TITLE DEFECTS: No Transaction Is “Cookie-Cutter”, So…… Be Prepared And Have A Back Up Plan
Practical Legal and Title Tips
By, Jorge A. Lopez, Esq.
Most form contracts for the sale and purchase of real property contain a section entitled “Standards For Real Estate Transactions”, which in turn, contains uniform provisions related to various aspects of the transaction. Among the provisions in the Standards is a section that addresses the situation where the Buyer discovers a title defect in the property. Most contracts typically provide that should the Buyer discover a matter which constitutes a title defect and which renders the title unmarketable, the Seller shall have a 30 day cure period during which to take reasonable diligent efforts to remove such defects. This cure period, of course, may delay the closing. It is an uncommon occurrence, but entirely possible, so, what’s a Buyer to do?
We recently represented a Buyer in a condominium purchase for which there was a title defect, triggering the 30 day cure period. Just a few days prior to the scheduled closing on her condo purchase, our client Buyer had closed on the sale of her house in order to move in to her condo. However, in the case of the condo Seller, the full 30 days were needed to resolve the title issue and, unfortunately, the title defect caused a 30 day delay in the scheduled closing.
The Buyer had not planned for this delay but fortunately, she was able to live at her sister’s home during the delay, which did cause her some inconvenience, but did not cause her to incur any real significant financial expense. Ultimately, the Seller was able to cure the defect and the transaction ultimately closed.
Our client was fortunate that she had her sister, on very short notice, to provide her with a place to live while the issue was resolved. An unforeseen, but totally legitimate title issue may delay in the closing and to advise them to have a back up plan should a title defect, or any other unforeseen issue, cause a delay in the closing date. If a delay should occur on any of your transactions,the delay will certainly be an inconvenience to all parties, but having a back up plan will definitely minimize that inconvenience to your Buyer client, and your client will definitely thank you for providing them with practical and proactive advice closing which might cause a Buyer to suffer an unexpected and unplanned financial burden or a housing problem. This serves as a reminder to make your Buyers aware of the possibility of a delay
Jorge A. Lopez, P.A.