“Calendar Days” vs. “Business Days”

[Editor’s Note: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway, or any other entity referenced. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney.]

In general, there’s been a trend (at least in Minnesota) towards lengthening the inspection and document review periods (required for multi-family housing), while simultaneously redefining the time period in terms of “calendar” vs. “business” days.

At least in theory, those changes make for less client (and Realtor!) confusion when it comes to calculating key deadlines.

So, what had formerly been defined as 6-8 business days is now typically 10 calendar days.

With me so far??

Fly in Ointment

The one fly in the ointment using calendar days is during holiday periods — no more so than during the Christmas-to-New Year’s interval.

In other words . . . now.

Consider a deal consummated this Friday (Dec. 22), with a 10 calendar day inspection period.

Day #1 would be Saturday, December 23 — a non-business day.

Ditto for Sunday (Dec. 24); Christmas Day (Dec. 25); and the following Saturday thru Monday (Dec. 30 thru Jan. 1).

From 10 Days to 5 — or 4!

In fact, depending on whether you count December 26th as a holiday — just the sort of ambiguity prompting the switch to calendar days in the first place — the Buyer’s 10 day inspection period includes at most five (and possibly only four!) business days.

That, at a time of year when home inspectors and real estate lawyers (needed to review condo doc’s) are hardly readily available.

For all those reasons, Buyers writing offers this time of year are smart — at least in this Realtor/former attorney’s opinion — to amend the boilerplate language in Minnesota’s standard residential Purchase Agreement to say “business” rather than “calendar” days.

See also, ““Final Acceptance” ” Real Estate Edition“; “When is Counting to Five a Challenge? When They’re Business Days, & July 4th Falls on a Weekend“; and “Jury Verdicts and Home Inspections.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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