Buyers and sellers differ on their view of offers that are contingent on the sale of the buyer’s home. Currently in Chisago County there is only 1 out of 185 listings that is sold contingent on the buyer’s home. There are 27 homes that are sold contingent on an inspection. There have been many offers submitted to sellers with this contingency request, only to be rejected. 

  One buyer that I worked with wanted to find the perfect house before putting her home on the market as she didn’t want to sell her home until she knew she had a place to move. She was not qualified to purchase another property until she sold her home. I explained the risk involved with a contingent offer, because even if the sellers accepted her offer they could continue to market the property to try to find a non-contingent offer. If the sellers were to receive a second offer, they could cancel her offer and accept the non-contingent offer. 

  Once a contingent offer is accepted, the listing status on the MLS is changed to reflect the contingent offer. This draws attention to savvy buyers that it might be a good property to try and bump, but it causes confusion to many other buyers that don’t know this type of contingency can be bumped, so showings decline. If the first buyer doesn’t sell their home, then the seller loses valuable marketing time and may end up selling for a lower price.

  I met another buyer that sold her home before finding a new home, and there was nothing on the market for her to purchase. She had been knocking on doors asking people if they were willing to sell. She wished she would have made an offer contingent on selling her home, so she didn’t have to move twice.

  One of my listings had been on the market for a while, and my sellers accepted an offer contingent on the sale of the buyer’s home. The buyer’s home sold right away in multiple offers, so everybody won.

  Every property is different, and there is no set rule for dealing with contingent offers. An experienced agent can provide you with the best advice on contingent offers for your home.

 Ask the Real Estate Agent is a weekly column by Cheryl Kempenich of Coldwell Banker Burnet, who lives and offices in the Chisago Lakes Area. Submit your questions to All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.