Most homes are sold with contingencies of some kind

Even though you may not think in terms of making a contingent offer when you write a purchase agreement to buy a home, most purchase agreements have contingencies of some kind… most for the protection of the buyer.


Some examples of contingencies are…

  • Subject to inspection – this is a very common contingency, including whole house inspection, radon, moisture, mold, asbestos, structure, lead-based paint, etc. – buyer can ask seller for repairs or cancel the agreement and have earnest money refunded after the inspection
  • Subject to financing – including satisfactory property appraisal, title review and final underwriting approval – if buyer cannot obtain financing purchase agreement is canceled and earnest money is refunded to buyer
  • Subject to review of association documents – including governing documents, financials, rules and regulations, HOA certification, repair-replacement plan, etc – in MN buyer has 10 days to review documents and can cancel at any time during that period and have earnest money refunded
  • Subject to short sale approval – purchase agreement is signed by buyers and sellers, then sent to the bank(s) holding the mortgage(s) for short sale approval negotiations to accept less than full loan payoff amount as payment in full – if bank doesn't approve the short sale, purchase agreement is cancelled and earnest money is refunded to buyer
  • Subject to well water testing or sealing, septic inspection – results are not satisfactory, buyer may cancel and have earnest money refunded
  • Subject to sale of existing home – removal of this contingency requires a signed purchase agreement for the sale of the contingent property, not contingent upon anything other than financing and with a closing date not later than the closing date in the contingent purchase agreement
  • Subject to cancellation of a previously written purchase agreement – seller and/or buyer may have a signed agreement with another party which has 'fallen through', but the official cancellation has not yet been received – if this contingency is not removed, purchase agreement is cancelled and earnest money is refunded to buyer

Most contingencies are removed and some simply expire, but both buyers and sellers should be aware that the purchase agreement is not officially binding until all contingencies are removed. That is why so many purchase agreements include a date by which all financing must be completed and a written statement issued that it is clear to close.

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results -  Minneapolis-St. Paul Buyer's Agent

The HomesMSP Team - SharleneJohnAngela Twin Cities Realtors


Written By

I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

Related Posts

Weekly real estate market update 7/12/24… why asking price matters more than ever right now

đź–¨ Print Article The market is getting back into gear after the July 4th holiday. It makes me smile how new and coming soon listings flip flop at holiday times....

Boludo… amazing Argentinian pizza

đź–¨ Print Article After spending time at the Weisman Art Museum one day last week I was hungry… and being not far from The Market at Malcolm Yards I thought...

Subscribe to Our Newsletter for Market Updates & Mid-Century Modern Listings

Our weekly HomesMSP Update includes current local market information and a curated list of mid-century modern properties for sale, plus posts from an inspector, a lender, a stager, info about neighborhoods, life in the Twin Cities… even recipes!


Blog Categories


Sharon and John Hensrud

About Us

The HomesMSP Team is committed to meeting you where you are and listening… really listening to understand you so we can use our extensive knowledge of the market and local neighborhoods to give you personalized service.