What Are Contingencies In A Home Purchase Contract?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

possibilities and contingenciesContingeny:  a future event or circumstance which is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty


If you're working with an agent in the Cincinnati/Dayton Ohio area, we work with a common MLS approved contract.  It's developed by real estate attorneys and includes pages and pages of details that covers the normal process of buying a home.

And part of that normal process of buying for a home?  The provision for contingencies.

There are many things that SHOULD happen from first offer to sitting at the closing table and finalizing a home's purchase, but not everything happens as it should 100% of the time.

And considering the buyer is making one of the largest financial commitments they'll ever make, wouldn't they want to be REALLY sure before they complete the purchase?

And that's where the standard Cincinnati area contract contingencies come into play.

  • Financing
  • Inspection
  • Appraisal
  • HOA review
  • Offsite conditions (e.g. sex offenders, area development plans, etc.)
  • Homeowner's insurance

These are all normal steps in the purchase process where the buyer may encounter an obstacle that prevents the purchase, or discovers some information that leads to them opting out of the purchase contract.

But it is possible to have specific contingencies that aren't normally part of the contract.

For example, say the market is hot and only one of the buyers was able to tour the home.  The other buyer is out of town or otherwise prevented from seeing the home soon, and certainly not before other buyers may need to submit an offer.  So what can be done?  Add a contingency that makes the completion of the contract dependent upon the satisfaction of the missing buyer.  Obviously this needs to be something that happens quickly, and the seller MAY not approve of the contingency, but it opens the door for the buyers to not miss a chance to purchase the home.

Another contingency that might commonly occur is when the buyer has to sell their existing home to purchase.  Depending on their stage in the selling process  the contingency may state "successful CLOSING", vs. "successful sale" of the buyer's home.  The latter phrase means the buyer still needs to FIND a buyer, so a seller is going to be much less likely to be agreeable to that contingency clause.

Fyi, if there's NOT a standard contingency clause or form already approved by a real estate attorney, it may be necessary for us to contact a local real estate attorney to have them write acceptable verbiage.  I'm NOT a real estate attorney, didn't sleep at  Holiday Inn Express and the quickest way for me to lose my real estate license is to practice law without a license.  'Nuff said on that.

Other questions about contingencies or other real estate matters?   Just call/text  Bill at 513-520-5305 or email Liz@LizSpear.com and we can discuss how we can best help you!


Serving Greater Cincinnati home buyers and sellers, 

Bill and Liz aka BLiz



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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas


The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

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William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Buyers and sellers both need to understand what these are and how it affects them

Feb 13, 2019 05:09 PM #1
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

this is a very helpful message to share with buyers - there are off ramps in the contract and get out of jail free cards! 

Feb 13, 2019 05:58 PM #2
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Liz and Bill just stopping by to wish you a very special Valentine's Day!!!

Feb 14, 2019 03:46 PM #3
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RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)
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