We might be receiving an offer on our house in New Jersey for the asking price with a contingency. The

Asked by Nancy, 08318 Mon May 4, 2009

buyers have been trying to sell their house themselves but will list with a realtor in order to sell faster. What are the pluses and minuses for us as the sellers in accepting this offer?

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William Leigh…, , New Jersey
Mon May 4, 2009
Nancy: You've got two excellent answers and all you really need to know. The only thing I might add is that any offer you accept with a contingency should have a "kill switch" that you can turn to the off position. Many buyers have ideas that they can "lock in" a deal but the wise seller keeps the door open until the contingencies are all met or withdrawn.

By the way, a contingency to sell a buyer's existing home is not unusual. The 48-hour (or whatever you mutually agree upon) clause says that you can turn the deal off to accept another offer. That off may be LOWER than the existing contract but better because it is definite. It's your call as to which offer you really want.

Finally, agreeing to list is a good thing but you might ask to see the comps for the buyer's house to be sure that it is reasonably priced. A futile stab at a price well beyond the value of their house (in order to have enough to buy yours) is really not such a good deal. The buyer may feel that they've tied you up, while hoping that a minor miracle occurs. Be careful and wise. While you may be able to market the house you own while under contract, it will still be "under contract" and less desirable than if it were completely unencumbered.

Good luck with it.
1 vote
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Warren, NJ
Mon May 4, 2009
Hi Nancy - not much downside as long as you stipulate in accepting the offer that you will continue to actively market the home until the contingency is lifted. The buyer will likely ask for some sort of consideration, ie, to make it known to interested buyers that there is an accepted offer with contingency. But given the uncertainty of your buyer being able to perform, it is important that you continue marketing your home.

Also, be sure to have a kick out clause, usually 48 hours. This means that if you get another bona fide offer (ie, one that you will accept) your buyer has 48 hours (whatever timeframe you specify - I wouldn't go longer - 48 hours is customary) to either lift the contingency or lose the house. Your buyer is not obigated to change the terms of the offer other than to lift the contingency - so for example, if you get a higher offer, your original buyer does not need to meet it, just lift the contingency.

If you do all that, I don't think there is much downside.

Good luck to you!

Jeannie Feenick
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
1 vote
Laura Gianno…, Agent, Manahawkin, NJ
Mon May 4, 2009
Accepting an offer with a sale of home contingency means that you lock in the price. The buyers agree to buy your home when the home they're in sells. The sale price for your home is locked in now. If prices are still declining that's a good thing.

You are still able to show your home, and accept another offer without contingencies. If another offer is accepted, the home sale contingency buyer would usually have 72 hours to either remove their contingency or withdraw their contract. This is called a kick out clause

With the number of homes on the market today, many agents may shy away from showing a home with a contingency offer. On the other hand, it's an offer.

Make sure, if you go forward with this offer, that your agent has a copy of the listing agreement for the buyer's home. Your agent should make sure the home is priced properly, or this might be a waste of time.

Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Atlantic Shore
1 vote
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Mon May 4, 2009
It sounds to me as though you are selling your home without professional representation. Why else would ask us this question and not your Realtor?

So you need to make some decisions:
Every time you have a question are you going ot post it on Trulia, for people that have no knowledge of the details of your situation? What if (no offense), you don't know enough about real estate to know what to ask...and something goes wrong?

I find it interesting that you say they will list it with a Realtor to sell faster. I am curious if you think it will sell for the price that they need to net out what they need to buy your house. What will happen if another buyer comes along while their home is on the market? Do you have to wait? Can you sell it to the other buyer? What about their deposit?

Nancy, there is a very good reason that 90% of homes are sold with professional representation. If YOU are serious about selling, find competent assistance.

Good luck.
0 votes
Randy Hurley, Agent, Summit, NJ
Mon May 4, 2009

Great news about receiving a full price offer! Out of curiosity, are you using a Realtor and/or a Real Estate attorney to sell you home? They should walk you straight through the process. As written before, the specifics are not difficult but they do need to be managed properly and timely.

Also, the buyers should be using an agent that is trained in marketing in this new environment. They will need to get their house Under Contract and Sold very quickly! You can have them reach out if they need a good referral in the area.

Please let me know if this was helpful. Best of luck with the sale of your home!
0 votes
Crissy Knibbe, Agent, Vernal, UT
Mon May 4, 2009
Hi Nancy,

I'm not sure what the state law is in New Jersey, but most other places will put a "time clause" in place. Ok, so you might be asking what that is. Say you accept that offer, but make sure you counter back with a "Time Clause". Could be 24, 48, 72 hours etc. What that means is that you will accept their offer, but will continue to have your home listed and showing. If you get another offer from a different buyer that you may want to accept.....then you put the "time clause" into effect. You go back to the first buyers and say....either you need to remove your contingency and buy the house or withdraw your offer. They will have the 24, 48 or 72 hours to make that decision. Most people, if they have a home to sell and is not under contract, will withdraw their offer. Just remember that if they remove their contingency and follow through with the purchase of your home that nothing else changes unless agreed upon by both parties. The price doesn't change or the terms....it's just a removal of the contingency. Even if you get a higher offer from a different buyer, you are locked into the first contract unless they withdraw their offer.
As far as showing "ACTIVE" on the MLS, my MLS shows it as ACTIVE-TC (active with a time clause). Still is available for showing and still shows as active, but gives the Realtors a heads up that it has an accepted offer, but with a contingency. A good Realtor won't hesitate to make that home available to qualified buyers even if it has a time clause attached to it. Check with your Realtor and make sure that when you do a search of your home with the public view of the MLS (or if you don't have a public view...make sure you get a print out of what the MLS shows to other Realtors) that it is showing up for everyone to see.
I really hope this helps you and good luck in selling your home.

Crissy Kremin
Cell: 801-656-8324
Web Reference:  http://www.crissykremin.com
0 votes
Yelena Tsula…, Agent, Morris Plains, NJ
Mon May 4, 2009
Hello, Nancy!
How are you?
First of all, congratulations with getting an offer for your house.
You have nothing ot loose, if you will give instrustion to your agent keep listing as active, this shoudl be written in contract as additional contractal provision, and buyers must initial this.
If you will get another offer, you may give your current buyers 24-48 hours to take their contingency out or you have a right to accept another offer. I've been in this situation several times, and sometimes buyers were taking a risk and going into contract without selling their home, sometimes buyers decided to let it go, and look for another house.
Yelena Tsuladze
0 votes
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