Recently purchased a home and set to close. In the contract, it says we will close "on or before" xx date. Can Sellers push the date w/o our consent?

Asked by Ladygodiva, 07086 Mon Jun 24, 2013

I'm aware of the Time of Essence, however they picked the date to close and we are set to move out of our apt soon. We have an attorney, but I would also some advice on how any of you have handled a situation like this.


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David Reilley, Agent, voorhees, NJ
Mon Jun 24, 2013
No they cant move the date without you signing an extension. You can close sooner ,on or before xx/xx/xxx. Addendums have to be signed by both parties changing anything in the contract, Hope this helps.
0 votes
Well, that is just not a reality statement. I have had many closings where the seller has just said.. uh, no. We are not closing Friday.. I need 1week, two weeks etc. and nothing was signed and "agreed" to... this is when "time of the essence" kicks in and is served to the seller or buyer, whomever decided to need more time. so, yes.. people can just say no. it happens. not always.. but it happens. Your statement reads as though at 'closing" date, they have to move out.. and it is not the case if they do not sign the papers.
Flag Mon Jun 24, 2013
John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Mon Jun 24, 2013
Ms. Godiva :)

"On or Before" should pretty much be the closing date. Unless you and the seller are ready and agree then it could be before that date. Have you received some information that leads you to believe that the closing date may not happen? If not, you should be closing on the agreed upon date.

"On or about" is common language in a contract regarding the closing date also. Things can happen, your mortgage can be late, there can be title issues and so on. That statement is there for the benefit of both parties. If you have a set closing date it will probably, most likely, 99.9% sure to be the closing date.. But there is always that .10% chance of something unforeseen happening.

"Time of the essence" cannot be served until the date you had written as the closing date has past... then they have 10 days. Hang on and keep the faith.

John Sacktig
Orange Key Realty
Direct: 732-213-1409
2 votes
Thanks John!
Flag Tue Jun 25, 2013
Javier Menes…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Melville, NY
Mon Jun 24, 2013
The on or about day means that you his can close 30 days after the set closing date. If you're ready within that time and the seller is not, unfortunately enough for you, the seller can indeed elect to close when they're ready too.

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0 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Mon Jun 24, 2013
On or about allows flexibility for both parties as the prior answers indicate. Because it is common to see dates move, it is usually best to try to work with the other parties toward the date that is reasonable which all can accommodate.
0 votes
Hi, it does not say on or about, it states in the contract that closing will be on or before xx date. Does that change anything?
Flag Mon Jun 24, 2013
Diane Glander, Agent, Spring Lake, NJ
Mon Jun 24, 2013
You cannot serve them with time of the essence till the closing date as written on the contract and/or attorney review letters has passed. The problem with issuing a time of the essence is that sometimes, the people are ready to move out sooner than the 10 days or so that a time of the essence provides them.
You do need to discuss this with your attorney and also have your agent contact them to make them understand your predicament. When the agents can't make things happen, it's good to have an attorney helping.
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0 votes
Thanks, Diane.
Flag Mon Jun 24, 2013
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Mon Jun 24, 2013
"on or about" say 7/1 in my area means the Buyer or Seller have a right to close by 8/1. After that a letter of demand can be sent which will basically allow another 10-15 day grace period after being in default.
0 votes
Thanks for the response! Just wondering if our situation is different because the contract says on or before, not "about".
Flag Mon Jun 24, 2013
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