Tips for Making Effective Contingencies

Posted by on Friday, June 22nd, 2007 at 9:50am.

Some sellers are very reluctant to accept multiple contingencies.  So, try to scale down your contingencies as best as you can.  Two contingencies are easy for home buyers to avoid.    


For example, get pre-approved for a home loan before writing a contract (and even before you start looking seriously).  If you know that in your time frame you’re going to need to write a contract in the next two or three weeks, go ahead and get pre-approved.  Many sellers’ agents make pre-approval a requirement for submitting a contract anyway.  They won’t even consider an offer until they know that the potential buyer afford it.  So, go ahead and knock out the contingency stating that you need to be able to get financing. 


Another way to cut down on your contingencies is to make the toughest contingency more bearable.  And, which contingency am I referring to?  The least acceptable contingency is probably the one that allows a buyer to sell his or her home before buying another.  In an attempt to try to get around this one, you can go ahead and list your home for sale before you make any offers.  You can still go and look at homes to buy, but it is better to wait to put in an offer to buy until you have at least a serious potential buyer for you home.  And, the contingency would be more acceptable if your home was already under contract. 


So, if you know that you could be limited in the number of contingencies you can use, you may as well save up your contingency power for something that is really important – like making sure you don’t tie yourself down to a home that has a bad inspection.


 If you give several contingencies (meaning more than two) in your offer, the seller may turn down your offer altogether.  In order to make your contingencies (and your offer in general) more effective, don’t overwhelm the seller.  You want to protect yourself from committing to a bad deal, but at the same time you want to make an offer that is acceptable to the seller.  This effort can sometimes be difficult to balance.  For this reason, you need an experienced Charleston real estate agent working with you.  You want an agent representing you who has written plenty of contracts.  He or she should be able to talk with you to determine the most successful strategy for securing the home you really want – and at the same time, protect you and give you a way out of the contract if you need one.

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