What does contingent mean in real estate?

The term contingent in real estate means much the same as it does in the dictionary — “dependent on or conditioned by something else.” If a property is contingent, the deal is not cut and dry, even if things are headed in the right direction. Instead, a certain condition must be met first before the offer can blossom into a deal.


For example, let’s say that the buyer and seller have agreed on a price, with the added caveat that the buyer must first sell their own home to complete the deal. This way, the buyer won’t be stuck with two mortgages at the same time. It introduces a bit of ambiguity to the process, but if the real estate professional adds the condition to the offer, and everyone agrees, the deal is contingent on these terms being met.


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