What To Do When You’re Facing Deadlines In Your Real Estate Contract
If you take a look at your real estate contract, you will notice that a number of deadlines need to be met, before closing can happen. There are deadlines for surveys, for inspections, for loan approvals, for notices, and for a handful of other events.
But what happens when a deadline can’t be complied with, because one party won’t allow that event to happen?
Let’s take a typical example. In every standard real estate contract, the buyer is entitled to conduct an inspection of the property, to see if there are problems or defects that the buyer wants fixed before purchasing the property. That inspection must happen within a specified period of time. Sometimes the buyer misses the deadline to inspect the property, and loses the right to have an inspection.
But other times, the buyer is ready and willing to inspect the property, but the seller won’t allow it to happen. The seller may put off the date for the inspection, or the seller may be “unavailable” routinely, thus prohibiting the buyer from being able to access the property to have an inspection within the required time frames.
No Excuses for Missing Deadlines
The first thing to remember is that in a real estate contract a deadline is a deadline. Just because another party is making your compliance with a deadline in a real estate contract impossible, doesn’t excuse the requirement to meet the deadline.
In our example above, if you couldn’t meet the deadline to inspect the property, you would lose the right to inspect the property–even if it was the seller that caused the delay. You would have to close on the property, with no inspection, if the deadline is missed.
You can get extensions to deadlines in real estate contracts, but many people make the mistake of informal extensions–for example, the buyer and seller just verbally agree that the other side can “have some more time.” These verbal extensions modifications or alterations to the original real estate contract, are not legally enforceable.
If you can’t meet a deadline, the contract will usually give you the option to back out of the deal, so long as you do so before the deadline expires. That means that even if the other side prevents you from surveying the property or inspecting the property, you will have to make the choice between taking the property even without the inspection, or backing out of the contract and getting a return of your deposit money.
Often, the best option is termination. If you terminate the contract, and you have a right to do so under the contract, you can get a refund of any deposits, but you also can continue to negotiate any extensions, or modifications to the real estate contract. But if you do not terminate the contract you will be compelled to buy the property–even if you don’t get to inspect or survey the property because the other side wouldn’t let you do so.
Call The Law Offices of Larry E. Bray today to understand what your rights are when buying or selling property. Our West Palm Beach real estate lawyers are prepared to assist you today.