What is a “Sudden Death” Contingency in Greater Cincinnati Real Estate?

What is a “Sudden Death” Contingency in Greater Cincinnati Real Estate?

Cincinnati's Housing Puzzle

Buying and selling real estate reminds me of working on a puzzle- trying to get every piece in the right place at the right time in order to complete the project.

Contracts are vital piece of the real estate puzzle and most real estate contracts usually include several contingency clauses such as contingent upon the buyer’s ability to secure financing and inspections are the ones most buyers and sellers in greater Cincinnati use all the time.

Contingencies are are clauses that gives both buyers and sellers a way to exit a contract if certain conditions or dates are not met.

In today’s slightly slower real estate market we see a many buyers wanting to buy the next home- but they need to sell their existing property in order to secure financing.  So a purchase offer is made “contingent” upon the sale of their existing property.  One form of this contingency is known in our market as a “sudden death” or “without notice”.  The contingency clause spells out the time frame, ways to communicate the sale to the seller and closing time frames required.  However if the buyer does not notify the seller of a “purchase contract on their current property” and the seller gets another acceptable  purchase contract,  according to the terms of a “sudden death” contingency, the seller may accept the next offer without notifying anybody… which is where the terms “sudden death” and “without notice” originated.

Your Realtor(r) will explain the entire process to you and make sure that you ask questions and understand the time lines.  “Sudden Death” clauses allow a win/win for both the buyers and sellers within greater Cincinnati….but they can also be an emotional roller coaster for buyers. And always take the time to understand and read the contract that you are signing.