Agent

Tips for handling contingent offers

Sellers go to great lengths to ensure buyers' home will sell

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Financing a trade-up move is far more difficult now than it was before the economic meltdown of fall 2007. Today's guidelines require such buyers to qualify to carry two mortgages, to have verifiable income and have enough cash for a downpayment. Most of today's repeat buyers can't qualify to carry two mortgages at one time. And they can't come up with a cash downpayment without liquidating the equity in their current home. In most cases, this means they need to sell that home before they can buy the next one. Offers contingent on the sale of another property haven't been popular in many markets because they're riskier than sales that don't hinge on the successful close of another transaction. Even so, considering current financing constraints, sellers who don't receive offers should consider a contingent-sale offer, but only under the right conditions. From the seller standpoint, you want to make sure that the buyers are qualified to purchase your home and that they properl...