Contingencies frustrate buyers, sellers

When closing gets delayed, flexibility is key

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

There are many frustrating aspects associated with buying or selling a home today. One is that contract contingencies -- such as inspections, financing or the sale of another property -- often aren't removed on time. It's not uncommon for closings to be delayed, usually due to the buyer's lender. Your purchase contract should include a provision to deal with deadlines that are not met on time. For example, in the home purchase contract used by many Realtors in California, sellers can give buyers a 24-hour notice to perform. If the buyers don't meet this deadline, the sellers can cancel the contract. This notice can't be delivered earlier than 24 hours before the contingency is due. You might want to issue a 24-hour notice, or some similar remedy included in your contract, if you're in contract with buyers who don't remove their inspection contingency on time and have made no effort to line up inspectors, especially if the buyers' agent thinks her clients are flaky. If your ...