top of page

Maximizing Your Home Sale: How to Navigate Contingencies, Earnest Money, and Option Money

Choosing the Best Offer: Navigating Beyond the Price Tag

In an ideal world, sellers would list their homes and be met with a flood of competing offers, each vying for the chance to call the property their own. While this scenario isn't always the norm, it does happen, especially in certain markets.

However, for sellers, the challenge lies not just in receiving offers but in discerning which one is truly the best fit for their property. The natural inclination for many sellers is to gravitate towards the highest offer on the table. After all, a substantial sum can be enticing. Yet, the reality is that the best offer isn't always the one with the loftiest price tag.

High-priced offers often come with a slew of contingencies, potentially introducing complexities that could jeopardize the deal. 

One of my roles as a Realtor is to guide sellers through a comprehensive evaluation of each offer, weighing the pros and cons to make an informed decision.

One crucial aspect to consider is the number of contingencies outlined in the offer. Generally, the best offers are those that come with minimal or no contingencies. By diving into specifics such as the size of the downpayment, the earnest money deposit, and the extent of repairs requested by the buyer, I help sellers gain a comprehensive understanding of each offer's merits.

The presence and amount of earnest money are particularly telling indicators of a buyer's commitment. While not a legal requirement, earnest money serves as a demonstration of a buyer's sincerity in purchasing the home. If an offer lacks a provision for earnest money, it might raise concerns about the buyer's level of commitment. Similarly, a low earnest money deposit relative to the home's value could signal a lack of serious intent on the buyer's part.

In Texas, earnest money typically ranges from 1% to 3% or more of the sales price. The higher the earnest money, the stronger the indication of a buyer's dedication to the purchase. A meager earnest money deposit might suggest that the buyer is less invested in securing the property, possibly exploring other options simultaneously.

When a buyer is genuinely infatuated with your home and is eager to capture your attention, offering a significant increase in option money can be remarkably advantageous for the seller. Unlike earnest money, which is often refundable under specific circumstances, option money is non-refundable. The seller retains this sum, even if the deal falls through providing a layer of financial security. This substantial commitment through increased option money not only signals the buyer's strong interest but also safeguards the seller's investment in the property, offering a level of reassurance in the event of unforeseen challenges or buyer default.

In a situation where multiple offers on a property are comparable in financial terms and contingencies, leveraging the option money in a counter-offer can be a strategic move for sellers. Requesting an increased option money amount not only signals to potential buyers that you're serious about the transaction but also serves as a litmus test for their commitment.

Buyers willing to provide a higher option money amount demonstrate stronger financial backing and a heightened level of dedication to the purchase and more risk to them if it falls through. This approach can help filter out buyers who might be uncertain or playing speculative games with their lenders. By emphasizing the importance of the option money, sellers can identify and engage with the buyer whose commitment aligns best with a smooth and secure real estate transaction.

For additional strategies and personalized negotiation tactics, don't hesitate to contact me, Amanda Allen, at 903-603-0648. I welcome the opportunity to arrange a phone conversation or even a Zoom meeting to delve deeper into your specific situation. Let's collaborate to ensure the best possible outcome for your real estate needs.

If you would like to read, "13 Top Seller Tips E-book" it is available on my home page at All other articles can be found here:

Amanda Allen

Realtor, Digital Marketer, Author



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you have any questions or if there is a real estate-related topic that you would like me to cover in a future blog post, please don't hesitate to let me know. I value your feedback and am always looking for ways to provide informative and engaging content for my readers. If you do suggest a topic that I end up writing about, I would be happy to give you credit for the suggestion.

Real Estate Questions

Thanks for submitting!

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
bottom of page