An offer a reader has received on her house is dependent on certain suspensive conditions being met and she is concerned it will be detrimental to her chances of selling it.
The first provision worrying her is that the sale is subject to the purchaser selling his house within a 70-day period.
The second is that, should our reader receive another offer she wishes to accept during that time, she must give the purchaser seven days to make a decision.
This means he must either sell his house or remove the condition that the transaction is dependent on the sale of his property.
The reader is concerned that, in both instances, the periods of 70 and seven days respectively are too long and may hurt her chances of selling the house.
See the reader’s question here.
It is quite typical for a potential purchaser to make an offer subject to a suspensive condition.
Usually, such a suspensive condition allows the potential purchaser time to secure a mortgage bond or to sell an existing property to generate funds to allow him to buy the new one. While a bond can be secured fairly quickly, the sale of a property may take considerably longer.
This is particularly so if that property has some impediment which results in it being less attractive to an average buyer. For example, it may require a lot of repair work, be priced beyond what the market would bear or be prohibitively expensive.
In such an instance, the period may be quite reasonable and, unless some other practical reason exists to do so, it will make little sense to record a shorter one.
The reader should consider whether she is prepared to wait the potential 70 days, a period which could be extended by the parties in writing. Alternatively, she can either not accept the offer or propose a shorter term.
The next provision of concern does, however, alleviate the first to some extent.
The seven-day period is a time frame given by our reader to the potential purchaser to give her flexibility in the event of her receiving a more favourable offer. The potential purchaser then has seven days to fulfil or remove the suspensive condition concerned.
This is typically recorded as a 72-hour period, often referred to as the 72-hour ratification or 72-hour continued marketing clause.
The reader is therefore correct in saying it is four days longer than the norm, but it is perfectly acceptable for it to be recorded as shorter or longer than the usual 72 hours.
It is for the reader to consider whether or not she is substantially prejudiced by this extended period.
In the circumstances, this extended period may not be unreasonable considering that the purchaser may have to take a number of bold decisions should he wish to proceed with the transaction in light of a second offer.
In this event, the potential purchaser may choose to apply for a mortgage bond rather than selling his house, which may require a period beyond the usual 72 hours.
It must be considered that the offer is just that, an offer. It includes terms and conditions that may be favourable to the purchaser and are necessary considering his particular circumstances.
The reader is not obliged to accept the offer and, should the parties not be too far apart, she could propose alternative periods within which the potential purchaser is to comply.
Considering, however, that the reader is permitted to accept another offer subsequent to the seven-day period, it seems that there is no prejudice that could really affect her should she accept this particular offer.
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