Contingencies in Real Estate Contracts

We are not Attorneys and always recommend you consult with a licensed Real Estate Attorney, we do have one we work closely with for many years and highly recommend him, his name is Michael Merino PA for all your real estate legal questions. 

In real estate contracts, the contingency is a common element. Contingencies are clauses in a contract that give either the buyer or seller a way to get out of the contract if certain conditions or timelines aren’t met.

There will always be a time period associated with such a contingency. 

Every contract can be unique.  The possibilities for contingencies are virtually endless.  Some of the more commonly used contingencies would include:

Financing.  Contingencies that depend on the buyer being able to obtain financing are very common.

Home Inspections.  Probably the most common type of contingency is the “contingent upon satisfactory completion of inspection”.  There is any number of specific types of inspection for which a contingency might be included in a contract.  Some of the more common would include inspection by a qualified home inspector for hidden defects, pest inspections, water and sewage system inspections, inspections dealing with the presence of radon or mold, etc.

Appraisal.  It’s not unusual for a buyer to have a contingency that allows for a formal appraised value at or above purchase price.  Since lenders will nearly always want an appraisal performed too, sellers usually don’t have a problem with this.

Remember, just like everything else in real estate contracts, contingencies are negotiable.  Always take care before signing that you are comfortable with all contingencies included in your contract.  Likewise, take time to think about what contingencies you might like to have added.


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