There are a few different ways you can structure a contingent offer. To explain, let me lay out three different scenarios:

Case No. 1: Your house isn’t on the market yet, and you’re putting an offer on another property. A lot of sellers might say they’re not sure about your offer, especially if they’ve received other offers.

Case No. 2: Your house is on the market, but it’s not under contract. The seller will likely take that more favorably since it’s more likely that you’ll get your home under contract at some point soon.

Case No. 3: Your house is on the market and is under contract. From the seller’s point of view, this is almost as good as an offer from a person who isn’t writing a contingent offer.

“There are often opportunities in the East Bay area to get a contingent offer accepted.”

For case No. 1, you need to be prepared to put your house on the market and to show the seller of the house you’re looking to buy that you’re serious and ready to go. These are some things you’ll need to do:

  • Create a listing agreement with a real estate agent and determine a list price that is going to get your home sold. Make it competitive; don’t test the waters here.
  • Have all of your seller disclosures completely filled out. That way, we have a paper trail we can track and you’ll be ready to show the house as soon as it goes on the market.
  • Get past your home inspection and look into any repair items like dry rot, water damage, infestations, and so on.
  • Get professional photos taken of your property.
  • Consider having a staging consultation.
  • Have a fully underwritten loan approval. This is almost the same thing as having cash, from a seller’s point of view.

If you have all these things done, you can put an offer on the home you’re looking to buy and you’ll let the seller and their agent know that you’re serious and your home’s sale won’t be viewed as a liability that would cause them to pass over your offer.

As we’re getting into a market that’s a little more balanced between buyers and sellers, there are often opportunities in the East Bay area to get a contingent offer accepted, even if your house isn’t yet on the market. You’ll need to demonstrate to the seller that it’ll be ready to go on the market within 24 hours of them accepting your offer.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to reach out to us. We know the process can be a bit overwhelming for sellers, but part of our service is having a consultation with you to show you exactly how it works and to create a strategy from start to finish that will make it happen for you.