Back-up offers and why you might consider making one on a conditionally sold home



As the real estate market heats up, if you're in the market to buy a home, you're more likely to hear these words. "Sorry, that property's conditionally sold."

When a buyer and a seller agree to a conditional sale, they've basically agreed that if the buyer is able to meet certain conditions within the timeframe that they prescribed, that a real estate deal will happen, and if the buyer's unable to meet those conditions, the sale become null and void. So in about 20% of cases these days, buyers are unable to secure the financing that they thought they could get. If you proceeded to look at that house, write a back-up offer, get an acceptable deal subject to the first one falling through, as soon as that deal went sideways, you'd be next in line and the property would be yours, essentially.

In another 20% of cases, buyers are asking for extensions because they've been unable to meet their conditions within the timeframe that they proposed, and again if a seller enters into a back-up offer with you, they essentially have to move to you if the buyer has been unable to fulfill within the timeframe prescribed. They have an obligation to move forward with your contract. So again, that puts you right at the front of the line in probably 40% of cases.

So when you hear conditionally sold, take that with a grain of salt. It's not sold until it's sold, and I'd give the same advice to sellers as well. Even if you have a conditional sale, you're wise to continue to show your property and entertain interest from other buyers, because there's about a 60% chance that that first offer's gonna come together and it's nice to have a back-up offer in your back pocket in the event that it doesn't.


I’ve upped my Facebook and Instagram game. Follow me to receive updates on the Saskatoon real estate market and insights I've gained managing thousands of real estate transactions. hosted nearly a quarter of a million user sessions and displayed more than 1.2 million pages to our visitors in 2019. If you have a Saskatoon area home you'd like to sell, we know how to get people looking at your home. Reach out to me directly to engage our team and learn about our processes.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  Reach out by voice or text at 306-241-6676 or email me at norm at

Norm Fisher

Royal LePage Vidorra


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