A contingency is a condition that must be met in order for a contract to be legally binding. In most cases, buyers set contingencies to protect them from having to perform on a contract if something doesn't work out as planned. The most common contingency is a mortgage contingency. Often contracts will allow the buyer to obtain a mortgage commitment by a set date in order to fulfill that condition. If the buyer is unable to obtain that commitment on time, then the contingency will protect the buyer from having an obligation to the seller. Other common contingencies include:
Every real estate transaction should have a reasonable amount of Earnest money deposit from the buyer. Earnest money deposit is commonly known as the down payment when a mortgage is involved. This deposit can range anywhere from as low as 1% of the purchase price to any percentage, up to and including, 100%.
A Lis Pendens is a notice that a lawsuit has been filed against real estate property. This is usually filed in the county where the property is located. Just about anyone can make a claim against a property. This doesn't mean that the claim will not be dismissable. The problem with dismissing a lis pendens is that it requires an order from a judge.
Days on market is a calculation of how many days a property has been publicly marketed for sale or rent. This can be a telling number when looking at a property's history. Many public websites will show if a property was on the market in the past. Most sites will reset the days on market to zero if the property has been off that site for a specific length of time. That time will vary from site to site.