Contingent sales a tricky business

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DEAR BERNICE: We have had our home on the market for almost nine months. We finally received an offer from a nice couple, but their offer is contingent upon them selling their house in another state. They would like us to take the house off the market, but our agent says we should leave our house on the market for backup offers. What do you think we should do? --Laura J. DEAR LAURA: Contingent sales are always difficult. If you elect to take your property off the market and prices in your area are declining, you run the risk of your house being worth even less than it is currently. If you agree to a contingent sale, the first step is to set up the contract where you can cancel within a specified amount of time. Typically the buyers have 60 to 90 days to place their property under contract and to close on both their current property and your property. Alternatively, you could give the buyers a specific number of days to remove the contingency regarding the sale of their ho...