You sold your home, right?
To that nice young couple who really, really loved your home?
That couple who has to sell their home before they can close on yours?
Dunno how to break this to you gently, but contingent offers were created to make inexperienced/desperate listing agents and hopeful sellers feel good.
Problem is, that warm and fuzzy feeling starts to fade after a few days when you and your listing agent start to realize you just took your house off the market for a buyer who really isn’t a buyer.
Definition: a buyer is someone with the desire and the ability to close escrow; not someone who might like to buy your home if they can sell theirs.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before accepting a contingent offer:
- Is my contingent buyer trying to sell their present home For Sale By Owner?
- Is my contingent buyer’s home listed with a Realtor®?
- Is it in MLS?
- How long has it been on the market?
- Are the sellers offering a competitive buyer agent commission?
- Is it priced correctly?
- Is it in good showing condition?
- Does it have a lockbox?
- Does it have a sign?
- Does it have flyers in the flyer box?
- Do the sellers have to remove their four pit bulls before it can be shown?
- Have my contingent buyers been fully-approved by a lender who will be in business long enough to close my escrow?
- Are my buyers willing to give me any non-refundable earnest money as a condition of having my home off the market?
- Why is my listing agent recommending that I accept a contingent offer?
You must also realize that your home will probably not get shown once you accept a contingent offer.
I know, your listing agent says you can continue to show your home after accepting a contingent offer.
Fact is, savvy buyer agents are reluctant to show a home that has an accepted contingent offer because their buyer might like it, then not be able to buy it if the contingent buyer is somehow miraculously able to perform.
By now, you think I’m “negative”, right?
I mean, you did hear about Aunt Lulu’s cousin’s hair stylist’s niece’s mechanic who sold his home contingent and it actually closed (back in 1952).
It can happen, but the odds are against you.
The bottom line?
When you accept a contingent offer, you relinquish control of the sale of your home to your contingent buyer.
If the buyers don’t sell their home and close escrow, you don’t have a deal.
You’re almost always better off continuing to look for a real buyer than hoping a contingent buyer will actually close escrow on your home.