Navigating Contingent Home Sales: What You Need to Know

I'm a mom, wife, podcast junkie & Realtor.  In this blog, we talk about key real estate topics and explore what it means to create a life we love living. 

Hi! I'm Kaylynn 

Are you considering selling your home, but hesitant because you haven’t found your next dream home yet? You’re not alone. Many of our clients find themselves in this situation, wondering how to proceed without risking the sale of their current home.

That’s where a contingent home sale can come into play, offering a solution that allows you to sell your home while still giving you time to find your next perfect place to call home.

Understanding Contingent Home Sales

A contingent home sale is a transaction where the sale of the property is contingent upon certain conditions being met. In the case of selling a home in Washington state, the most common contingency is the sale of another home. This means that the buyer’s purchase of your home is dependent on them successfully selling their current property.

Key Contingencies in a Contingent Home Sale

  1. Home Sale Contingency: This contingency states that the buyer’s obligation to purchase your home is contingent upon the successful sale of their current home within a specified timeframe. If they are unable to sell their home within the agreed-upon timeframe, they have the option to terminate the contract and receive their earnest money deposit back.
  2. Kick-Out Clause: Also known as a “first right of refusal” clause, this contingency gives you, the seller, the right to continue marketing your home for sale while under contract with the buyer. If you receive another offer that is not contingent on the sale of another home and you choose to accept it, you must give the original buyer a specified amount of time (typically 24-48 hours) to remove the home sale contingency or walk away from the deal.
  3. Timeframe: It’s essential to establish a clear timeline for the sale of the buyer’s home and the closing of your home. This ensures that both parties are aware of the deadlines and can plan accordingly. Typically, contingent home sales have longer closing timelines to accommodate the sale of the buyer’s home.

Pros and Cons of Contingent Home Sales


  • Allows you to list your home for sale without the pressure of having to move out immediately.
  • Provides an opportunity to secure a buyer for your home while giving you time to find your next home.
  • May attract serious buyers who are motivated to sell their current home to purchase yours.


  • If the buyer’s home does not sell within the specified timeframe, the deal may fall through, delaying the sale of your home.
  • Limits your pool of potential buyers, as some buyers may be unwilling to enter into a contingent contract.
  • Requires careful negotiation and communication to ensure that both parties’ needs are met.

Navigating the Process with the Kaylynn Kelley Homes Team

At Kaylynn Kelley Homes, we understand the complexities of contingent home sales in Washington state. Our team is here to guide you through every step of the process, from negotiating the terms of the contingent contract to coordinating the sale of your home and helping you find your next home.

Book time with us to learn more about how we help you navigate the process with confidence and peace of mind.

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