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  • Writer's pictureRichie Krug Jr

What is Active Contingent in Real Estate?

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

An active contingent property is one of the many status updates given to an active listing. An active contingent status or contingent listing indicates that the seller has accepted an offer from a buyer. However, the home sale isn't finalized yet because certain contingencies need to be met.

In a typical real estate market, in most major cities, or even the largest cities in the country a buyer can submit a " conditional " offer. A conditional offer is one where the seller needs to perform certain actions (like conducting a credit check) before accepting the offer. Conditional offers are often used in situations where the buyer wants to buy something without knowing if he'll get financing. For example, if you're buying a house, you might not know how much money you'll need until after you've submitted an offer.

You don't need to wait until you sell your current house before buying a new one anymore, as there are different types of contingencies to get you what you need.

To help you understand what an active status is, as well as an inspection contingency, sale contingent, mortgage loan, or other unfamiliar and common types of real estate terms when it comes to real estate listings, keep reading.

What Does a Pending Status Mean?

As a current buyer or a prospective buyer if you're looking at a house that says "Pending," it means that the seller has accepted an offer from someone else. When the deal closes, the listing agent will update the status to Sold.

Don't overlook PENDED listings as prospective buyers or worthy buyers because they're not active listings. So why would you want to be listed as an option for a contingency? There are several different types of possible contingencies in a real estate transaction, including things like sellers' finance, buyers' finance, and even sellers' concessions.

Common contingencies in residential property and real estate when doing a property search include things like zoning laws, building codes, and the environment.

A contingency clause is a provision included in a contract that allows either party to terminate the agreement if certain conditions occur. For example, as a potential home buyer or initial buyer, you might be able to buy a house from someone who has agreed to sell their own house first even if there are some backup offers.

Financing Contingency

If the seller in your housing market agrees not to finance any of the costs associated with buying the house, then he/she has no obligation to repay the difference between the purchase price and the total amount paid for the property at closing during the buying process.

Home Sale Contingency

If you want to buy a home at a fair price, make sure you are ready for a credit report check and know that just about anything is fair game. When you're ready to start looking for homes or selling a home make sure you know have a reputable agent or listing service that knows about current contracts, purchase agreements, and the biggest differences between contingency types, where you can get help from a local financial institution, are well-versed in mortgage contingency and other market trends as well as market dynamics in your area and other major markets you are interested in.

By opting to go with a might get a better deal if you first check out homes currently for sale in your local housing market. You could then make an offer with earnest money on one of them contingent on its seller accepting yours. Let's say you're interested in buying a house, but you don't know whether it's active contingent or not.

Appraisal Contingency

If the appraised value of your house is less than the purchase price, you may be able to get the seller to agree to a different sale price.

Can You Make an Effective Offer for Active Property Listings?

If you fall in love with the house, but then discover that it has an active contingency clause, you may want to consider making an additional offer anyway through.

It's not illegal to buy a house before another person buys it. However, if the real estate agent representing the seller doesn't specifically reject your offer, then it would be best to make an offer.

If the contingency period does not occur, the sellers might want to entertain a backup offer. However keep in mind that most active contingencies eventually end up close to their original buyers, so it's important to not set unrealistic expectations of them before closing costs and purchase contingencies.

Making Non-Contingent Offers on a Home

Contingency planning can be tricky. They can be used by both buyers and vendors to negotiate better deals, but they can also be used to make offers less attractive if conditions aren't met.

Active Contingent vs. Pending Sales, What's the Difference?

The biggest distinction between conditional and non-conditional listings in the MLS real estate sale has to deal with the existence of a condition in the purchase. Some conditions, such as an appraisal or a loan preapproval, must be satisfied before a transaction can occur. However, if a property is described as having "non-contingency" or "no contingencies," then all contingencies have been fulfilled and the seller is ready to sell. Some properties may also be described as "short sales non-contingency," meaning that the buyers are trying to obtain a loan, and the seller is hoping to receive multiple offers.

This, of course, means we get to the big question: If you're buying a house, should you place an offer on a house whose status is "active contingent" or "pending"? Your real estate agent can often help you figure out which one makes sense for you.

FAQs About the Contingent Status

Can you put an offer on a house if it has already been sold?

If the owner isn't rejecting your offer, then you can submit an offer even though the house is listed for sale by the owner (FSBO). You might get lucky and snag the listing before someone else buys it.

However, don't expect too much from the sale because the buyer has already agreed to buy the house from another person. In some states, sellers cannot accept offers for a few days after they've accepted an agreement from another party.

Difference Between Contingent and Active Contingent

“Active contingent” typically means that a home's seller has accepted an offer with one or more of a variety of contingencies attached to it. “Contingent” means the same thing in some states; in others, a “contingent” home is one specifically with a sale contingency.

Pending means that the payment has not yet been made. Contingency means that the payment must

A pending sale is one where the seller has agreed to sell the property but hasn't yet closed the deal. If the seller doesn't close within a certain time frame, the contract becomes null and void.

Can You Look at a House That's Contingent?

If you want to look at a house that is listed for sale, contact the listing agents directly. They might be willing to let potential buyers see the house.

How to Beat an Unconditional Offer?

If you're offering a contingent deal, you might want to consider adding a no-kickback clause so that buyers don't feel they're being forced into accepting your terms.

To get a sense of what's happening at a particular house, you need to contact the owner directly. You can't rely on real estate agents to tell you everything they know.

Does Contingent Mean Sold?

If a deal is a contingent, then it's not yet closed. An agreement has been reached between both parties, but certain conditions must be fulfilled before the deal becomes final. Once these conditions are completed, the deal is finalized and the property is sold.

Make sure you have a qualified and professional real estate agent who can help you during the buying and selling process. They must be well-versed in all real estate dealings, terminologies, and the like.

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