Contingent Upon Touring The Seller's Home

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lizette Realty - Lexington KY - Richmond KY

In the land of contingencies...the one that happens less often may be, "Contingent upon touring the seller's home."

Most of mybuyer clients usually step foot on the property beforewriting an offer. The most common contingencies ones are...

  • Contingency to sell your home before you close on another.
  • Contingent upon buyer obtaining proper financing.
  • Contingent upon seller to pay X amount toward buyer's closing costs.
  • Contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection.
  • Contingent upon the house appraising at purchase price or higher.

Lexington KY homes for saleYada, Yada, Yada.......

Many of my buyers are from out of state and make plans in the near future to come check out the listings I have sent them.

This all takes a considerable amount of researching both the buyers and the listings to find the perfect home.

Usually, they are very excited about visiting our beautiful state. 

Local buyers get in the car and get over there fast to check out the property so they can be the first ones to get an offer in.

I have still had to present offers in a multiple offer situation this year. 

I have one client that closed and moved into a house sight unseen.

Only pictures and a few phone calls after I toured the home sufficed for them to write an offer.

Nice properties priced right don't stick around.

I do know of an agent that wrote an offer for his client"Contingent upon touring the seller's home". It was newly listed and he knew that numerous agents had called the listing agent to make appointments to view the house that day.  

His offer was accepted and his client got the house. The other agents didn't have much of a chance. Many of their clients were not prepared to write an offer on the spot without more research. 

Many times I have to try to find a replacement house after the out of town buyers get here and the home they were fixated on the Internet so long is already under contract. I'd love to write an offer for them"contingent upon touring the seller's home" if I know it is perfect house for them and they will be here soon.

Hey....did I just wake from a dream? I thought I had found just the perfect house for you...

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Lizette Realty Lizette Fitzpatrick

Lizette Fitzpatrick- Principal Broker at Lizette Realty.

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  1. Joseph J. Chang 03/03/2010 06:59 AM
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Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker



In a hot market that's a good way to get the property before anyone else. I assume that the seller's gave them a short period and had an escape clause.



Mar 02, 2010 11:28 PM #34
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTORĀ® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I do lots of investor business from out of state or out of country people. I would say that at least 70% have never seen the house. It would be a rare occasion that someone who is going to live there would trust me or anyone enough to write a blind offer and just move in without seeing it. I would have to say that if I did get an offer with a contingency to view, it would be a very short time frame, like 5 days or less.  

Mar 02, 2010 11:36 PM #35
Lizette Fitzpatrick
Lizette Realty - Lexington KY - Richmond KY - Lexington, KY
Lizette Realty,Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes -

Ray, I do like the idea of the house smelling good. I do know of a few I walked into and I walked right back out because of smelling bad. How do people live there?

Margaret, this photo is one I took of a historic home(4 sale again now) that the buyers did make an offer on after they viewed it online from AZ. They bought this one and later bought another sight unseen after I sent them pictures.

Clayton, I do like your idea for the escrow money. I wonder if we can do that here in KY? Our rules are that as soon as the contract is signed and dated we have 3 days to deposit the earnest money in the escrow account.

Stockton HouseAbout the picture...I have been designing some specific greeting cardswith my own pictures to use in my brokerage to stay in touch w/ clients, prospects, business contacts and friends.

It's a contact managment system that pays for itself. I like that even better!

I have been getting some fabulous deals since starting this idea. One was a sale of a house over 1M.(we close March 9) Today, I am going on a listing interview after they received one of my cards.

Email me and I can tell you more on how to use this too.

Mar 03, 2010 12:39 AM #36
Judith Sinnard
SMARTePLANS; Houston, Texas - Houston, TX

Lizette, this is fairly common for the high end homes that I draw for.  Houston has a large population of upper level executives (oil industry), and doctors (medical center) transferring in and out of the city. Since the plans I draw are so detailed and have embedded photos, the homes are often "toured" online, and its not uncommon for a purchase decision to be made at that point. For many of these buyers .. they've lived in Houston before, they know the neighborhoods they want to live in and are technically comfortable to touring online.  We also have, our public accessible MLS that is just fabulous... easily accessible to consumers 24/7 no matter what corner of the world they are in.

Mar 03, 2010 01:22 AM #38
Damon Gettier
Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert - Roanoke, VA
Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE

I saw this happen quite often back in the days of 2005-2006...not so much now.

Mar 03, 2010 01:44 AM #39
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

As a listing agent I would ask them to remove the contingency for further review or as a Buyer's agent I would not want that contingency to dilute a good offer.

Mar 03, 2010 02:38 AM #40
Christopher Watters
Watters International Realty - Austin, TX
Austin Realtor (512-829-8000)

I haven't used this tactic. It's a great idea! I've written a few offers sight unseen for out of state buyers. I take my video cam and that really helps them make a decision.

Mar 03, 2010 02:39 AM #41
Michael Werbick
Castle Pines North, CO

Buying a home sight unseen is very ---shall I say fun!  My wife and I bought a home back in 03 that way.  I was out to our new area a few weeks earlier and we wrote three offers-- all went belly up.  I saw this home at the time but it was out of our price range.  My agent called and let me know it dropped in price...what to do, I liked the outside but never saw the inside.  My folks went were there on a vacation a week later.  They went to the house with the agent and took pics.  I asked my father one question.  If you were 32 would you buy this house.  We signed contracts later that day via fax.  Besides, if it is a solid home and passes home inspection with flying colors you will always be able to resell if needed...but we loved it.

Mar 03, 2010 03:43 AM #42
Marlene Hoffman - Naples Beach Condos
Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. - Naples, FL

Lizette, I have done two offers of this kind on beachfront condominiums and both my buyers got the property.  It's fun when it works!  They came in a matter of days to view the property and both were cash sales.

Mar 03, 2010 04:28 AM #43
Jeff Rainwater
John L. Scott MPV - Maple Valley, WA

I've had this come up once. It was a duplex. The occupants were both tennants who wanted to stay and one was a day sleeper. The owner did not want to upset the tennants by tramping people through the units. They didn't even put a sign in the yard because they didn't want the tennants to scare off.

Naturally, my buyer wanted to look inside the units but they insisted that we had to have an offer in hand first, to prove we were serious and not just compairing.

So we decided we would go ahead and write an offer contingent upon viewing the interior of each unit. We were going to take it a step futher and actually write in that the offer price was also contingent upon it and subject to change after the viewing. Funny enough, once we told the agent of our intent to write the offer so we could schedule the showing, THEN they were more than willing to let us go out in that same day.

The buyer liked it. We wrote the offer without that contingency, and the seller accepted.

Mar 03, 2010 05:39 AM #44
Richard Johnston
San Fernando Valley - RE/MAX Grand Central - Sherman Oaks, CA

Last year I wrote 30 offers for a buyer site unseen.  The problem was, they were all short sale homes in the San Fernando Valley.  After a few months, I started to get some calls from the listing agent once the short sale was approved.

In some situations it does work to write offers but generally speaking, I believe the client must view the home first.

Mar 03, 2010 06:31 AM #45
Peter Di Eduardo
West End Residential - Morristown, NJ

I'm sure we are going to see more and more creative ideas as the market evolves.

Mar 03, 2010 07:01 AM #46
Bob Hirsch
The AVD Group - Bellflower, CA

This is very common when the property is multi-family.  Owner does not want to disturb tenants multiple times.  If the offers are contingent upon interior inspection tenants are disturbed only once (hopefully).  Also works well for rental houses.

Mar 03, 2010 08:14 AM #47
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

I have done it in the past myself, but for an investor once we knew the numbers worked. He wasn't going to live there. 

Mar 03, 2010 10:27 AM #48
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

This is quite ironic that I should be reading this post because before noon today, I submitted an offer for a buyer who had not yet viewed the house.  The pictures were great which was the 1st draw and then the drive-by.  By the end of the day, the listing agent and I were in discussion (not negotiating) about the house and my buyer and I will tour the home tomorrow.  It won't be the first time that I've submitted an offer this way and, if accepted, it won't be a first either (by this method).

Mar 03, 2010 10:35 AM #51
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Lizette- We use this a lot. We get so many international buyers here. One out of every four Florida buyers is an international buyer. We also sell alot to folks up north that will trust our buyers agents to find them second homes and vacation homes sight unseen. We have even sold these homes without the seller ever even seeing the property. Mostly ocean front condos and the like- where it is all basically the same look and feel. And at times they have been here and toured then go back and then call back and give their criteria and then buy sight unseen although they know what they want. My best friend sold a 3 M $ horse ranch listing to a man in Egypt all over the internet. HE never saw the place in person and he paid all cash for the ranch. Then he came here and tore it all down, the interior, and rebuilt it all to his liking. Katerina

Mar 03, 2010 10:57 AM #52
Judy Jennings
The Green Company - Ashland, MA
Broker - The Lanterns at Warren Woods - Ashland MA

Lizette - This is not a common practice in our area at this time. However, a smart buyer combined with a diligent agent will be ready to implement this strategy if needed. I like your photo also and am curious about the contact management system you use with your greeting card system. Do tell us more.

Mar 03, 2010 11:17 AM #53
Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

This is the way of the future, in this borderless world of the internet search, where time and geography have been erased.    Thanks for the timely alert!

Mar 04, 2010 04:05 AM #54
Robert L. Brown - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

I've picked up a client who lives out of the country. This may be the way to go with them. Thanks for the tip.

Mar 04, 2010 08:48 AM #55
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

I am doing this all the time now, so many short sales and tenent occupied homes require an accepted offer prior to touring the home. So we write it "subject to inspection"

Mar 06, 2010 12:18 PM #56
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