Coinciding Settlements Clauses – Funding Issues

People who are selling their home in order to buy another frequently put a “coinciding settlements” clause into their contract offer on the new home. The purpose of this is usually twofold. In this article, we discuss the first purpose which is to use funds from the old home to pay for the new one.

Realtor Stuart Nesbitt
Realtor Stuart Nesbitt

How Coinciding Settlements Work

A coinciding settlement clause usually says something along the lines of “settlement under this contract is contingent upon the settlement of the contract for the sale of the Purchaser’s property located at 1234 Spring Valley Drive…” It typically goes on to state the maximum number of days this settlement can be delayed by delays on the other settlement. It also usually says what will happen if the other contract becomes void. (Usually “this” contracts becomes void, too, but that doesn’t have to be the case if there’s another source of funds.)

The settlements don’t literally happen at the same time as the name implies. They can be back-to-back in the same office. They can be a day (or even days) apart in offices in different states. Very often it’s necessary for the settlement agent for the first settlement to wire transfer funds directly to the banking account of the settlement agent for the second settlement. This is usually a smooth, seamless procedure.

A Word to the Wise Seller

Coinciding settlements usually work well for the purpose of providing funds as outlined above. The one problem that crops up from time to time occurs when the first sale falls apart for some reason. The most frequent reason the first sale falls apart (when it does) is that the buyer is unable to get his loan. Because of this, some sellers insist that coinciding settlement clauses include language giving them permission to check with the lender for the first buyer. Making sure the first buyer is qualified for the necessary loan is good business. Don’t feel awkward about it.

Coinciding settlement is a common fact in the current real estate market. Use the above technique to avoid problems with your real estate transactions.

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Aubrey Nesbitt

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Aubrey Nesbitt is a native of Northern Virginia who attended Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a veteran of the US Army and helps his family business by providing informational articles like this one. In addition to photography and blogging, Aubrey provides administrative support for the office. Aubrey is a service-disabled retired veteran and a part of our family. We give him the opportunity to work at the office and on the web as part of his recovery. The opinions and statements presented by Aubrey are his own and we don't necessarily agree with them.