Contingencies are part of many real estate transactions, and chances are pretty good that you’ve heard the term before.
But what are contingencies, and what do you do if they’re included in your real estate purchase contract?
What Are Contingencies?
Contingencies are conditions that must be met in order for you and the other party (or parties) to execute the real estate purchase contract. The final sale is contingent upon one or more parties to the transaction meeting certain criteria.
Typically, contingencies in a real estate purchase contract fall into at least one of three categories: appraisal, home inspection, or mortgage approval.
Most lenders require you to have a home appraised before they’ll lend you the money to buy it. When there’s an appraisal contingency in your contract, you can get out of buying the home if the appraisal comes back lower than what you intend to pay for the home.
Home Inspection Contingencies
You have the right to have a home you intend to buy inspected by a professional home inspector. If the inspector finds something wrong with the home, you can ask the seller to fix it or you can back out of the deal, no harm done.
A mortgage contingency protects you and the seller from entering into a contract when you don’t have the money to purchase the home. (That’s another reason that it’s a good idea to get a mortgage preapproval before you even begin house-shopping.)
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