Real Estate Law Firm NY – Does a Contract of Sale Expire?

Real Estate Law Firm NY – Does a Contract of Sale Expire?

A question often posed by buyers and sellers of real estate is, “does a contract of sale expire?”. In some cases, it can. Whether your contract of sale  can expire depends on its written provisions. But in many cases, buyers and sellers can be confused about what actually constitutes an expiration date for a contract of sale.

Real Estate Law NYC

Sometimes closing on a home purchase/sale can take a long time, becoming expensive for all parties involved. This is why some contracts of sale include an expiration date, which may be referred to as a “time of the essence” date. The contract will state a specific date by which it must be signed by all parties, and will use the words “time of the essence” or similar language.  If the parties cannot reach an agreement and sign the document by that date, the contract expires and the sale process must be restarted if the buyer is still interested in the property. However, these are rare and generally limited to specific types of home purchases. In a standard residential contract of sale, there is no expiration date.

What is a real estate Contract of Sale?

A contract of sale is a legal agreement between a buyer and seller that the buyer will purchase specific property offered for sale for a specified amount of money. It will name the seller, the buyer, and any other parties involved in the purchase of a home and their rights and obligations related to the transaction. It will obviously identify the property being sold and its purchase price.  It will also contain various other terms and conditions about the sale, including, but not limited to, what other property may be included in the sale, when the closing of title will take place, which party will be responsible for certain costs or expenses, and who assumes the risk of any loss to the property before closing. Generally, contracts of sale for real estate are drafted by the Seller’s attorney, sent to the Buyer or their attorney, and are signed by the buyer. They are then returned to the Seller’s attorney with a down payment, and then the contracts will be signed by the seller, and the down payment deposited. Most contracts state that the contract is not effective until actually signed by the seller, and thus, they can be rejected by the seller up until the time that he/she signs them. Typically, expiration dates ore “time of the essence” dates are meant to stop the purchaser, not the seller, from delaying the process, while the seller may lose other potential buyers.

New York Real Estate Attorneys

If you are considering purchasing or selling a home, you should be aware of what your contract of sale says with regard to an expiration date, and how it affects your rights. If you would like to learn more about this and other issues you could face with a contract of sale, contact our team of experienced real estate attorneys at Menicucci Villa Cilmi PLLC at 718-667-9090 today to schedule your legal consultation with us. We have three convenient locations to serve you better: Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Do not wait to start working on your real estate dispute with our firm.

New York Real Estate Attorney. If you have legal questions regarding Real Estate, Mortgage or are in need of a Real Estate Lawyer in Staten Island, Brooklyn or New York contact the Law Firm of Menicucci, Villa, Cilmi PLLC for a no cost case evaluation.  We are a Real Estate Law Firm with offices in Staten Island, Brooklyn and New York City.


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