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What is an escalation clause in real estate, and how does an escalation clause work? When you’re deciding on what price to offer on a home, the situation might call for a single price or, in some cases, numerous prices via an escalation clause.

In a fast-paced, highly competitive seller’s market, having an escalation clause as part of your offer on a house can benefit the homebuyer and seller alike. But it does come with some downsides, so it’s important to know the pros and cons before you include one in an offer (or accept one as a seller).

Here’s what to know about what an escalation clause is, and when it’s a smart tactic for your real estate deal.