Contingency Timeframe

Now we’re in contract prior to contingencies being removed. Now we’re in business. This is exciting, isn’t it? But don’t get too excited just yet. We have to go through the contingency timeframes. The buyer now will secure their loan, have the inspections on their property and review all of the reports and disclosures. This typically takes anywhere between seven and 17 days depending on what was initially agreed upon in the contract. In some cases, when you’re dealing with a very desirable home that had multiple offers, we can negotiate there be no contingencies, but this isn’t quite as common as we would like.

During the contingency timeframes, the buyer can back out of the home if they’re not happy with what they discover on any of the reports, the disclosures, or the inspections that they’re having done. After reviewing the reports and having the inspections, this is typically when the buyer would be asking for repairs or they could possibly be asking for credits for things that they found during these inspections. The buyer also has the option to back out of the home if they choose, or if they have requests that we cannot come up to a mutual agreement between the buyer and the seller. They can choose to back out.

Also for some reason, if they’re not able to qualify for the loan or if the home does not appraise and we cannot come up with a mutually agreed upon price regarding the appraisal, the buyer can also back out as well. You need to understand that if a home does not appraise for the contractual amount, that the lender will only loan on the appraised value and obviously they take into consideration what the buyer is actually qualified for. Any additional money required would need to be made up from the buyer, or the seller would have to agree to adjust the contractual price.

Again, unless you have countered out any of these contingencies and they are not made a part of the original contract or counter offer, the buyer has the right to back out of the home, and as a seller, we cannot retain their deposit. This is why it’s essential to hire an agent like myself who knows how to properly vet buyers and their offer, who asks the right questions and has the right conversations with the agent and the lender. The buyer’s deposit is only at risk if they have officially removed their contingencies. So, I always advise my clients not to start packing their bags until all contingencies have been removed.

Also, be sure to get contingencies removed as soon as possible and stay within contractual timelines as much as you can. Once contingencies are removed, well, now get a little relief and have more assurance that the home is actually going to go through. You should be moving soon. Watch below to see what happens next and what to expect, and feel free to personally reach out to me or someone in my company so we can get more detail about you, find out what your needs are so we know how to properly serve and advise you. And as always, make it a great home selling and buying day.


— Krista Mashore