Selling a home is an intricate process, filled with terms and conditions that can sometimes be perplexing. Among these, contingent offers stand out as a critical concept to understand. As a home seller, recognizing the nuances of contingent offers can significantly impact your sale experience and outcomes.

This blog aims to demystify contingent offers, guiding sellers through their implications, benefits, and challenges. If you have additional questions or want help from a real estate professional, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices at (310) 373-0021.

What is a Contingent Offer?

In real estate, a contingent offer refers to an agreement where the finalization of the sale depends on certain conditions being met. These conditions can vary greatly, ranging from the buyer selling their current home, securing appropriate financing, to waiting for the results of a home inspection. Each type of contingency shapes the nature of the offer, presenting different scenarios for buyers and sellers. Understanding these contingencies is essential in assessing the strength and suitability of an offer.

Evaluating a Contingent Offer

The decision to accept a contingent offer is highly personal and situational. It depends on a myriad of factors, including your circumstances, the urgency of the sale, and the current market conditions. In a seller’s market, where demand outstrips supply, buyers often waive contingencies to make their offers more attractive. Conversely, in a buyer’s market, sellers might be more inclined to consider contingent offers. Collaborating with an experienced real estate agent is vital in navigating these decisions, as they can offer tailored advice based on the specific dynamics of your local market.

Navigating Negotiations with Contingent Offers

Negotiating a home sale with contingent offers requires a strategic approach. Sellers should weigh the probability of a contingent offer leading to a successful sale against the potential delays and uncertainties involved. The frequency of contingent offers falling through varies significantly, influenced by the specific terms of the contingency and the prevailing market conditions.

Pros and Cons for Sellers


  • Flexibility: A contingent offer doesn’t require immediate delisting of your property, allowing continued market exposure until the contingencies are fulfilled.
  • Potential for Better Offers: In some cases, buyers may offer a premium to secure a home with a contingent offer, recognizing the added risk and inconvenience for the seller.


  • Slower Sale Process: Contingent offers often result in a longer sales timeline, as satisfying and confirming the contingencies can be time-consuming.
  • Risk of Deal Falling Through: There’s an inherent risk in contingent offers that the deal may not materialize, leading to potential lost time and opportunities.

Get Help Today

Contingent offers are a complex but common aspect of real estate transactions. As a seller, understanding these offers is crucial in making informed decisions about your property sale. Weighing the pros and cons, considering your personal situation, and seeking expert advice can help you navigate these offers effectively.

Remember, every home sale is unique, and the right decision depends on a blend of market knowledge, personal priorities, and professional guidance. Contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices at (310) 373-0021 with questions or concerns.