Rejection hurts in any form, but when Charlotte Nugent and her husband offered well over the asking price for several homes in the D.C. region and still lost out, they were admittedly frustrated.

Like many of today’s buyers in the excruciatingly competitive housing market, the couple sometimes opted to waive contingencies that protect buyers in the hope of getting an offer accepted. A real estate contract contingency refers to something that must be completed before the contract can move forward, such as a home inspection or an appraisal.