4 Common Contract Contingencies to Be Aware of When Buying a Home

Kyle Hiscock
Published on March 14, 2014

4 Common Contract Contingencies to Be Aware of When Buying a Home

4 Common Contract Contingencies to Be Aware of When Buying a Home

4 Common Contract Contingencies to Be Aware of When Buying a Home

Contingent, as defined by Merriam-Webster, means “depending on something else that might or might not happen.”  Just to be clear, every purchase and sale contract is different, however there are some contingencies that are more common when buying a home.  

It’s very important that when you decide to purchase a home, make sure you have an experienced buyer’s real estate agent working in your best interest.  It’s also important to understand what type of contingencies are common when buying a home.  An experienced buyers real estate agent should be able to explain what a specific contingency is and what it means to you!  Here are 4 common contract contingencies to be aware of when buying a home.

Mortgage Contingency
The majority of home buyers will need to obtain a mortgage to purchase a home.  The mortgage contingency in a purchase and sale contract indicates this being the case.  The mortgage contingency has several different “parts.”  Within this contingency, the buyer indicates what type of financing they will be applying for.  Depending on the financing, the percentage that will be borrowed will vary, as will the interest rate.  Within this contingency, a date will be determined as to when the borrowers mortgage commitment will be received.  The final “part” of this contingency refers to bank required repairs.  While the bank’s appraiser is visiting the subject property, he/she will be looking for items that would need to be repaired prior to the bank approving the mortgage.  The buyer has an opportunity within this contingency to indicate what dollar amount they want the seller to be liable for in regards to these required repairs.  The bank appraiser (depending on the type of financing as some are stricter than others) is normally looking for safety “issues” such as missing handrails, peeling paint, or broken windows for example.

When buying a home, a buyer has the option to make the contract contingent upon their attorney's approval.

When buying a home, a buyer has the option to make the contract contingent upon their attorney’s approval.

Attorney Approval Contingency
When purchasing a home, it’s strongly encouraged to have attorney representation.  This contingency is extremely common in purchase contracts.  This contingency gives the opportunity for the buyer and the seller to have their attorney review and approve the purchase and sale contract.  The buyers real estate agent determines how many days will be allowed for attorney approvals from both parties attorney.  If there are questions or “gray areas” within the contract, attorneys will often address and clarify in their approval letters.  While this contingency is very common, there are cases in which a buyer will waive their right to an attorney’s approval.

Inspection Contingency(ies)
There are many different inspection(s) that a purchase and sale contract can be contingent upon.  Like the attorney approval contingency, it’s recommended that when buying a home you have a home inspection.  Other inspection contingencies can include (but not limited to) are pest inspections, mold inspection, chimney inspection, radon inspection, lead inspection, and well and septic inspection.  Just like contingencies that are common within a purchase and sale contract, there are also common home inspection findings.

If buying a home while owning another and unable to "hold" two mortgages, the sale and transfer of title contingency is likely to be used.

If buying a home while owning another and unable to “hold” two mortgages, the sale and transfer of title contingency is likely to be used.

Sale and Transfer of Title Contingency
If buying a home while owning another home, it’s possible that a sale and transfer of title contingency will need to be included in the purchase and sale contract.  This indicates to a seller that the buyer has an existing home that needs to be sold prior to purchasing the subject property.  If agreed to by the seller, normally a specific number of days will be set for the buyer to sell their existing home.  If during that time frame another purchase offer is brought to the seller, there should be a “bump clause” built into the contingency.  If the number of days for the “bump clause” was three (3), this means the buyer would have three days to remove the sale and transfer of title contingency and provide evidence that they can perform “non-contingently” to move forward.  If the buyer was able to be approved to carry two mortgages, than this would be an acceptable way to remove this contingency providing the lenders approval is not conditioned upon the transfer of title of buyers present home.

The four (4) above contingencies are what we feel are the most commonly found in purchase and sale contracts.  When buying a home be aware of these and if you’re unsure what they really mean, ask your real estate agent or an attorney.  What contingencies do you feel are commonly found in real estate transactions?

Other Great Resources for Home Buyers:

 

Are you planning on buying a home in Rochester, NY?  If so, contact us, we’d love to discuss with you how we can help you achieve the dream of home ownership!

About the authors:  The above information was provided by the Keith Hiscock Sold Team (Keith & Kyle Hiscock).  With 30 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.

We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.

Visit our website at www.HiscockHomes.com.

© 2014 – 2016, Kyle Hiscock. All rights reserved.

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4 Common Contract Contingencies to Be Aware of When Buying a Home
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