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What is a Contingent Sale?

Ideally, every home buyer would be able to sell their existing home and buy a new one in one seamless transition. But we know that for many buyers, that ideal situation doesn’t turn out to be the reality. 

Which brings us to our question today. What do you do if you’re shopping for homes and you find one that’s perfect...except you need to sell your own home first. Can you still put in an offer? 

The good news is YOU CAN with a “contingent sale” clause in your contract. But, keep in mind if you choose this option you have to be comfortable with taking a couple of risks. 


Making an offer to buy a home when you own home is not yet sold isn’t an uncommon dilemma. And in these cases, the buyer can submit an offer to the seller that is “contingent upon sale” of the buyer’s existing home. Of course, if you take this route you’ll want to treat it just like any contract negotiating with the seller on terms and prices.  

The good news for you as a buyer is that if you don’t sell your house, you won’t have to buy that house. However, on the flip side, the seller can agree to accept a contingent offer while still advertising and keeping the home on the market. If during that time the seller receives a better offer from another buyer, they may ask the first buyer to remove the contingency or cancel the contract. So there is a bit of risk involved. 

From our experience, we know that sellers are more likely to accept these types of contracts when the market has slowed down a little. Because, bottom line, they want to sell their house! So they are usually more willing to consider other options. 

Another way contingency offers are accepted is if a buyer is looking to move from a lower price point to a higher price point because chances are there are more buyers looking to buy in the lower price point. So your home is more likely to be sold quickly. 

If you’re considering  selling your home in the near future, call one of our BHURDinUtah agents today. We’d love to set up a consultation appointment, answer any and all of your questions, and help you on your best path to owning your dream home.

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