A Homeowner’s Options Under A Conditional Agreement

This is the scenario: You place an advertisement offering your house for sale. You have talked with several possible buyers but nothing had progressed beyond the preliminary stage. Then here comes an agent who brokers for a client willing to buy your house under your terms, subject however to a certain condition. There is one problem though because you will have to wait while your buyer is in the process of selling his own house before he can proceed with the transaction. Will you agree to these terms, and what will be the repercussions?

There are several courses of action you, as a home seller, can take. However, to protect your interest, it would be advisable to gently advise the buyer that you cannot put your property on hold until he has sold his house. At the same time, you can tell him that in the event that he has acquired the means to buy your house and your house is still available, you will be amenable to concluding a purchase agreement with him.

Most buyers would be willing to present you with contingent offers but it may work to your disadvantage. You are obligated to notify your agent and any interested persons of any agreement you may have entered into. That agreement will serve as a hedge for both agents and buyers who may be seriously entertaining thoughts of buying your house. It would deter further negotiations with buyers who may think it futile to pursue talks over a house that may turn out to be unavailable.

In addition, buyers who can afford to purchase a home outright would not want to wait until the 1st buyer reneges on the contingent offer. Instead of taking the chance of being left holding an empty bag, they can have a more productive time inspecting other homes.

Assuming that you entered into a conditional offer, this should not prevent you from entertaining other buyers. It is best to have something to fall back on should your buyer be unable to deliver at the agreed time. You just have to inform your potential buyers of your outstanding agreement. There might be a buyer who is really interested in your house and will not mind waiting for the outcome of your contingent agreement.

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