I figured you had your words around backwards....I do that way too often :) and I hope I didn't step on your toes...
I have seen some pretty odd things on offers too! But I do think in this market contingencies are key...especially the appraisal. Last thing we need to do is over pay for anything!
An example. If a home appraises at $200,000 instead of $210,000....without the appraisal contingency which states that your offer of $210,000 is contingent upon the appraisal coming in at $210,000....you would have to come up with that extra $10,000...or risk your deposit.
Important to have that security in place in this market, sometimes we are willing to pay more for a home than the bank is willing to lend.
One more thing to add on to the great advice you have already gotten. Make sure that on your purchase contract there is not an "appraisal contingency". If there is then you will only have so many days to cancel or renegotiate with the seller if the home does not appraise for the agreed purchase price.
Personally, I believe you are making the mistake of shopping for best rate instead of best advice.
If you are going to be "Rate Shopping" please refer to:
I would double check with each lender, but normally there would not be a cancellations fee of any kind. The exception would be if each ordered an appraisal....don't let them do that. You will be charged for each appraisal. Pick your lender first, then let them order the appraisal.