and “Contingent” listings

I recently ran a search on and was amazed at the amount of information you can find on it.  However, one large piece of important information that wasn’t there was a definition of “Contingent”.  Zillow doesn’t have this designation in its property search.  A licensed Realtor with access to the full MLS database can search by “Active”, “Contingent”, “Pending”, “Closed”, etc….which means a lot more powerful searches.

Contingent means that the property has an offer in place that is going to be accepted, pending a few items.  So the offer has been agreed to be accepted, but a few items must be completed satisfactorily in order to close on the property.   Contingent items can include financing deadlines, home inspections, home warranties going through, prior home sales completed, radon/mold/pests or remediation of certain issues.  In other words, a contingent offer means a lot can go wrong before the sale is complete, accepted and closed.

What does this mean for you as an interested buyer?  You and your Realtor can submit a “backup” offer on a property, with the understanding that it may never get consideration if the first offer goes through.  One way to make a very strong backup offer is to make it a full price offer, all cash with no contingencies.  All too often, a contingent offer falls through due to lack of financing, so backup offers can come into play.  Bottom line, it never hurts to find out if the sellers are interested or if the Realtors are feeling nervous about closing.

Got a question?  Email me


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