A contingency listing is a property listing that requires the property's buyer to fulfill an obligation before owning the home. In other words, there are conditions that the property buyer must meet to purchase the property. The specifics of the a contingency listing can vary. Sometimes a contingency listing is a listing where the current property owner is waiting on lender approval on a short sale. In these cases, a realtor may accept a backup offer from a different buyer in the event that the first offer falls through. Contingency listings can take longer to settle than traditional property sales, so it is smart to take this into consideration when considering the purchase of a property. These sales are more complicated because approval is typically not only contingent on the owner's approval but also on the approval of a third party.