Monday, October 02, 2006

Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? And if your home is currently on the market, it might certainly seem like that time is here. Now before you hit the panic button, it's important to consider your position and the overall market conditions. According to the media, the sky is falling and I believe them as much as I believe Chicken Little. No the housing market isn't what it was last year, but people still need homes. Let's assume you're in a position were you're not going to buy until you sell existing home and you haven't had any offers. One day that offer comes in but it includes a home sale contingency. The contingency basically states that if buyer does not receive a signed sales contract on their home by a particular date, they can terminate the contract they have with you. It's understandable to just be relieved there's an offer on the table, so you accept the contingency, and move on. Before you sign the dotted line, it's worth taking a minute to consider the pros and cons of a contingent offer and more importantly to consider where that leaves you in the equation. A nice pro is that generally a buyer will offer a higher price to entice the seller to accept the contingency, and you can still continue to market your home, though some buyers agents might be less inclined to show it if there are other similar properties available. The downsides are the big WHAT IFs? What if they don't sell their home and the deal doesn't close or what if you don't get another offer? As a seller, neither of these are in your control and in many ways the details particular to your situation must guide you. One other thing to consider with your agent is the saleability of the buyer's home. If they're in a high-rise with 20 other properties, it might not be wise to accept that contingency because it might be difficult to sell in say 48 days. Whenever I come across these scenario, I believe it's important to consider the different paths the contingency might take a client down and most importantly what their comfort level is with those paths. There is no easy answer, but as I always say, everything works itself out in the end.