“Ready-to-Go, in Mint Condition, and Priced to Sell”

“Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.”

–Garrison Keillor, A Prairie Home Companion

What’s Lake Wobegon got to do with Contingent offers?  (that is, an offer where the would-be Buyer of your client’s home must first sell their current home).

Just this:  at least in my experience, the “backup” home — what Realtors call the Buyer’s current home — is invariably represented by their agent as being “ready-to-go (on the market), in move-in condition, and in a great neighborhood.”

And, of course, said home is “priced to sell” (natch).

Reality Check

So, is it (all those things)?

Usually, not.

In fact, one (or more) of those attributes is almost always missing, and as a result, the home fails to sell within the 60 or 90 days usually allowed by the Buyer’s Contingency.

And as a result, the Buyer’s Contingency fails (expires).

Which is why, as a Listing agent representing Sellers, I discourage my clients from entertaining Contingent offers.  See also, “Compensating for a Buyer Contingency.”

P.S.:  In one deal I handled a few years ago, my client rejected a Contingent offer, and a few weeks later accepted a non-contingent deal that ultimately closed on time, without a hitch.

Just out of curiosity, a full year later, I revisited the “backup home” to see what had ultimately happened.

Yup . .. . still for sale, four price reductions and $100k lower.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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