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Time is of the Essence

Time Clock
Time is of the essence, a phrase often used in contracts, which, in effect says: the specified time and dates in this agreement are vital and thus, mandatory, and “we mean it.” Therefore, any delay, reasonable or not, slight or not, will be grounds for cancelling the agreement.

In real estate, there is no deal unless it is in writing and signed by both the buyer(s) and seller(s). Once all the paperwork is signed, then there is mutual acceptance. At this point there is a deal.

A couple of months ago, a buyer I was representing made an offer on a bank owned home. The Buyer offered $185,000, bank countered offered with $187,000 plus their own bank forms. The counter offer arrived on a Thursday. The buyer sat on the paperwork through the weekend because he got stuck a 2 works in the bank forms. I tried to explain that the bank would not change the verbiage on their documents. He finally signed the paperwork on Tuesday. As a result of the buyer’s hesitance to sign, 2 more offer came in on the property. The bad news is that the bank had not signed the contract that my buyer sat on all weekend and now there were multiple offers. Ultimately, my buyer lost out on this house. Time is of the essence.

In this type of market when the good deals are going fast, don’t fool yourself into believing that because you wrote an offer, the seller will only negotiate with you. The seller can negotiate with all offers until there is mutual acceptance on one offer. As a matter of fact, a seller could also accept back up offers just in case the buyer has a change of heart. Bottom line, don’t drag your feet because there is always someone right behind you that may be willing to pay more.

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