Dear Grumpy Realtor,
We found a house that we love but our agent tells us there is a Contingency Offer on the house. What the heck is this and what does it mean that we can bump the first buyer?
Stumped

Dear Stumpy,
Despite how it sounds, bumping a buyer from a “Contingency” offer has nothing to do with the chicken pox. It’s sort of an escape hatch that a seller has in a “Contingency”offer situation that allows the seller to get rid of the first buyer, the “Contingent” buyer, and take the second offer/buyer. This scenario can happen only if the first buyer will not drop their contingency and the second buyer’s offer is acceptable. A “Contingency” means the buyer has something that has to happen before they can really buy, like sell their house first. Even though a “Contingency” offer has been accepted, a motivated second buyer could swoop in with a better offer and jerk the property out right out from under the nose of the original guy. It’s a good way for a seller to hedge his bets, but it sure stinks for buyer #1 when someone can come in and take away the house they want. P.S. Buyer number one can avoid this situation if they hire a good realtor, list their property and get an offer before they go house shopping. Just saying.