What Does Contingent Mean on Zillow?-(Pending,Types of Contingencies+ Others)

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When individuals hear the word contingent, they may automatically think of the real estate market.

Imagine you’re browsing through homes for sale online. You see contingent next to several listings you like. This brings several questions to mind.

If it’s already sold, why is it still listed? 

What Does Contingent Mean on Zillow?

When you’re looking at homes on Zillow, you may come across the term “contingent.” But what does contingent mean on Zillow?

What Does Contingent Mean on Zillow?
What Does Contingent Mean on Zillow?

A contingency is something that allows either the seller or the buyer to have an out on the real estate contract, depending on how it is done. It gives the buyer or the seller a reason to back out of a contract.

A contingent home is one that is under contract(a seller has accepted an offer on the property, but the sale is not final until all contingencies are met), but there are still some conditions that need to be met before the sale can be finalized.

For example, the buyer may need to deal with contingencies that were part of the offer like- financing contingency, home inspection contingency, or buyer home sale contingency.

More on this types of contingencies will be expounded below.

If you’re interested in a contingent home, it’s important to understand all of the conditions that need to be met before making an offer. Otherwise, you could end up losing your deposit if the sale doesn’t go through.

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What Does Contingent Mean in English?

In EnglishOpens in a new tab., the word “contingent” has a few different meanings. Most commonly, it is used to describe something that could happen or might happen but is not certain to happen.

For example, you might say “The weather is contingent on the front moving through.” This means that the weather could change (for better or worse) depending on what happens with the front.

Another common usage of “contingent” is to describe something that is dependent on something else. For example, you might say “My attendance at the conference is contingent on my boss approving my request for time off.”

In this case, you will only be able to attend the conference if your boss approves your request – you are dependent on his/her decision.

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What Does Pending Mean on Zillow?

When you’re looking at homes on ZillowOpens in a new tab., you may notice that some have a “pending” status. But what does that mean?

Pending means that the home is under contract and is in the process of being sold. The seller has accepted an offer from a buyer, and they are now working through the details of the sale.

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If a home is pending, it’s important to remember that it’s not necessarily a done deal.

There are still a few steps that need to be completed before the sale is finalized.

However, it’s generally a good sign that the sale will go through without any major issues.

If you’re interested in buying a home that’s pending, you can still reach out to the agent and inquire about its status.

What Does Contingent Mean in real estate

What are the Different Types of Contingencies?

  • Financing contingency
  • Home inspection contingency
  • Home sale contingency
  • Seller disclosure
  • Appraisal contingency.
  • Title Contingency
  • “Right to Assign” Contingency
  • Home Insurance Contingency

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Financing contingency

A financing contingency is a clause often included in a real estate contract that gives the buyer a set period of time to secure financing for the purchase.

If the buyer is unable to obtain financing within the specified time frame, they may be released from the contract and their earnest money deposit returned.

For buyers, a financing contingency provides peace of mind knowing that they will not be held responsible for purchasing a home if they are unable to secure funding.

For sellers, it protects them from having their home tied up in a contract only to have the deal fall through due to financing issues on the part of the buyer.

While a financing contingency does offer some protection for both buyers and sellers, it is important to remember that it is not foolproof.

There are always risks involved in any real estate transaction and contingencies are just one way to help mitigate those risks.

Home inspection contingency

A home inspection contingency is a common clause in real estate contracts that gives buyers the right to have the home inspected by a professional inspector of their choice.

If the inspection reveals any problems with the property, the buyer can renegotiate with the seller or cancel the contract.

Most home inspections cost between $200 and $500 and take two to three hours to complete.

The inspector will look at the home’s structure, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. They will also check for any signs of pests or water damage.

While a home inspection contingency is not required, it is strongly recommended for all buyers.

It gives you peace of mind knowing that you are buying a sound property and protects you from expensive repairs down the road.

Home sale contingency

A home sale contingency is a provision typically found in a purchase agreement that gives the buyer the right to back out of the contract if they are unable to sell their current home.

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This can be essential protection for buyers, but there are some potential drawbacks to be aware of as well.

One potential downside to a home sale contingency is that it can make your offer less attractive to sellers.

In a competitive market, sellers may be more likely to accept an offer without this contingency. Additionally, if you do include a home sale contingency and your offer is accepted, the seller may require you to put down a larger deposit than usual as added protection in case you do back out of the deal.

Another thing to keep in mind is that even if you have a home sale contingency in place, there is no guarantee that your current home will sell.

Seller disclosure Contingency

A seller disclosure contingency is a condition in a real estate contract that gives the buyer the right to cancel the contract if they are not satisfied with the results of the seller disclosure statement.

This contingency is important for buyers because it protects them from purchasing a home that has hidden defects.

Without this contingency, buyers would have no recourse if they later discovered that the seller had not disclosed material information about the property.

The seller disclosure statement is a document that is required by law in many states. It lists all of the known defects of a property, and it is typically given to buyers before they enter into a purchase contract.

In some states, the seller disclosure statement must be signed by both parties before the contract is considered valid.

Appraisal contingency

An appraisal contingency is a condition in a real estate purchase contract that gives the buyer the right to cancel the contract if the appraised value of the property is less than the agreed-upon purchase price.

The purpose of an appraisal contingency is to protect the buyer from overpaying for a property. If the appraised value is less than the purchase price, the buyer can either renegotiate the price with the seller or cancel the contract and get their earnest money deposit back.

Appraisal contingencies are typically included in purchase contracts for properties that are being sold above market value. For example, if a home is listed for $200,000 but similar homes in the neighborhood have recently sold for $180,000, an appraisal contingency would protect the buyer in case the home is only worth $180,000.

Title Contingency

A title contingency is a clause in the contract that ensures the buyer can back out of the contract if the title search throws ownership of the property into question.

“Right to Assign” Contingency

The “right to assign” contingency allows the investor to back out if they can’t find another buyer for the property, for whatever reason.

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Only real estate wholesalers and investors employ this contingency. Investors agree to buy a property and then sell it to another investor for a profit.

Home Insurance Contingency

A home insurance contingency is a requirement in many home sales contracts that the buyer secure homeowner’s insurance before the sale can close.

This protects the lender in the event that the property is damaged or destroyed before the loan is paid off.

It also protects the buyer from being stuck with a huge repair bill if something goes wrong after closing.

Most buyers will have no problem securing insurance, but it is important to be aware of this contingency before signing a contract. If you are unable to obtain insurance, you may be able to negotiate with the seller to remove this contingency from the contract.

The mortgage lender may include this contingency as one of the loan terms i.e  they will not offer a mortgage loan unless the buyer has homeowner’s insurance.

Is it better to be Contingent or Pending?

There are two common terms used in real estate: contingent and pending. Both terms indicate that a contract has been signed, but what do they mean for the buyer and seller?

Contingent means that the contract is contingent upon certain conditions being met. For example, the buyer may be contingent upon the seller finding a new home before closing on the current one.

This gives the buyer some protection in case something falls through with the sale.

Pending, on the other hand, means that all conditions of the contract have been met and the sale is just waiting to go through. This is often used when both parties are ready to close on the deal.

So which is better? It really depends on each situation.

Can a Seller Back out of a Contingent Offer?

A home seller can back out of a contingent offer at any time unless there is an enforceable contract or agreement in place.

If the buyer has already met the contingencies and the seller backs out, the buyer may be able to sue for breach of contract.

It’s important to remember that a contingent offer is not binding on either party until all contingencies are met.

Until then, either party can withdraw from the deal without penalty.

If you’re a seller who has received a contingent offer, it’s important to consult with your real estate agent to determine whether or not it makes sense to move forward.

How Long Does a House Stay in Contingent Status?

Contingencies have a timeframe when they are added to an offer. They’re not open-ended.

Here are the timeframes associated with each contingency:

  • Appraisal Contingency: 17 Days
  • Inspection Contingency: 17 Days
  • Loan Contingency: 21 Days

Although these are the default time frames on the contract, they’re also negotiable.


In conclusion,real estate contingencies are important to protect the buyer and the seller in a real estate transaction.

They help to ensure that the deal is fair and that both parties are protected from any potential risks.

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