Should You Be Removing Contingencies?

There’s no way around it.

Being a buyer in a seller’s market can be challenging.

If you’ve been searching for a home in the past year, you know what we are talking about. With scarce inventory and fierce competition among buyers, homes are selling at record speed.

We’ve met buyers who are willing to do just about anything to get a home: from making an offer well above current market value to removing contingencies. Unfortunately, not every buyer has a real estate agent who explains the risks associated with these moves.

Keep reading for the contingencies meant to protect buyers and the risks that come along with removing them.

Home Inspection

A home inspection is a common contingency found in a written offer from the buyer to the seller. During a home inspection, a professional assesses the home’s structural, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical components. If there are major issues, the contingency allows the buyer to re-enter negotiations with the seller. This can include asking the seller to fix those problems or give buyers credit at closing.

When buyers waive a home inspection, they agree to buy the home as-is and may face costly repairs down the road.

Appraisal

When you are buying a home with a mortgage loan, it’s likely that you will not be able to waive an appraisal contingency. Waiving the appraisal means the buyer will pay the agreed-upon price, even if the appraised price comes in significantly lower.

This is becoming more common in today’s market, but it’s crucial that you fully understand what it means. If you are buying a home with a loan and the appraisal comes in low, you must commit to paying the difference in cash.

Financing

The financing contingency is essential if you are buying a home with a loan. This contingency states that your offer depends on your ability to secure financing from your mortgage lender. Typically, if you have been pre-approved, you won’t face major issues with obtaining the loan. However, there are instances when instead of getting a “clear to close” from the lender, buyers learn they cannot secure financing. In this case, the buyers would lose their deposit money if they walked away from the deal.

Mold

If there is a potential mold issue, it’s a good thing to have it checked out by a professional. Mold issues can cause serious health issues which worsen over time. In addition, remediating a severe mold problem can be pretty expensive.

Conclusion

You want to get your offer accepted as a buyer, but it’s even more important to make sure you aren’t overpaying. Speak with an agent that will have your best interest in mind, ask them about removing contingencies, and if it’s a good idea.

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