In a market where many sellers receive multiple offers, buyers who have their heart set on a particular property need a winning strategy. The Regional Sales Contract is used for the vast majority of re-sales in D.C. and Maryland and arms agents with many “if” clauses, called “contingencies,” to protect either their buyers or their sellers. In a normal market, a buyer looking to purchase a condominium downtown would probably have an inspection contingency, an appraisal contingency, a finance contingency as well as a review of the condominium’s documents.
In this market, however, buyers are waiving protections to secure properties. A seller’s worst fear is to have to go back to market after a contract falls through, and having to explain why; it makes buyers suspicious and often hurts the seller’s bottom line. As such, the more certainty a buyer can give a seller, that is, the fewer “if” clauses, the better positioned the buyer is to win. Home sale contingencies are generally a no-go on hot properties – so you’re usually best to have your place sold or under contract before you buy. Cash is king in the financing realm, but just because a cash offer is on the table doesn’t mean you can’t beat it with a higher price and strong financing. I recently helped a buyer beat a cash offer with an escalation clause and a modified appraisal contingency.
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