What is a "Contingent" Listing Status?

  • December 04, 2015

You may have seen a “contingent” listing in your home search. How does this differ from an active or pending listing? Let’s explore and see how this can actually aid you in finding a home.
An active listing indicates a property is on the market for sale, not in a binding contract, and accepting offers. Once an offer is made by a buyer and accepted by a seller, the property is said to be a contingent listing. Depending on where the property is located, contingency listings can vary slightly. For example, in California, a buyer and seller have seventeen days to clear all contingencies, which include finances, inspections, and disclosures. If during this time an issue arises, the contract can be canceled. Talk to your Realtor before canceling the contract as you may incur some penalties.
See a contingent listing that catches your eye? Talk to your Realtor about putting in an offer anyways. There are cases when the sale of a property is contingent on a buyer selling their current home. But if the seller is anxious to complete the transaction, they may be willing to cancel their current contract and move forward with your offer if you are ready to buy immediately. While often times contingent listings are headed towards a pending and then sold status, always check in with a professional Realtor so you don’t miss out on an opportunity.
Once all contingencies are cleared, the property is now listed as pending meaning the transaction is heading towards closing escrow. While there are still many potential setbacks during this stage and something can fall through, generally speaking this status indicates a sale is about to close.
No matter your situation, talk to your Realtor about how to handle contingent listings in your home search and potentially pursuing properties despite the status.

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