Category Archives: Time Of The Essence

Time of the essence in real estate sales: equity, clarity, and absurdity hit clients in the wallet

By Victor Metsch

Whether it’s a $50 million dollar Manhattan building or a cousin’s beach bungalow, the problems are the same: financing fell through, the purchaser failed to bring the down-payment when he was supposed to, or the building tripled or halved in value between the signing date and the closing date of the contract.

When there is reason to fight over a real estate contract, “Time of the Essence” notices matter.

To the court, even in the hallowed formalist ground of real estate transactions, a contract to close on a certain date does not mean one must close on that date.

Unless the contract specifically says time is of the essence, the deal is binding even after the closing date.

But after that day goes by without a closing, either party can make time of the essence and create a “law date” that is a real last chance to close.

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