In today’s market, sellers should consider an offer that is contingent upon the sale of the buyers’ home.

If the seller’s home has been on the market for 30+ days, the showings have probably slowed down – and a contingent offer might be the only hope of getting a sale done this year.

Above is a copy of the form we use – the Form COP.  Paragraphs 1-7 are self-explanatory, and Paragraph 8 is where the fun begins.

Buyers include this form with their purchase offer, so they go first on completing #8.

If you don’t touch it, then once the offer is accepted, Paragraph 8A applies – and the seller can cancel this sale within three days if an acceptable back-up offer is received.

Paragraph 8A isn’t favorable to the buyers, so they should check Paragraph 8B and buy more time.

Once checked, the form gives the buyers a 17-day period where they can’t get cancelled, and you can also fill in the blank to dictate a longer period – OR check the last box and lock out all other offers for the duration. The sellers probably won’t go for that option though.

If buyers request a period longer than 17 days, the sellers will probably counter-offer with a shorter time period – and even the boilerplated 17 days might be too long if the listing agent is compelled to throw their weight around and show everyone who the boss is.

End result?

You can probably get a contingent offer accepted today, but it will include the threat of getting cancelled in the first 10-17 days if a non-contingent offer is received.

Key Point?

Buyers making a contingent offer need to have their house ready to sell!

You don’t want to waste the first few days of your exclusive period on house-cleaning and clutter patrol!  Though it isn’t that likely that the seller will get another offer if they’ve already been languishing on the market, you don’t want to chance it.

Buyers making a contingent offer are smart to have their house ready to hit the open market right away – preferably, on the day of acceptance. Plan ahead!

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Jim the Realtor
Jim is a long-time local realtor who comments daily here on his blog, bubbleinfo.com which began in September, 2005. Stick around!

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