When you sell your house off-market, you will coast through the closing process, passing both the appraisal and the buyer loan approval process with flying colors.

We’ll collect bids from our network of pre-approved cash purchasers and present you to the top bidder within 48 hours or less of receiving your request. If you decide to accept an offer, you will proceed to the close of a specific sale, which will conclude with a move-out date that you choose.

The bottom line for sellers: contingent equals risk

As a seller, the word “contingent” should raise a warning alert since it indicates uncertainty and delays. “You’ll undoubtedly lose sleep during the transaction process,” says Donnelly of an offer that includes stipulations. “An offer with contingencies can still be a terrific offer that leads to a sale.” Image for the header courtesy of Stephen Leonardi / Unsplash.

What is Contingent vs. Pending – Redfin

When looking for a new house on the market, you’ll come across homes in a variety of stages of development. What should you do if the home you’re interested in is designated as “contingent” or “pending” on your mortgage application? What does the term “contingent” signify in the real estate industry? What does the term “pending” signify in the real estate industry? Understanding the distinctions between contingent and pending will assist you in identifying properties that you may still be able to purchase, as well as determining how to proceed if you are interested in purchasing.

What does contingent mean in real estate?

When a property is categorized as contingent, it means that the seller has accepted an offer on the property. Contingent transactions are still listed on the market because they are at risk of being terminated if the terms of the contract are not satisfied as required. If all goes according to plan, contingent transactions will be moved to the pending category.

What does pending mean in real estate?

When a property is categorized as pending, it means that an offer has been accepted by the seller and that all contingencies have been resolved satisfactorily or waived entirely. Pending transactions are no longer included in the list of active listings. This means that the property will stay in this status until all legal work has been completed.

Common contingencies in real estate

A variety of things can influence the outcome of a real estate transaction. Some of the most typical circumstances that may arise while purchasing a home are as follows: Financial Contingency: If a buyer is unable to obtain the house loan or mortgage they had anticipated, the seller has the option to opt out of the transaction. In the event that an appraisal finds that the house is worth less than the offer, the buyer has the option to propose a lesser price or drop out of the transaction. Inspection Contingency: If a house inspection discovers issues, the buyer has the option to seek repairs, compensation, or to opt out of the transaction altogether.

If the buyer is unable to match any new offers made on the contingent home, the seller has the option to drop out of the transaction.

Common pending types in real estate

There are several distinct types of pending sales in the real estate industry. The following are some of the most frequent types:

Pending – Taking Backups

It appears like the seller has agreed to accept an offer on their house, but something has gone wrong in the closing stages; perhaps there was an issue with one of the contingencies included in the deal.

In the event that their transaction fails, the seller is now accepting backup bids.

Pending – Short Sale

The accepted offer is a short sale, which means that it must be authorized by extra lenders or banks outside of the control of the buyer or seller. This approval procedure might take a long time, and the buyer or seller may have to wait for a lengthy amount of time.

Pending – More Than 4 Months

After being on hold for more than four months, the offered offer was finally accepted. For example, stalled discussions, delayed construction, longer-than-usual processing time or even an agent’s failure to update the listing status might all result in a canceled transaction.

How often do contingent offers fall through?

While it’s difficult to keep track of how many contingent or pending offers fail each year, data indicates that around 4% of all house transactions fail. As a result, while the great majority of purchases are completed successfully, transactions can fall apart for a variety of reasons.

Can you make an offer on a contingent or pending home?

Always keep in mind that you can make an offer on a house at any point of the process, which is why having the most current information and working with a real estate agent who is experienced in handling complex transactions are key. If you’ve fallen in love with a house that is currently subject to a conditional or pending sale, you should contact a Redfin real estate professional immediately once to discuss your offer alternatives.

Ways to win a home before it goes contingent or pending

To avoid placing offers on properties that are contingent or pending, make it a habit of seeing any homes that you are interested in as soon as feasible. To make this simple, you may search for houses on Redfin and store your search so that you can receive email notifications when new properties that fit your criteria come on the market. Developing a well-informed approach is essential if you want to secure a house that is classified as dependent or pending on the market.

Have your agent speak with the listing agent

Find out what the current status of the contracted offer is – what inspections have taken place, and when they occurred. What are the feelings of the buyer and seller regarding the transaction? Is it possible to make a counter-offer to the present contract?

Consider making an offer without contingencies

The ability to waive contingencies or make an offer without contingent terms is appealing to sellers, and depending on the contract into which they have agreed, it may allow them to convince the present bidder to remove their contingencies as well or to abandon the deal entirely.

Write a personal letter

If there is a contingent house or pending house that you really cannot pass up, it doesn’t harm to write a personal letter to the present homeowners pleading for their cooperation. It is not always feasible to predict the dynamics of a house sale, regardless of the status that has been displayed or what the listing agent has stated. If the homeowners are dissatisfied with the talks, making a compelling offer and accompanying it with an equally convincing letter may give you an advantage over the existing purchasers as well as any future bids on the property.

7 Takeaways: What Does Contingent Mean in Real Estate? (Video)

It’s possible that you came across a range of various sales statuses online when looking for a house to buy. These may have included contingent real estate listings. Apart from the obvious “for sale” and “sold” signs, you may have also come across other typical sales statuses such as “pending” and “contingent.” These terms describe the stage of the sales process in which the residence is now located. Understanding the distinctions between these statuses will assist you in identifying properties that may still be available for purchase, as well as assisting you in determining the best course of action to take if you are interested in making an offer on any of these properties.

Considering that each state has its own set of rules about contingencies, you’ll want to consult with your Realtor about the most up-to-date guidelines in your area regarding contingent houses.

In these situations, the contingency clause normally protects the buyer and, on occasion, the seller, in the event that the parties elect to cancel the contract. The following is an example of what dependent implies in real estate:

Without further ado let’s jump in: What Does Contingent Mean in Real Estate?

Having a home’s status changed to “conditional” or “pending” indicates that the owner has accepted an offer from a prospective buyer, with the deal subject to certain conditions. Contractual contingencies are requirements that either the buyer or the seller (or both) must fulfill before a transaction may be completed successfully. Suppose a buyer makes an offer on a house, but the offer is contingent on the buyer selling their present home first, or the offer is based on the buyer getting a loan.

There are a variety of reasons why a home that has been listed as contingent may ‘fall through,’ albeit it is not something that happens frequently in the Raleigh area.

What to Expect from a Home that is Marked Contingent:

Real estate contingencies are classified into a variety of categories, with each category carrying its own set of duties and restrictions. When it comes to assessing the likelihood of a house reaching the closing table, knowing what sort of contingency to expect is critical information. Because North Carolinais not like other markets, it is quite unusual that a house will be designated contingent and will not reach the closing table in our local market here inRaleigh or Charlotte, North Carolina.

  1. The seller is unable to accept another offer since he has exhausted his options.
  2. A mortgage preapproval letter from a mortgage lender will be received by the majority of purchasers prior to submitting their offer.
  3. This preapproval letter does not imply that the information given by the buyer is completely true, and the mortgage contingency is frequently cited as a cause for a buyer being compelled to walk away from a house purchase.
  4. Most people can find methods to qualify for their house purchases while interest rates are at historically low levels.
  5. Whenever a buyer already has a signed contract for their present property and a closing date scheduled for that home, a contingency is included into the transaction.

This form of contingency prevents the seller from accepting any other bids on the property for a specified length of time since they are bound by the terms of the contract. When an offer on a house is designated dependent, the seller has the right to consider other bids.

What Does Pending Mean in Real Estate?

After all, the conditions have been completed (as stated by both the buyer and the seller), and a contract has been executed, the listing status is changed from an active listing to a pending listing, and the transaction is complete. When an offer has been accepted and the only two stages remaining are the completion of the final paperwork and the closing, the sale status is changed from “pending” to “complete.” In contrast to contingent transactions, pending status does not imply that the sale is still in progress, and as a result, other prospective purchasers will be unable to submit offers on the property.

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

The majority of contingent listings will allow for other bidders to submit bids on the property as well. This is due to the fact that contingent transactions are still technically live listings, and the contract may be terminated if the buyer fails to comply with the terms and conditions required. When a buyer’s contingency is dependent on their ability to sell their present house, the seller will almost certainly wish to examine alternative offers if the buyer is unable to sell their existing home.

  1. Although it is possible that the seller will be unable to sell their home, this is not guaranteed.
  2. The seller will contact the first potential buyer and provide the buyer with a specific length of time to remove the contingency – often between 24 and 48 hours.
  3. Until they can acquire the home until their present home sells (or unless they can fulfill any other condition they have in place), the seller will be free to proceed with the sale to the second buyer.
  4. If the seller accepts your offer, the first potential buyer will be compelled to proceed with the purchase of the home without the stipulations in place, or the seller may choose to release the home from the market and enable you to purchase it.

What is the difference between pending and contingent?

A house that is in contingent status is still theoretically available for purchase, which means the seller is still open to receiving more offers. In contrast, the pending status indicates that the status is no longer active and that the home may no longer be shown to other prospective purchasers because the status is no longer current.

How often do contingent offers fall through?

According to The Lender’s Network, the average closing time for a new property is 46 days, despite the fact that the MLS (multiple listing service) does not disclose information on how many contingent offers fall through each year. Considering the length of time it takes to close on a house, there are a variety of reasons why a contingent offer may fail to materialize within that time period. The following are some examples of frequent circumstances that may arise: Appraisalcontingency: When a buyer purchases a property, an appraisal contingency is typically included to guarantee that the buyer is not overpaying for the property.

  • The buyer can also request that the seller pay any difference in cash, or walk away from the transaction entirely.
  • Contingency based on house inspection results: If the home inspection reveals a number of difficulties, such as roofing issues, plumbing issues, structural issues, electrical inadequacies, and other severe issues, the buyer can impose a contingency requiring that the issues be resolved.
  • Alternatively, if the difficulties are not resolved or the price is not decreased, the buyer will have the option to back out of the transaction.
  • Additional inspection provisions include: Other potential examinations that the buyer may request include radon testing, well water testing, mold testing, and testing for the existence of lead paint.
  • Property sale contingencies provide the buyer a fixed length of time in which to sell and settle on their previous home, allowing them to finance the purchase of their new home.
  • This is one of the most typical contingencies that many sellers may confront, especially considering that 88 percent of purchasers need a loan to fund their property purchase.

Additionally, mortgage lenders might refuse to lend to purchasers who have a high level of debt or who have liens filed against them.

As a seller, do I have to agree to contingencies from a buyer?

However, while sellers are not obligated to accept contingencies, refusing to accept contingencies may diminish your chances of successfully procuring a buyer. If a buyer is barred from inserting stipulations in their offer, they may be obliged to look for other properties or they may be unable to submit an offer at all if the restriction is lifted.

What does it mean when a house goes from active to contingent?

A home’s listing status is “active” if no accepted offers have been made on it yet, and prospective buyers are free to see the property and submit an offer. Because other offers can typically still be made on the property, regardless of whether the status changes from “active” to “contingent,” the home technically remains in a “active” status even after the status changes from “active” to “contingent.” This is because other offers can still be made on the property depending on how the contingency agreement is structured by the buyer and seller.

To put it another way, if you have had your eye on a property that has been available for a few weeks and see that it has been moved to contingent, you may most likely still make an offer on that property as a backup offer.

Nonetheless, in the event they are unable to eliminate the conditions, you will have the option to proceed with the purchase of the house.

Key Takeaways on The Meaning of Contingent

When looking for a home to purchase or preparing to put your home on the market, it is critical to be aware of the various stages that a home sale may go through before reaching the final stage of closing. While making a contingent offer still puts the buyer at risk of losing out on the property, it does give the buyer more time to sell their current home, secure financing, and other necessary steps before making an offer on the property. Always speak with your real estate agent before submitting an offer on a house, especially one that comes with stipulations.

For anyonemoving to Raleigh, you’ll want to be sure you acquaint yourself with the local house purchasing procedure here since it is rather different from other places.

This is often a reality check for most folks arriving to Raleigh from diverse regions throughout the country.

It’s crucial to understand the distinctions between each state when buying and selling real estate because each market is going to have various methods for buying a house. TheNorth Carolina house purchasing processis different than the home buying procedure in New York.

What Does “Contingent” Mean In Real Estate?

Throughout the world of real estate, there are numerous terms that the average homebuyer – and even some new real estate agents – may not be familiar with or understand. The phrase “contingent” is one of these terms. Both homebuyers and real estate experts should be familiar with and comprehend the meaning of this term. It basically indicates that there is a condition that is written into the contract when the phrase “contingent” or “a contingency” appears in it. The contract will not be legally binding unless and until all of the conditions specified above are satisfied.

  • It is not until after the inspection is complete that the contract becomes legally binding.
  • The first of them is referred to as a “contingent show.” The owner is still eager to display the property and will welcome proposals as back-up offers in the event that the present offer on the table fails to materialize.
  • In this situation, the seller has a contract on the property that they feel will not fall through, and the seller does not want to show the property to any other prospective purchasers while the contract is still in force.
  • The final of the dependent clauses is referred to as “contingent with kick-out,” and it is defined as follows: This is a frequent term to include in a contract between two parties.
  • In other words, the superior offer will “kick out” the present offer if it is higher than the current offer.
  • If the contract indicates that the contract is “contingent with no kick-out,” it simply implies that no alternative bids have been received and are being considered.
  • Articles on Contingent: Related Real Estate Articles
  • What exactly does the term “active contingent” or “contingent” mean, and how can it benefit you? 6 techniques to increase your chances of getting a contingent sale offer accepted
  • When making a contingent-sale offer, make sure to protect your deposit. Is it worthwhile to take a chance on a contingent-sale real estate offer?

What Does Contingent Mean In Real Estate: Can I Still Buy That House?

In real estate, a contingency is a condition that must be satisfied in order for the sale to be completed before the transaction can be completed. Upon failure to meet these terms, the buyer has the option to terminate the contract without incurring any penalty. The majority of contingencies are intended to safeguard a buyer’s rights against unanticipated concerns that may arise over the course of the transaction.

If an accepted offer contract for a contingent listing includes one or more of the contingencies, the listing is considered contingent on those circumstances.

Most Common Contingencies

Various contingencies may be requested by a buyer, but there are five basic ones that are frequently invoked in real estate transactions.

Appraisal Contingency

To guarantee that the home’s worth is equivalent to or greater than the amount being loaned, many mortgage lenders will require that an appraisal be performed for every transaction they fund. If the property appraises for less than the offer price, the buyer will be required to either make up the difference in cash or arrange extra financing to pay the difference between the two amounts. An appraisal contingency is used to ensure that, in the event that the house does not appraise for the price offered and the buyer is unable to source the additional cash, the buyer will be free to walk away from the contract without incurring any penalties.

Home Inspection Contingency

Many buyers ask for a home inspection contingency, which gives them additional alternatives once the inspection is complete and the contract has been signed. Upon receipt of the inspectionreport, if the purchasers are unable to reach a satisfactory agreement on their requested repairs and/or if the inspection discovers a deeper underlying issue that the buyer is unwilling to address, they have the option of terminating the contract.

Home Sale Contingency

In order to proceed with the purchase of a new house, purchasers frequently require finances from the sale of their previous property. If this is the case, purchasers have the option of including a contingent on the sale of their current house in their offer. The buyer must sell their property before the contract can be finished, and it will not be able to be concluded until the buyer sells their property, as stated in the contract’s final execution clause. This contingency is often indicated by a time frame of 30, 60, or 90 days, depending on the situation.

Mortgage or Financing Contingency

A mortgage or finance contingency, which is similar to the appraisal contingency, is intended to safeguard the buyer’s rights in the event that the buyer has difficulty obtaining financing for the purchase. Alternatively, if they are refused the loan or have difficulty meeting the loan conditions set forth by the mortgage firm, this contingency will provide them with enough time to seek alternative financing or to walk away from the transaction completely.

Title Contingency

A real estate title confers to its holder the rights of ownership, control, exclusion, enjoyment, and disposition over the property in which the title is held. Unexpected complications with the transfer of title might occasionally be discovered throughout the course of the contracting procedure. Controversial property ownership, property liens, litigation, and other legal or financial difficulties are examples of this. A title contingency gives purchasers the option to cancel the contract if the title report reveals any problems with the property.

Should I Accept an Offer With a Home Sale Contingency?

Buyers should consider a variety of factors when making their decision on whether to accept a contingent offer. These considerations include the overall strength and value of the offer, any potential delays that the contingency may cause, their own financial and timeline requirements, as well as the current market conditions. You will have more alternatives when selling in a strong seller’s market since you will be able to resist contingencies and negotiate your own protections into the final contract.

Even though contingencies are quite frequent, they have the ability to significantly slow down the contract’s completion date. It is critical to examine any potential conditions with your REALTOR® in order to evaluate whether or not they are appropriate for your specific situation.

Are Contingent Offers Negotiable?

In a real estate deal, every facet is up to negotiation. Whenever you get an offer, you will have the chance to negotiate with the buyer on the conditions of the contingency or even to include a Right of First Refusal to protect yourself from interminable delays and to allow you to seek other purchasers if the buyer does not accept your terms. This will allow you to continue to promote the property in order to collect backup bids from other potential purchasers in the meanwhile. The seller will tell their present buyer, who will then have a specified number of days, as outlined by their agreed-upon contract, to either withdraw their contingency and proceed with the sale or walk away if an offer is received without contingencies.

Having three days to make an educated decision as opposed to ten days will allow the buyer to make a more informed decision and prevent them from dragging their feet in the expectation of better conditions or cold feet on the side of the second offerer.

Some jurisdictions also permit the inclusion of a kick-out clause, which is similar to a match-up clause but requires the initial buyer to match a higher offer rather than just deleting the contingency from the contract.

What Happens to My Listing Status if I Accept an Offer With Contingencies?

Once you have accepted an offer, you will need to alter your listing status in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to reflect this. In order to signal that an accepted offer has been received on a listing, but that the offer has not been finalized owing to stipulations that have not been satisfied, MLS boards have special listing status wording. Other purchasers will take note of this and consider whether or not it is worthwhile for them to submit an offer. Your capacity to accept such offers, as well as the timing for completing that procedure, will be determined by the conditions of your contract that have been agreed upon.

In the event that your status is changed to “right of first refusal” or “contingent,” the property will continue to be presented as “active” and the days on market will continue to accrue until it is changed to “pending.” There will be standards in place at the MLS board to which your REALTOR® belongs that govern when a listing status can be described as “pending.”

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Active: Right of First Refusal vs. Pending

For those who are inexperienced with the subtleties of real estate language, the distinctions between listing status updates might be perplexing at first.

The fact that various states use different terminology to describe the same issue just adds to the confusion and difficulty of the situation.

Active: RFR

In Texas, the phrase “Active: Right of First Refusal” (also known as “Active: RFR”) is used to describe a dependent status. It’s possible that you’ll see “Active: Contingent” in other states. A contract for the property has been signed, but there are still contingencies in place that must be completed before the deal can close. RFR is most usually used to refer to house sale contingencies, but it may be used for a variety of other purposes as well. If you, as a buyer, would like to submit an offer on an Active: RFR listing, you may do so at any time without penalty.

This implies that, if the seller advises them that there is another offer they would want to take, they must decide whether to remove the contingency that is preventing the transaction from closing or whether to back out of the contract and enable the seller to accept the other offer on their own.

Pending and Pending: SB

The pending status of a house sale means that the transaction has progressed through the option phase and is now in the last stages of the contract, only awaiting completion. A property with a pending status is believed to be off the market. Pending: Showing results for backups or pending requests: SB implies that, even though the house is under contract, the seller is concerned that the transaction may not be completed as planned and is inviting backup bids as a precaution. In addition, it is vital to understand that backup offers can be placed on any property, provided that the seller is agreeable to receiving them.

Can You Make An Offer On A House That Is Contingent?

In reality, it is feasible to put an offer on any property that has not yet been “sold,” regardless of where the listing is in the listing to sale cycle. Those that submit their bids at the appropriate phases will almost probably be more successful in the long run. If you have found a home that you believe would be ideal for you, but it is now classified as Active: RFR or Pending, you must act quickly to secure it. Navigating this complicated schedule can be difficult, but a qualified Realtor®has the knowledge and skills to assist you in putting together your best offer on any home you are interested in purchasing.

Tips For Submitting An Offer On A Contingent Listing

While submitting an offer on a property that does not already have a contract is your greatest option for a successful acquisition, this does not rule out the possibility of pursuing the purchase of your ideal house if it is currently Active: RFR or Pending.

If you intend to submit a backup offer, the following suggestions can assist you in your endeavor.

1. Work With a REALTOR®

In any real estate transaction, having a qualified REALTOR® on your side will ensure that you are guided through all of the complexities of the process. Several years of work and educational experience will be brought to bear on the project. Every step of the way, from providing thorough insights on the property itself and the surrounding neighborhood to negotiating and closing, a REALTOR® has a legal obligation to defend and promote your best interests as their client. As a buyer, make sure you have a signed Buyer’s Representation Agreement with your REALTOR® before engaging into any contract talks so that you are legally considered their client rather than just a consumer.

2. Add a Personal Touch

Please remember that you may not be the only backup offer they get when you submit your backup offer on a contingent listing, or even when you submit your backup offer on a listing that is just displaying for back-ups! It’s critical to make your offer stand out from the rest of the pack. The inclusion of a handwritten letter showing your passion for the property and your plans for the future may sometimes encourage a seller to give greater consideration to your offer. Selling a property is, by its very nature, an emotional transaction, and by appealing to that emotion, you may be able to increase the likelihood that your offer will be taken into consideration.

3. Be Patient and Attentive

During the waiting period that follows the submission of a backup offer, it is critical to pay close attention to any correspondence you get from the seller. Prompt answers will demonstrate your degree of dedication and will assure the seller that you will not be difficult to deal with, so increasing the attractiveness of your offer. Another key thing to remember is that patience is a virtue. If you come out as forceful or aggressive, it might negatively impact their perception of you and your ability to go forward.

When purchasing or selling a house, delays and uncertainty are the last thing anyone wants to deal with.

No matter which side of the transaction you are on, your REALTOR® will assist you in navigating the barriers to a successful conclusion.

To get started, please visit us at

What Does Contingent Mean in Real Estate?

Frequently, homebuyers may encounter properties posted for sale with the words “conditional” or “under contract.” This is where I can assist you in better understanding what it means when a house is contingent, as well as the many sorts of contingencies available. Lastly and most crucially, I will assist you in determining whether or not you should continue to pursue or make an offer on a contingent property.

What Does Contingent Mean In Real Estate?

An offer on contingent real estate is one in which the seller has accepted a buyer’s offer, but the acceptance is conditional on the completion of another event or the receipt of more information prior to closing. The contingent portion of the agreement states that if the contingent event does not materialize, the homebuyer has the right to terminate the purchase.

On the surface, a homebuyer has stated to a seller, “I will purchase your house if and only if this occurs.” Because there is no guarantee that the event will take place or that the requested information will be obtained, the offer is dependent, which means it can be withdrawn at any time.

How Does A Contingent Offer Work?

Typically, a contingent offer on a house works by reserving the right to acquire the property for a homebuyer as long as certain events occur. Using the above scenario, Homebuyer Heather submits an offer to purchase Seller Sally’s home at 123 Banana St. Homebuyer Heather, on the other hand, may have made her offer contingent on the house being inspected to verify that there are no severe faults present. Heather, in this case, has the contractual first right to acquire the home, and this right cannot be taken away from her while she is undertaking inspections to ensure that the property is free of significant problems before making a final decision.

At this point, the transaction will proceed to the final stages of completion.

There are different types of contingencies.

Keep in mind that a condition on a house indicates that some other event must occur before the house may be sold. Purchasing a home is a significant investment. As a result, many purchasers include a large number of “ifs” and “as long as…” in their bids. The following are the most typical contingencies, as well as the condition or event that must occur before the home sale may be completed. CONTINGENT ON INSPECTION (CONTINGENT ON INSPECTION – SI) If a buyer agrees to purchase a home dependent on inspection, it signifies that the buyer will purchase the home if an inspection of the property does not uncover any severe flaws.

  1. The contingency is eliminated once the inspection is finished and either no flaws are discovered or the seller agrees to repair any things that the buyer has asked be repaired.
  2. CS) It is a bit different with this house selling contingency.
  3. More specifically, I’ll break it out as follows: Call the property that has been designated as contingent.
  4. Ownership of a house by the individual attempting to purchase Property1 is required in order to purchase Property1.
  5. Property2 has not yet been accepted by the buyer who has made an offer on the property.
  6. CC) The completion of a pending contract is a precondition for the next step.
  7. So much so that I’d like to utilize some of what I wrote there elsewhere.
  8. Please Show Up in the Event of a Change The catch-all drawer for a transaction with a contingency is shown in the following paragraph: (Continued – PS)Contingent, please show is the catch-all drawer for a transaction with a contingency.

A contingency that real estate brokers utilize when a condition or event that must occur before a transaction can be completed does not fit neatly into the other contingencies that are already in place. Something unusual is taking place throughout the transaction.

Can You Make An Offer On a Contingent House?

The ability to purchase a contingent home is dependent on the contingency that is in place. This is owing to the fact that not all contingencies are created equal in terms of importance. Regardless, it is possible that it is not the most efficient use of your time and emotional energy. Some contingencies permit other homebuyers to intercept the contingent house, whilst others do not allow for this to happen. For example, it is quite improbable that you would be able to sneak away a property that is subject to the completion of an inspection or the approval of finance arrangements.

You must understand what the term contingent home means or what the contingency is.

Different geographical locations have many schemas for categorizing and naming the different sorts of disasters.

Additionally, your Realtor® can get in touch with the listing agent to find out additional information about the deal.

Pros Of Making An Offer

  • Provides you with the opportunity to purchase the home of your dreams
  • The Seller will be notified that you are interested in the property
  • The Seller may accept the offer as a back-up.

Cons Of Making An Offer

  • It is possible to have false hope of obtaining the property, especially if it seems improbable that the present transaction would fail. If you accept a contingent property as a back-up, it may cause you to overlook other excellent properties that come on the market as a result of your commitment to the contingent house. In light of the fact that you are second in line to the initial offer, you have no influence over how quickly the property will close. Consequently, you may have to wait a long time before finding out the outcome of the initial offer. It may be emotionally draining, especially when there are many emotions of uncertainty and fear.

How Long Does A House Stay In Contingent Status?

A residence might be in contingent status for a few days or for several months, depending on the circumstances. The length of time a home is in contingent status is determined by two factors: the regulations of the local multiple listing service (MLS) and the nature of the contingency. Many multiple listing services (MLSs) are available throughout the United States, and they are maintained by groups and cooperatives. As a result, each Multiple Listing Service (MLS) has its own method of doing things, including defining when a home’s status is changed from active to contingent to pending to sold over the course of a transaction.

  • Second, the type of contingency has an impact on the timetable as well.
  • The resolution of a funding contingency might take anywhere from 35 to 45 days.
  • The reason for this is that the buyer is frequently given a specific length of time to get his or her existing house under contract, after which the timeframes for the inspection and financing conditions are rolled into the timelines for the purchase.
  • Finally, how long does a residence remain in dependent status?

It might be for as little as a few days or as long as many months. Local MLS advertising regulations may also have an impact on the turnaround time. Typically, however, a house is in contingent status for around 20 to 30 days before being placed on the market as pending.

What’s The Difference Between Contingent And Pending?

It is customary to have all or almost all of the contingencies removed from a property for sale when it is listed as “pending.” However, please keep in mind that I used the term “usually.” When a house can be placed in contingent or pending status is dictated by real estate agent associations and their multiple listing services. As a result, there is a variance from one location to another. For example, in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) where I normally work, a house seller may have the status of the home changed to pending soon after accepting an offer, even if the offer has stipulations.

When it comes to real estate, what pending implies in Valparaiso, Indiana may not imply the same thing in Valparaiso, Florida or Valparaiso, Nebraska.


A contingent house is one in which the homeowner has accepted an offer from a buyer, but the closing of the transaction is contingent on the completion of another event or the receipt of more information. The contingency is designed to safeguard the buyer’s contractual first right to acquire the house from being compromised. There are several distinct sorts of contingencies to consider. Common contingencies include the opportunity for the buyer to inspect the property, the opportunity for the buyer to obtain financing approval, the opportunity for the home to appraise for value, and the more complicated contingency of providing the buyer with the opportunity to sell an existing home before the purchase is finalized.

However, it is possible that this is not the best option.

Similar considerations must be made when determining the distinction between contingent and pending real estate in your location.

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