No I won’t agree to extend buyer’s appraisal or financing contingency.

As long as contingencies have existed, there have been REALTORs who think deadlines are suggestions. Since when has it been a home seller’s responsibility to extend an appraisal or a financing contingency when a buyer’s lender fails to deliver by the deadline? Never. And still, I hear from licensees who are astonished to have their amendments to extend rejected. I wonder if the agent who expects an automatic extension comprehends the mechanics of the contingency?

If the home buying process is like a journey from here to there, a contingency is an off-ramp, should the traveler decide to quit the trip or go a different direction. Those off-ramps are helpful for the buyer and not so useful for home sellers. As we move along the road from acceptance to close, we eliminate the off-ramp contingencies by satisfaction or by failure to act before the deadline. It’s possible for a contingency favoring the buyer to be desired by the home seller, but it’s unlikely. Whether the contingency is satisfied or becomes moot by the failure of the buyer to take action, it’s typically to the more significant advantage of the home seller to have the contingency gone.

Adding more time for the buyer to decide if they want to exit the transaction at a later date is unwise. Only an agent who doesn’t comprehend the contingency will think it’s prudent for a seller to extend a missed contingency. And don’t tell me it’s necessary to show good faith. Agreeing to a condition included is good faith. It’s good faith for the buyer to make sure they meet the deadline.

Author: Tom Meyer, Owner-Broker, Essential Real Estate, LLC Madison, WI

The real estate transaction, disclosure, and confidentiality are the business of a Wisconsin licensee. It's in the transaction where the skill of the licensee, and their commitment to the law where the public is protected or placed at risk. Essential real estate services are specified in real estate license law. Those services are worth professional fees. Paying professional fee rates for administrative services is a choice when an alternative exists. We are that alternative. Old business model commission rates are taxing the home equity of American home sellers. Essential Real Estate LLC was created so our clients keep more of their home equity, spend less on broker fees, and receive skilled representation in negotiating purchase agreements.

2 thoughts on “No I won’t agree to extend buyer’s appraisal or financing contingency.”

  1. The buyer has no control over how long an appraisal and other paperwork can take. If a buyer submit loan paperwork immediately. Pays for appraisal immediately. Lender orders appraisal immediately. But it’s a hot market and the appraisal is taking a long time. How is that the buyers fault?

    You’d rather start from the beginning and lose 20+ days versus waiting less than 14 to close the current deal?

    And when a deal falls out there’s always the “what’s wrong with the seller or the house that it didn’t work out “ question?

    1. Your questions are appreciated. If you extend the contingency you are extending the opportunity for the buyer to object to a financing commitment. That’s what you want to avoid and will if you do not extend the time for the buyer to object to the commitment letter.

      Consider this: The financing commitment contingency is only a contingency to get a commitment letter from the lender. All commitment letters come with conditions. The last conditions are satisfied at closing when the buyer finishes signing all lender docs. By providing any commitment letter, unless otherwise agreed to satisfies the contingency. Failure to provide the commitment letter by the deadline does NOT make the offer void. It creates a voidable condition which the seller, not the buyer can exercise until the contingency is satisfied. Once the seller has the leverage to terminate the Offer by Notice because the buyer failed to meet a deadline, the seller has the advantage. And, that’s what I want if I am the seller or the seller’s agent. The delay in getting the commitment might not be the buyer’s fault, but it is the buyer’s obligation to see that the deadline is met or assume the consequences.

      By understanding exactly what the contingency says and the protections it provides both sides we can see that there is no advantage to the seller to extend the buyer more time to later object to a commitment letter and thus scuttle the transaction. If your financing commitment contingency allows for the buyer to terminate the offer if the lender doesn’t deliver the commitment by the deadline, it’s a different contingency than the one in the WI WB purchase agreements. Thank you for commenting.

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