What Does “Active Contingent” Mean In Real Estate?

One question that BUYERS & SELLERS ask me, especially in the Nocatee, Ponte Vedra Florida area is, “what does active contingent mean?” This means the seller of the home has received an offer from a potential buyer. However, there are certain contingencies that need to be met before the sale can be finalized. A purchase contract may include contingencies — such as a buyer’s contingency for a property inspection and negotiating any necessary repairs with the seller before closing. An appraisal of the property will also need to be completed to ensure that the home is not priced higher than it is worth. Another common contingency is that the buyer needs to be approved for a mortgage loan within a certain time period after the contract is signed. If any of these contingencies are not met, the contract will be null and void, and there may or may not be penalties assessed. Most of the time, the contingencies within a contract can be worked through without any issues. But there are times when a buyer will back out of a deal because an agreement cannot be reached. The length of the active contingent period can differ, but it is usually one to three weeks long. Don’t be surprised if it takes longer. This is always a possibility. Once all of the contingencies have been removed and the active contingent stage is completed, the property will show a “PENDING” status.

Pending means the closing is not far away. At this point in time, the chances of this property going back on the market are slim — “BUT Oh that word!” “But not completely impossible!” If you are a buyer interested in an “active contingent” home, continue to check back often to see if the status has changed. If you see that the “active contingent” status falls off and the home is not pending sale, this will open the door for you to place an offer.