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How contingencies work when buying a home

When you try to buy a California home, you may need to make contingent offers, meaning you plan to purchase the home as long as certain conditions come to be. A contingent offer you make on a home gives you an “out” if something specific never occurs, and some types of contingencies are more common than others.  

Per NerdWallet, contingencies help protect your interests during the home-buying process. The more you understand about them, the better the chances of you finding satisfaction in your home purchase. What are some of the most common contingencies in residential real estate? 

Mortgage contingencies

Many people shopping for homes make offers with mortgage contingencies. A mortgage contingency asserts that you plan to move forward with buying a specific property as long as you receive funding for it.  

Home sale contingencies

If your purchase of the home requires you to sell your existing home first, you may be able to make a contingent offer stating that you plan to move forward as long as the home you already own sells first.  

Inspection contingencies

An inspection contingency is another common contingency type. This type of contingent offer indicates that you plan to buy a particular home as long as a home inspection does not turn up any major defects that make you think twice about moving forward.  

Appraisal contingencies

An appraisal contingency gives you a way to back out if the home you are considering buying appraises for less than you expect.  

 Your success in making contingent offers may depend on the status of the real estate market in your area. You may have more luck making contingent offers if you are dealing with a buyer’s market, rather than a seller’s market.