Contingent sale offers: how to keep everyone happy

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As the home sale market turns from a strong seller's market to a more normal market, we're bound to see an increase in offers that are contingent on the sale of another property. This is good news for buyers who must sell first before they can afford to buy another home or who just don't want to own two homes at once. Keep in mind that an offer made contingent upon the sale of another home still is unlikely to work in markets where the inventory of homes for sale is low and where buyer demand remains high. Prime candidates for a contingent sale offer are listings that have been on the market for a while or listings in areas that are bloated with inventory. Here's how a contingent sale offer works. The buyers include a contingency in their purchase offer that says the purchase is subject to their existing home. If the buyers' property sells, the sale goes through. But, if it does not, the sale is off and the buyers' deposit is usually returned. Given the choice, most sellers would pre...