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3 Key Real Estate Contract Terms Defined: Attorney Review vs. Contingent vs. Under Contract

Lena Pesso

It’s been 10+ years for me in the real estate business. I love it ❤️...

It’s been 10+ years for me in the real estate business. I love it ❤️...

Jun 1 3 minutes read

Think back to the last time you were searching for homes... If you're actively working to find a home, that may have been just a few minutes ago. 

Chances are you saw terms while searching that you may or may not know the true meaning of. This can be frustrating, especially if you've found a home that you love that has been marked "under contract."

Similarly, if you're thinking about selling your home, you may be wondering what the different stages of the process are once you've accepted an offer but before you've handed over the keys. 

This blog post will peel back the curtain on 3 key real estate terms so that you know exactly what you're looking at while buying or selling.

Attorney Review 

A home is considered in attorney review when the buyer submitted an offer to buy the property and the seller has accepted the offer. The contract goes to both attorneys to review to make sure that the party's legal rights are protected and to advise them of their duties and obligations.  Both parties have committed themselves to proceed with the transaction, and it will likely proceed once any contingencies are met or waived by either party.

However, a contract in attorney review,  can be cancelled at any time by either party for any or no reason at all.  


 A contingent contract means that some condition hasn't yet been met, and both parties have not agreed to move forward with executing the deal as planned. This could be because of financing, inspection reports coming back unacceptably high, or if the offer depends on the buyer selling their home or the seller buying a new one. Once those problems are addressed, the deal can continue as planned. A contingency is anything that needs to happen before the deal can actually take place.

If you're selling your home, setting contingencies protects you if something comes up with either buying another property or finding an acceptable offer from someone who wants to buy yours. 

Under Contract

Once the attorneys have reviewed the contracts, and the seller and the buyer have agreed to each other's terms, the home is marked as under contract and taken off the market. The deal hasn't closed yet, but being under contract means you are on your way.

While there is a chance that a property with the under contract status can return to the market due to an inspection, appraisal, or financing issue, the chances are lower at this stage. 

It doesn't have to be confusing

If you're thinking about selling your home but are unsure of the process, I can help simplify and answer questions.

I have you covered

My goal is to make the process of selling your home as easy as possible. I'd love to show you how.

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