Housing Deal Deadlines
& Other Key Terms

No, I don’t recall ever handling a real estate deal where the Buyer or Seller omitted to fill in the purchase price or the closing date.

But, I have handled multiple deals where the other side left blank something almost as significant.

The three biggest ” and most common ” omissions:

One. Final Acceptance Date.

Near the end of the Purchase Agreement on page 12, this blank line is supposed to be filled in when the contract is fully executed.  See, “When is a Deal Officially a Deal?” 

Its significance:  it starts the clock running on the Buyer’s inspection period, which typically must be completed — with any issues resolved — within 10 calendar days of Final Acceptance.

A Buyer who misses that window is deemed to have waived their inspection.

Two. Written Statement deadline.

As opposed to a Buyer Pre-Approval Letter, a Written Statement actually signifies something ” namely, that the home has appraised, and that the lender has completed vetting the Buyer’s finances.

Equally significant, once the Buyer’s agent delivers the Written Statement to the Seller’s agent, the Buyer’s earnest money is non-refundable.  See, “You Mean, There’s No Deal AND They Get Their Money Back?!?”

Failing to fill in a Written Statement deadline ” or opting for the weaker clause dispensing with it altogether ” leaves Sellers VERY vulnerable.

Three.  “Other Defects/Material Facts” section of the Seller’s Disclosure.

Even at 10 pages, single-spaced, the Minnesota Seller’s Disclosure doesn’t address every possible issue that Buyers may properly want to know about.

So, the form includes a section at the end allowing Sellers to add anything that’s relevant.

Even if there’s nothing, Sellers should write that in ” or draw lines through the following blank section ” to indicate that they’ve discussed this with their Realtor.

P.S.:  As opposed to omissions #1 and #2, leaving this section blank mainly leaves the Seller’s agent vulnerable.

That’s because, if/when some major issue arises post-closing, the Seller can claim “I never told the Buyer about the earthquake fault line running through the backyard (or some such) because the Seller’s Disclosure never asked about that.”

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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