In real estate, contingent refers to a situation where the purchase of a property is dependent on certain conditions. If these conditions are not met, the agreement can be nullified. When something is "contingent," this means that it depends or hinges upon another condition being met first before proceeding with the sale.
The contingencies in an offer to purchase a property are usually spelled out in detail by the buyer's broker who is acting as their agent on this transaction. These conditions may include "subject to inspection" or "subject to financing."
The purpose of contingencies is two-fold: firstly, when all contingents have been met, those things that were agreed upon and negotiated may not be renegotiated. Secondly, they provide protection for the buyer so that if any of those contingents do not go as planned (e.g., financing falls through), the offer does not automatically expire and will remain in effect until all issues are resolved to everyone's satisfaction or mutually agreed upon terms have been met.
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