Can Contingencies Benefit Sellers?

by Lili Patch 08/11/2021

Contingency clauses in a real estate contract typically come from the buyer. However, there are some contingencies sellers can use in a sale negotiation as well. While they’re less common, knowing the basics can help in selling your home. Here are the main contingencies every seller should know:

Kick-Out Clause

A kick-out clause is a useful balance to a buyer’s home sale contingency clause. If a buyer adds a contingency stating that they need to sell their current property before being able to buy the new one, it puts a more strict time limit on the deal. Unfortunately for sellers, this means that the buyer can back out of the purchase if they don’t sell their existing home in time. It also means that for all the time spent waiting for the buyer’s sale to go through you haven’t been able to market the home.

By using a kick-out clause a seller can continue to market the listing even while the deal is pending. If you get a better offer during the home sale contingency period, you can give the original buyer 72 hours to secure funds to complete the purchase. If they don’t, you can move ahead with the new offer. This levels the playing field for sellers and helps reduce the risk of losing time and money if a deal falls through.

Rent-Back Contingency

If you’re selling your home while trying to buy a new one, a rent-back contingency is a great option to have. This type of contingency helps you if you sell your home before finding a new one. While normally this would mean moving into a temporary living situation for the in-between time, a rent-back contingency will let you rent your sold property back from the new buyer. You can keep living in the home you sold for an agreed time period.

Home of Choice Contingency

A home of choice contingency is like a rent-back contingency because it helps sellers avoid awkward gaps in residence. If you find a buyer for your home before you find a new home for yourself, you can use a home of choice contingency to continue looking for a new home for a set amount of time. This basically delays the entire sale process by an agreed-upon number of days and lets the seller back out of the deal if they don’t find a new place in time. Like a rent-back contingency, this can save sellers money, time and hassle in trying to find temporary housing between homes.

Seller contingencies are uncommon in most real estate transactions but are still important to know. Sellers should consider these contingencies and whether they can use them to help their selling situation.

About the Author

Lili Patch

Radio Personality turned Realtor; I welcome the opportunity to turn house selling and house hunting into a fun and educated experience. House buying should feel like you're shopping with a friend, and I will keep you in the loop the entire time so you will not be wondering what you just signed or what happens next. It's that seamless, and we may even have lunch or dinner. I do this because when I started my real estate journey on the east coast, buying my first condo at the age of 18, I was clueless. I wished I had someone who had made that a stress free transaction- but it wasn't, and thats how I got the Real Estate bug. Let's take a step back first though to my first "job", I studied communications and entered the broadcasting industry. Through the years I purchased some more properties, and felt there was a gap that needed to be filled in the Real Estate profession. I set the bar very high on skill set & customer service. I have Real Estate Licenses in 4 states, which means I have more education, and training than most agents. My level of knowledge, strategy and experience is what sets me apart. I know how important being an astute negotiator is, being relentless, and answering the phone when it rings. I have earned certifications as a Seller Representative Specialist (SRS), a Certified Home Marketing specialist (CHMS), and a Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA).

Meeting with people and traveling both east coast and west coast has given me a broad appreciation of the different laws, protections, and scenario's you encounter in real estate. Having the benefit of my communication background coupled with the vast knowledge of multi-state experience has been the backbone of my success.