What Does Contingent Mean In Real Estate?

What does contingent mean in real estate?

This is a question that we get all the time from our buyer and seller clients, so I wanted to answer it for you. So the short answer is that it means that the property is already under contract to be sold to someone else.

A lot of times our buyers and sellers, they'll be looking on the online portal sites like Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, things like that, and they'll see a house that they love and it says contingent or backup - something like that. So what does that mean?

There are two statuses that a realtor can put a property in when it goes under contract. The first is called pending sale. So what that means is exactly what it sounds like - there is a sale pending to someone else and another buyer unfortunately, beat you to the property. There is a fully executed contract and the property is in the sale process.

The second status is known as a backup status. And for all intents and purposes, that means the exact same thing. So I for example, put all of my listings in backup status until I know that the buyer is moving forward from their inspection period and we have a solid deal. So when and we put it in backup status it will still show up on the sites like Zillow, Realtor.com. It'll show contingent or backup contracts accepted. Something like that. But the property really is under contract already, to someone else. So there's a distinction between that and an active property for sale.

So what does that mean for you as a buyer? Well, if you're seeing a property online and it says, Contingent or Under Contract, you're probably better off skipping it for now, and looking at other properties that are still listed as active. If you absolutely, love the property and this is the perfect one for you, ask your realtor to call, see if that deal is solid. See if the buyer's moving forward with their inspections. How is their mortgage contingency doing? You know, things like that to make sure it's a solid deal.

If you have a good realtor, if you work with someone on our team, what we can do is we will monitor that property for you. We'll put a little save search on it and the second that property falls out of contract, whether the deal falls apart, you know, the buyer doesn't move from inspections, whatever it may be, we'll be the first ones to know. We'll call the listing agent, verify that the property is active again and we'll try to find out what happened for you, as the buyer, to make sure that it's not gonna be an issue that's going to affect you as well. And then we'll schedule the showing and make sure you're the first person in there to get that home that you love.

So I hope that answers that question. Really, if you're looking at properties online, try to make sure you're looking only at active properties. It's gonna save you a lot of time. On some of the sites like Zillow and Realtor.com there is a setting in the search that you can check that says, "Do not show properties "that are under contract or backup." Things like that. I recommend, to save some time, start by looking only at the active properties and then we can take it from there.

So I hope that clarifies that question. If you have any questions, give me a call, shoot me a text or send me an email.

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