By definition, a contingency is a provision in a real estate contract that makes the contract null and void if a certain event were to occur. Think of it as an escape clause that can be used under defined circumstances. It's also sometimes known as a condition.
It's normal for a number of contingencies to appear in most real estate contracts and transactions. Either the seller or the buyer can propose a condition on just about anything; it's all part of the bargaining back-and-forth. Still, some contingencies are more standard than others, appearing in just about every contract. Here are some of the most typical.
Mortgage Approval Contingency
A contract will typically spell out that the transaction will only be completed if the buyer's mortgage is approved with substantially the same terms and numbers as are stated in the contract. In other words, if the contract specifies a down payment of 30 percent and a conventional 30-year loan, that's what should be approved by the lender. Usually, that's what happens, though sometimes a buyer will be offered a different deal and the terms will change.View More