It can be difficult for home buyers to make a purchase without selling their current residences or for sellers to hand over the keys to their home without having located a new place to live. Although less common in active housing markets, offers contingent on the sale of the buyer’s home are more acceptable these days — especially among sellers whose homes have been languishing on the market and are happy simply to receive an offer. Multiple deals can fall apart if even one party involved in a contingency sale is unable to sell or cannot get financing, but there are several steps that can be taken to minimize such risks. Buyer’s and seller’s agents must cooperate, with the seller’s agent determining whether the buyer’s home is likely to move during the specified period and maybe even helping set the price or stipulate when the asking price must be lowered. To prevent buyers from looking for a better deal, sellers should limit the contingency to 30, 60, or 90 days. Some experts say buyers should not look for a home until their current residence is under contract, noting that listings come on the market all the time so they should not worry about finding a “perfect property.” | Read More

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