Escalation Clause: What It Is and How It Works


Did you even realize there was an escalation clause in real estate contracts that has the potential to be used? It’s one of the most useful contract provisions known to real estate entrepreneurs. Are you aware that a few keywords can improve the appeal of a contract to property owners wishing to sell their homes?

If you said “yes,” good. You are already a step ahead. But if you’re having trouble coming up with a clear explanation, you’re not the only one. Too many new investors, through no fault of their own, are unaware of what an escalation clause is, much less what it can do for them. A correctly written escalation clause may, at the very least, bolster an offer. At its most extreme, an escalation provision can be the single thing that sets your offer apart from the rest of the competitors.


What Is An Escalation Clause?

A real estate escalation clause permits the parties to raise their initial offers. Frequently, the underwriting of offers includes these provisions, which are known as escalator clauses. This states that the buyer is ready and willing to increase their initial offer if there are additional higher offers. Escalation provisions, then, provide potential buyers with a safety net in case another party outbids them.

Escalation clauses frequently provide two important messages: that the offer is serious and how far they are ready to go. That’s a crucial distinction to make because these clauses frequently contain a cap that specifies how much the prospective buyer is ready to pay. Up to a certain point, a decent escalation clause specifies how much they are willing to beat subsequent offers.

How Does An Escalation Clause Work?

Real estate escalation clauses can vary significantly; however, they generally provide the same basic components. Here are the primary questions an escalation clause will answer:

  1. What is the original purchase price?
  2. How much will that price go above other competitive bids?
  3. What is the maximum purchase price in case of multiple offers?

Escalation clauses are often easy to understand; they essentially permit potential purchasers to make an offer that is somewhat higher than any subsequent offers made after their initial one. “In real estate, an escalation clause is essentially a price increase provision that is incorporated in an official real estate offer,” explains Bram Jansen of vpnAlert. It specifies how you will automatically outbid any other bids the seller receives and notifies them of this fact. As a result, you have more flexibility over how to get the property you want. Otherwise, sellers typically turn down your offer in favor of one they find more appealing.

If, for example, an investor submits an offer of $400,000, they could supplement their offer with a clause. This clause specifically states they are willing to beat any additional offers by a specified amount. This is only up to the maximum amount they are willing to spend. Therefore, if they submit a $405,000 offer after their initial offer, an escalation clause will make it possible to beat the competing offer by a predetermined amount. As a result, the investor needs to clarify how much they are willing to beat subsequent offers by, and up to a maximum price point. That way, the clause will incrementally beat out any subsequent offers up to a designated price point.

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Published by Jeff Anderson

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