Understanding Saratoga Contingencies

Understanding Saratoga Contingencies

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Finding the perfect Saratoga home is not as simple as walking into a few open houses and signing over a check. From the time you put your home on the market to the final selling and buying contracts you sign, there are plenty of steps along the way that you need to consider and make smart decisions. Settling Saratoga contingencies is one of the stages of home buying that people often overlook, but it is an important step.

Saratoga contingencies are sort of like a get-out-of-jail-free card. It allows the buyer to back out of a deal if a certain circumstance or event takes place. With so much of your money in escrow, you want to be sure that when you sign on the dotted line, you’re getting the real home that you deserve.

In general, there are three major contingencies. Hard contingencies have a timeframe, while soft ones do not. Check out our quick guide to understanding Saratoga contingencies and be better prepared to sit down at the negotiator’s table.


When a seller makes a deal to sell a home, it is his or her responsibility to ensure that everything known about the home is disclosed to the buyer. This is meant to help the buyer make an informed and smart decision on their purchase.

By using boilerplate state or local forms, the seller must disclose everything he or she knows about the property that could affect the buyer. For example, if the city is planning to build a highway through part of the neighborhood and the seller know this, then he or she must disclose it in the documents. Any knowledge regarding potential home repairs must also be disclosed.

Once the offer is accepted, sellers will usually deliver these disclosures to the buyer. Buyers will also be able to look at local, state and federal disclosures as well as building documents related to earthquake and flood zones as well as the property’s proximity to airports.

Home Inspections

Inspections are a major part of any home buying process, and they can sometimes be a game changer in a sell. For example, let’s say you find the Saratoga home of your dreams, but it’s just out of your comfortable price range. You scrape the extra money together, and the seller accepts your offer. But when your inspector goes through the home, he finds a number of problems, such as excessive mold in the attic and a roof that’s sagging in.

You can use the inspection to negotiate the selling price of the Saratoga home. You don’t have to give up on the home altogether, but you can use it to ask for the price to be lowered on the home. The seller might also pay to fix those costs him or herself, which will even out the selling price in the end.

Not all sellers, however, will bend, especially if the housing market is in favor of sellers. If there are multiple offers, the seller may leave the repairs to you, but overall, home inspections are great for negotiation.

Home Appraisals and Loan Approvals

Home appraisals prove to the bank that the property you’re buying is worth the money you’re paying for it. In most cases, the bank will send a third-party appraiser to go over the home and check for any repairs or red flags that could signal a high cost on a bad property.

The bank will also want to look at any clouds on title or outstanding liens. Basically, they just want to see that all is going the way it should.

The overall loan approval process can take up to 60 days, but some can be done in two weeks if the market is particularly competitive. This is just another factor to consider so make sure you start the loan approval process early.

Before you sign anything, make sure you go over your contingency options. They can stop you from making a bad deal before any money changes hands.

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