Signing a written contract with someone includes an unspoken agreement to be reasonable. A court recently found that this means property sellers must be reasonable in their decisions about whether to allow the buyers to extend escrow.

The buyer contracted to purchase 86 acres from the seller, to subdivide it and build homes on the lots. At the outset, the buyer agreed to close escrow within two years; as time went on, it became clear that the permit situation was complicated and that it would take much longer than two years to obtain the planning permissions to subdivide the property, which needed to be in place before escrow could close.

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