What Does
"Active Contingent" Mean?
Eric Straatsma MS MHM
Copyrighted 2010, All rights reserved

Active Contingent Defined

I received a call today asking what Active Contingent means on a real estate sign or in an MLS listing.

Active Contingent means that the Seller of that property has accepted an offer, but there is one or more contingencies still to be worked through. In most cases, the contingencies are fairly routine and standard, but not always.

A purchase contract may have contingencies such as:

- Buyer inspecting the property for a certain time period
- Repair costs are under review/negotiation
- Appraisal has to meet or exceed the sales price
- The Buyer has to be approved for a loan
- Other contingencies

Odds are that the contingencies are going to be worked through, but not always. If the contingency cannot be worked through, the Buyer will most often back out of the purchase and the property will go back on the market.  This Active Contingent period usually takes 1-3 weeks, but can last longer.

If the property makes it through the Active Contingent stage, it will then go into a Pending status, which means that closing is not far away. Odds that the property will come back on the market at this point are fairly remote, but it can happen once in awhile.

So what does a potential Buyer do when they see a property they want, but it has an Active Contingent on it? There are two choices available. The first choice is to check back frequently and see what happens to the listing in a few weeks. If you have a Buyers Agent, that agent can do this checking for you and keep you updated.

Another choice is to make a backup offer on the property. In some cases, there can be multiple back up offers, for a particularly attractive property that is in high demand. Backup offers will only be entertained if the primary offer falls through and is withdrawn. Your offer would then eventually be accepted (with contingencies) and you would then be the person in an Active Contingent period...

If you need a Buyers Agent, feel free to call or email me. Even if I am not local to you, I can help you find a broker or agent that will help you find, offer and close on a property of your choice. See Contact page.
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