What Does Being under Contract for a House Mean

When you’re looking to purchase a house, you may come across the term “under contract.” This phrase refers to a legally binding agreement between the buyer and the seller of a home. Understanding what it means to be under contract for a house is crucial if you’re in the market to buy real estate.

What is a Contract for a House?

A contract for a house is an agreement between the buyer and the seller that outlines the terms of the sale. This agreement typically includes details such as the purchase price, the closing date, and any contingencies, or conditions that must be met before the sale can be completed.

When a buyer and seller sign a contract for a house, they are entering into a legally binding agreement. This means that both parties are obligated to fulfill the terms of the contract, and failure to do so could result in legal consequences.

What Does it Mean to be Under Contract for a House?

When a home is under contract, it means that the buyer and seller have signed a contract to sell the property. The home is no longer available for sale, and other prospective buyers cannot make an offer on the property.

During this time, the seller cannot accept any other offers on the property, and the buyer cannot back out of the sale without facing legal consequences. The home is essentially off the market until the contract is fulfilled and the sale is completed.

How Long Does a Contract for a House Last?

The length of a contract for a house can vary depending on the terms agreed upon by the buyer and seller. Typically, a contract will last anywhere from 30 to 90 days, although it can be shorter or longer depending on the circumstances.

During the duration of the contract, the buyer will typically perform a home inspection to ensure there are no major issues with the property. If any issues are found, the buyer may make repairs or negotiate with the seller to have them fixed before the sale is completed.

Once any contingencies are met, the sale can proceed to closing, where the buyer and seller sign all the necessary paperwork, and the property officially changes hands.


Being under contract for a house means that the buyer and seller have signed a legally binding agreement to sell the property. While this can be an exciting time for buyers, it’s essential to understand the terms of the contract and the legal obligations that come with it. With careful attention to detail and the guidance of a professional real estate agent, buyers can have a successful and rewarding home buying experience.

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