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How to Get a Real Estate Contract Extension

We all hope the home buying process is simple and smooth, but it seems like there’s always something that pops up. Discover what you can do if you need a real estate contract extension and how working with a qualified agent can help.
We all hope the home buying process is simple and smooth, but it seems like there’s always something that pops up. Discover what you can do if you need a real estate contract extension and how working with a qualified agent can help.

As a buyer, you hope that everything goes smoothly once you make your offer and it’s accepted. Unfortunately, escrow and closing is a long process. Sometimes, something goes wrong.

You might think that a problem can destroy your purchase contract, and sometimes they can. However, a lot of the time you can get a real estate contract extension if you really need it.

When you’re in this situation, it really pays to have a professional realtor on your side. Contact us to see how we can help you today.

Whether escrow is taking longer than expected, you need a little extra time for the home inspection, or you’re facing another hurdle, here are some steps you can take.

Take a Look at the Contract

The first thing to do is fully understand the dates in the contract as it stands. Sometimes the dates are not hard and fast, but rather are based on when a process begins.

For instance, the contract may say, “90 days after escrow opens,” which can give you some extra time if your escrow opened late.

Keep in mind that if you do find flexibility in the contract, it’s still important to let the seller know that things are going more slowly than expected. You may not need a contract extension, but you do need to communicate clearly.

Know Your Contingencies

Most real estate contracts have several contingencies in them. It’s possible one of them will help you out if you need more time before you close.

For instance, a mortgage contingency may say that if you can’t get a mortgage within a specific amount of time, you’re allowed to back out of the deal and get your deposit back.

If you’re having a problem with your credit that’s taking time to correct, the seller will probably be much more willing to give you an extension rather than have you use the mortgage contingency to end the deal and get your deposit refunded.

Ask for More Time

The easiest way to get the real estate contract extension you need is simply to ask for more time. In most cases, the seller wants to complete the transaction as much as you do. They are usually willing to add in extra time if that’s what it takes to finalize the deal.

In fact, you may find that the seller was stressed by the closing date as well — they may be delighted to have extra time to coordinate their move or work on buying their new property.

The key is to assure the seller that you are not backing out and that the deal is still on track to close. The seller may be worried that your arrangements are falling apart if you ask for more time.

Also, be sure you fully understand how much more time you need! It’s far better to ask for one larger extension than for multiple smaller ones. If you think you need two more weeks, don’t be afraid to ask for three or four. It will help you avoid having to go through this process again.

Share Why More Time is Needed

If you, as a home buyer, need more time in the real estate contract, it usually helps to tell the seller why. You might not want to disclose your personal details, but you’ll need to explain your concerns in some way.

Working with an experienced buyer’s agent can help. Someone who has done many transactions has probably also seen almost every problem that can happen. The good news for you is that the agent’s experience will help them guide you through the process.

Your agent can negotiate on your behalf, which can help calm your nerves. However, if the extension is a concern, you may still need to make a personal statement to the seller to convince them to grant the extension.

Be Willing to Negotiate

As with any deal, when someone gives you something, they may want something in return. This can also help overcome objections or concerns that the seller has.

Consider offering additional earnest money to show you’re still serious about buying the home. You can even make it non-refundable to give the seller more confidence. If you used fast closing as an incentive for the seller to give you’re a lower sales price, you might need to raise your offer if things are delayed.

Whatever concessions both sides agree to, be sure to have it drafted as a formal addition to the current real estate contract using a qualified attorney. Both sides should also sign it.

Get Help Buying With a Clever Partner Agent

Everyone involved in a home sale hopes that everything goes perfectly smoothly, but it often doesn’t. That’s when having a high-quality buyer’s agent on your side makes a huge difference.

When you work with a Clever Partner Agent, you not only get a full-service professional buying experience, you can save money at closing as well. You may be able to qualify for a $1,000 cash rebate toward your costs.

If you’re ready to find out more, contact Clevertoday.


Reuven Shechter

Reuven Shechter is the Outreach Coordinator at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents to help save on commission. He spreads the word about Clever, disseminating studies to journalists and developing relationships with media outlets. Reuven is passionate about investing in real estate and creating lasting success for families. His writing has been featured in Max Real Estate Exposure, Leverage Marketing, and more.

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