You raise an interesting legal question about how contracts expire. While your agent can explain about the cancellation clauses, whenever you come across any grey areas, it is best to check with an attorney.
Since I am not a lawyer and cannot give legal advice, I discussed your situation with my real estate attorney. His opinion is that the 24 hours would normally begin when the agent acknowledges receipt and it is reasonable to expect the agent to contact the buyer on Friday. However, since the weekend is not considered â€œnormal business hoursâ€, your buyer would have a good argument that his agent has until Monday to get back to you.
Here are a few things to note about the California Residential Purchase Agreement:
- Section 17 of the contract specifics removal of contingencies and cancellation rights.
- Contract times are calendar days, unless specifically stated as business days (the deposit check must be deposited into escrow or trust account within 3 business days).
- Cancellation must be in writing and signed by both buyer and seller.
- If a buyer fails to remove a contingency, the contract will continue until a seller objects. Sellers are required to provide 24 hours for removal of contingencies (e.g loan pre-approval, inspections, sale of another property). There is also a Demand to Close form allowing buyers an additional three calendar days, but this form is currently optional.
- The Notice to Perform usually requires action within 24 (default) to 72 hours. During this period, the buyer would need to sign a release of contingencies. If the buyer is unable or unwilling to release the contingencies, he could use the Extension of Time addendum to request additional time.
- If a buyer fails to respond to the Notice to Perform, the contract is not automatically cancelled. At that point it could become voidable and the seller could cancel the contract using the Cancellation of Contract form.
In my experience, most people operate in good faith. In your case, I would make sure your agent is on top of the situation by staying in touch with the buyerâ€™s agent.