I have made an offer on a short sale house. My contract states that if the seller is unable to obtain the short sale approval on or before 4/30/2012, the buyer can cancel the contract and get all deposits back. I am confused by the “on or before”. Does this mean I can cancel my contract now and get my deposits back? OR does it mean something else?
In NJ, a contract of sale can be cancelled for any reason or NO REASON, within the attorney review period. The attorney review period is technically three days after the last person (seller or buyer) signed the contract, and does not count weekends. I say technically, because the attorneys often agree to extend the review period to negotiate additional language or changes to the standard realtor's contract.
If you are beyond the attorney review period, then the Seller has until April 30, 2012 to secure the approval of the lender for the short sale. If not obtained by that date, you may cancel the contract.
Why is this an issue? The law considers every piece of property to be unique. Based upon this philosophy, a buyer and/or seller may seek specific performance of a contract for the sale and/or purchase of real property. I purchased a condo, conditioned on the seller finding a new house in AZ. They did, but then decided to stay here in NJ rather than move to AZ. I forced the sale of the property, and they chose not to fight for I would have won.
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The foregoing is not intended to be legal advice upon which you may rely as I have not been retained for this purpose.
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