What is a contingency and what are some of the more common ones used?

July 9, 2018

When you make an offer to purchase on a home, you and your real estate agent will decide if you will include any contingencies in the offer such as financing and/or home inspection. A contingency is a condition that must be met in order for the sale to be legally binding.  

There are numerous contingencies – conditions that need to be met – that you could include in your offer to purchase. Some examples:

Financing Contingency

When you make an offer with a financing contingency, the offer is then contingent, or dependant, on you obtaining that financing.  If you need a mortgage to buy the home and cannot obtain the financing to do so, the contingency is not met and the deal can’t close.   Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can give you more confidence in your ability to obtain the mortgage you need.   Pre-approvals should be very important to sellers, too.


Home Sale Contingency

This one states your purchase is dependant on selling your existing home first, by a set date.  If you cannot sell by that date, you can be released from the contract.  This was a very popular contingency for many years, but has certainly fallen out of favor in this seller’s market, so talk with your agent.


Inspection Contingency

This is a very popular contingency for good reason.  It allows you time to have a professional home inspector take a look at the subject property, looking for structural issues, water damage and the like.  If any concerning issues are found, you now are aware of them and can negotiate with the seller, or, even get out of the contract.  Because of the Seller’s market, some buyers are foregoing this one.  That is a call you alone need to make.  We always recommend having a home inspection.


Buying a home can be complicated business. You need an agent that you can trust to guide you through the many steps in the homebuying process.  To find a Wisconsin real estate agent in your area, please search at firstweber.com  Thanks for reading the First Weber Wisconsin real estate & Wisconsin living blog. To begin searching for real estate in Wisconsin, please start at firstweber.com.


First Weber sells real estate throughout Wisconsin & more: Metro Milwaukee and Southeastern WI, South Central Wisconsin/Greater Madison, Southwestern WI, Western WI & parts of Minnesota, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Central Wisconsin, Northeast Wisconsin and Wisconsin’s great Northwoods. You can start searching for Wisconsin real estate and Wisconsin real estate agents at firstweber.com

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