Conditions, Contingencies, and Terms Clauses in British Columbia Real Estate Contracts

Conditions, Contingencies, and Terms Clauses in British Columbia Real Estate Contracts

In the realm of real estate transactions in British Columbia, navigating the intricacies of contracts is a crucial part of the process so guidance of a strong professional REALTOR is very critical to avoid time and/or money loss. Three common terms that are often being mentioned in the Contract of Purchase and Sale (CPS), plus play a pivotal role, are Conditions, Contingencies and Terms. Each one of these serves a distinct purpose and can significantly impact the outcome of a real estate deal. In this article, we will compare and contrast Conditions, Contingencies and Terms to shed light on their differences and how they function within the context of real estate contracts in British Columbia.

Conditions Clause

The Conditions clause, also known as the "subject to" clause, is a fundamental component of a real estate contract. It provides the buyer and sometimes the seller with a specified period to fulfill certain conditions, requirements or due-diligence necessary for the contract to go firm. If these conditions are not met within the stipulated time frame, the buyer has the option to back out of the contract without any legal repercussions and 99.9% chance of their deposit being fully refunded.

Common conditions that buyers may include obtaining financing, conducting a satisfactory home inspection, securing a clear title search, or ensuring the property meets specific zoning requirements. The Conditions clause provides buyers with an essential safety net, allowing them to proceed with the purchase, only if all their prerequisites are met to their satisfaction.

Contingencies Clause

In contrast, the Contingencies clause, although similar in purpose, differs in scope and application.

One common example is a buyer offering to purchase a property contingent on the seller making specific repairs or renovations before the sale is finalized. If the seller agrees to these terms and carries out the necessary work, the transaction can proceed as planned. However, if the seller fails or is unwilling to fulfill the contingencies, the buyer can choose to withdraw their offer.

On the other hand, a Seller may use a contingency clause as part of the contract if they need to purchase another property before the contract on their current house goes firm. The Seller can write a contingency that they must find a suitable property before a certain date or the contract is void.


The Terms of CPS outline detailed information that needs to be acknowledged and provided to or by the Buyer and/or the Seller. Examples of Terms could be the definition of BC’s Property Transfer Tax and the amount owed by the buyer on their purchase. It could be that the Seller’s will ensure the property is in clean condition and all debris has been removed prior to possession by the Buyers.

Terms are generally statements of information that do not need to be approved by the other party but are included to ensure certain things get done or are shared as part of the transaction.

In conclusion, Conditions, Contingencies, and Terms clauses are essential components of real estate contracts in British Columbia, each serving a distinct purpose. Don’t forget - Contingencies, Conditions and Terms are all meant to be NEGOTIATED to meet your needs. Hence why you need a strong and trained negotiator on your side when buying or selling a property. Understanding these clauses and their implications is vital for both buyers and sellers to ensure a smooth and successful real estate transaction.

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