I'll be interested to read other responses.
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If no settlement date is stated in the Agreement or there is no timeframe stated, the contract is never expired until bank removes their acceptance contingency with an acceptance or non-acceptance.
Hope this answers your question.
It's a really good idea!
What any short sale buyer (and seller) needs, is an addendum to the contract for short sales. Our office has generated one but not all Realtors have been as diligent. You might well have your attorney generate such an addendum, if you are not already under contract and if you are, I believe that the appropriate procedure would be to have a "Time of the Essence" letter sent. This gives notice that, after a reasonable time for the other party to get organized, they must appear, ready to close, as stated. Otherwise, they will be in default and would bear the consequences for default. This might mean more than just a return of your deposit and the voiding of the contract but that would be a legal matter and to get advice on the subject, you must consult legal counsel, not a Realtor.
Best of luck.
Yes, a contract does expire in a short sale or conventional sale as well. In your agreement of sale there is always a closing date affixed to your contract. If you do not close on or before that date, and there is no written extension in the form of an addendum to the agreement of sale, then the sales contract is null and void, and your good faith deposit money is released back to you. In short sales, a closing date may need to be extended in writing more than once, as the banks are still slow in responding and getting the transaction to closing.
Good luck, and if you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Mays Landing, NJ 08330
Office: 609-909-1111 x20