Margaret Rome's Blog


What Is A Reverse Contingency FAQ


When someone wants to look at properties but they still have a home to sell, we have a discussion that goes something like this.

   What happens if you fall in love with a property? Can you move forward without the proceeds from your current home? 


What if I sell and have no place to move? You can feel their fear.


Some clients want to see every property even though they have not  considered putting their home on the market. 


A reverse contingency may be a a consideration.

 When separate moves are just not possible. My advice  is to list the property, contingent on finding a home of choice.


How serious are  they to avoid that second move? 


 What if someone comes along and offers a million dollars and their home  is only worth half million. 

Some will say OK, we will pack up, travel for awhile, move to an apartment, move in with parents or go to a hotel for that kind of incentive.


Others will not make that move for any amount of money.

This is the perfect time to explain the "reverse contingency." 


When an offer is made, a specific clause is in the contract stating  a contingency for a short amount of time (could be weeks) for the seller to find that home of their choice...notice that wording home of choice


Once the home is listed, viewing available properties is appropriate so the seller/buyer can become familiar with the available inventory.

When the current home goes under contract, the buyer can write a  offer on the new home contingent on settlement of the present  home. Did you follow that?  There are so many ways to help buyers and sellers.

This is not a simple transaction...there is expertise and coordination required. 

I have done reverse contingencies with success.

Ask questions and find out the buyers and the seller's needs. 

Thinking of buying and selling a home

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 Margaret Rome 410-530-2400

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Author of Real Estate the Rome Way





We call those "subject to" listings but I like your terminology as ours gets confusing as there are many "subject to" scenarios. Been using this strategy since I got my license because in CA, we've been in markets like that more then not since 1999. Great post, I like the conversation overview.

Posted by Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor e-Pro, CRS, RCS-D, Vets, & Host of Postcards From Success Podcast (Big Block Realty 858.232.8722) about 3 years ago

Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, CRS 

You write the best comments. Not sure if anyone else calls them reverse contingency but I thought it sounded better than I have a home to sell before I can  buy!

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) about 3 years ago

Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland - indeed this is the type of transaction they need to work with real PRO - like you.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) about 3 years ago

They really do want to see every property most of the time and then you have to have chat.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) about 3 years ago

Over the years I have submitted contingent offers similar to what you mention. However, Sacramento is currently is a very strong sellers market.  There is low inventory and many homes receive multiple offers.  Offers with contingencies like that mentioned would have more difficulty in the current market realm.  

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) about 3 years ago

Hi Margaret - Mary and I have done a few of those in the past, but in today's hot market, with low inventory and multiple offers, the difficulty in finding a home makes that approach very unattractive to buyers.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) almost 3 years ago

Dick Greenberg You are right. This is not going to work when every home has multiple offers. It still works occasionally for that one specific buyr and seller. Always appreciate your comments.

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) almost 3 years ago

Margaret I have written contracts subjec to a reverse contingency - such as yours and it's always worked out just fine.'s been many years since I have as our market is fairly fast moving with multiple offers on many homes.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) almost 3 years ago

Interesting. If I understand correctly, the client lists their home for sale with the contingency that they don't HAVE to sell unless/until they find a replacement home. At least you've laid the groundwork and gotten a commitment to know they are serious about moving. Smart!

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) almost 3 years ago