If you recently listed your house for sale and just received an offer on it, you might be very excited to read it over -- until you see that there is a sale contingency on it. A sale contingency means that the person buying the house currently owns a house that he or she must sell before closing on your house. This type of contingency has risks and knowing how to respond to this type of offer can be tricky. Here are several factors you should consider when determining how you should respond to a sale contingency offer you receive.
The length of time you've been trying to sell
If you list your house and receive an offer like this on the first day, you probably should not accept it. Giving your house just one day to sell it is not a lot of time, and most houses do not even sell within the first week. If this is the case, you probably should reject the offer, simply because you have not given it enough time to tie yourself up in a contract like this.
The chance that you will find a different buyer soon
Secondly, you should consider how likely it is that you will find a different buyer for your house – a buyer that will not add a sale contingency. This is a hard answer to come up with for many people, but you could ask your agent. Your real estate agent can determine how high of a demand your house might be in for people who are currently looking for homes to buy, and this could help you determine if you should accept the sale contingency offer or not.
How bad you need to get rid of this house
The other thing to consider is how bad do you need to get rid of your home. If you really need to sell it immediately, getting tied up in a sale contingency offer is probably not the best idea. If you are not in a rush to sell it, accepting this type of offer is probably not a bad idea for you.
If you are not in a big hurry to sell or are having trouble finding a buyer for your house, accepting a sale contingency offer might be a great idea. You can talk to your real estate agent to get more advice about contingency offers if you are not sure what to do.