Contingencies You Should Never Remove When Buying a House

removing contingencies

Buyers, we know it’s hard out there for you right now. In our current seller’s market, the national inventory of active listings is down 43.1% year over year, according to the June 2021 Housing Market Trends Report. And a scarcer selection means people are paying more, too, with listings up 12.7% in price.

All of this demand means buyers are going to ever-greater lengths to make their offer stand out. They’re making sky-high offers and writing heartfelt letters to sellers about why they should get the house. But some buyers in especially tight markets are taking even riskier measures to beat out competitors: They’re removing contingencies.

Contingencies, in the world of real estate, are essentially conditions that must be met to finalize the sale of a home. The provisions of a contingency contract are there to protect buyers and sellers. A contingency offers an escape hatch if problems arise with the home or the homebuying process.

While it’s tempting for buyers to waive contingencies to make an offer more compelling, it can leave them unprotected from unexpected fees, health-threatening situations, and—worst-case scenario—a bad investment. To help you navigate the world of homebuying contingencies, we reached out to real estate experts to find out which ones should never be waived.

1. Home inspection

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Secrets That’ll Help Your House Fetch Top Dollar

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Maybe you’ve bought and sold a home before, or maybe this is the first time. Regardless, now you need to get top dollar for it.

Yes, you can tidy up, bake some cookies so the house smells nice, and place fresh flowers (research says roses, lavender, and fuchsia most sway buyers) around the house. But these are the typical techniques most sellers deploy. Really want to get the best price possible—or even spark a bidding war? Here are some tips that are seldom mentioned in listing houses that just might put your property over the edge.

Make sure your mailbox looks amazing

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Understanding the Hidden Fees and Costs of Selling Your Home

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Your home is likely the largest and most lucrative investment you’ll ever make. But as the saying goes, it takes money to make money. Maximizing the value of your investment is going to require putting some sweat equity, as well as literal cash equity, into it before it hits the market.  On top of that, there’s an avalanche of transaction costs, surcharges, fees, and various taxes that can take home sellers by surprise. In fact, the average cost of selling a home is just over $15,000. Knowing what to expect before you actually start the home selling process can be the difference between a satisfying, stress-free selling experience, and what can feel like a frustrating, draining “death by a thousand cuts.”

Let’s go over some of the obvious and less obvious costs of selling your home. 

Expected Costs of Selling a Home

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How is a Home’s Fair Market Value Determined?

home value

There’s a term in real estate that’s relevant to buyers and sellers alike, which is fair market value. Fair market value lets you know how much a home would theoretically sell for in an ideal world where logic was the determining factor. Basically, the fair market value would be what a seller would get if they were in no hurry and waited for the perfect offer.

We all know there are a number of variables that actually interfere with transactions, and both buyers and sellers negotiate until they can come to a price they agree on. While negotiation is a big part of buying a home, understanding fair market value is also relevant. 

There are a few things fair market value isn’t. It isn’t solely what either party thinks the value of the home is, nor is it just the appraised price. It’s also not the tax value. These factors can be part of the fair market value, though.

Calculating Fair Market Value

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