It is not uncommon for buyers to request a myriad of contingencies when offering to purchase a home. Everything from floors to windows can be negotiated in a purchase agreement and it might be difficult to know when to quit with the contingencies.
The Aitken Home Team recommends four non-negotiable contingencies for optimum buyer protection:
Home inspection contingencies are the most common contingencies and involve buyers selecting a home inspector of their choosing in order to review a property within a specified period of time once the seller accepts a purchase agreement. Upon completion of the inspection, repairs are negotiated between the buyer and the seller. Note: the buyer always has the option of backing out of the purchase if negotiations cannot be agreed upon OR if the buyer finds the results of the inspection to be unsatisfactory.
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Depending on market conditions, some buyers might elect to make an offer on a particular property contingent on securing a mortgage. In the event that the buyer cannot obtain loan approval, this particular contingency would then enable them to withdraw the purchase offer. In most cases, the earnest money (or deposit) is returned, however, there are exceptions in special cases.
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This contingency states that a buyer will agree to purchase the seller’s home in the event that the buyer’s current home is sold. If the sale of the buyer’s current home falls through, the contingency then allows for the buyer to retract the purchase agreement. If you are considering this option, please note that this is a scary offer for many sellers as they understand the risks associated with a house sale contingency offer.
The appraisal contingency is the most important of the four non-negotiable contingencies. This particular clause can protect you, as the buyer, in the event that the home you would like to purchase appraises for less than what you have offered to pay. In such cases, buyers have the option of negotiating lower purchase prices. If the seller does not accept, the buyer may decide to back out of the sale. Normally an appraisal must be five to ten percent lower than the agreed-upon purchase price in order for negotiations to occur. Either way, the buyer is the one who ultimately determines whether the house is worth what he or she is willing to pay.