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Force Majeure and Delays in Purchasing a New Home: The Arizona Perspective

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Monday, 21st August 2023

Homebuying is a significant milestone, one that is often accompanied by a mixture of excitement and anxiety. Buyers and sellers alike have high hopes for a smooth process and the timely exchange of property. However, unforeseen events can sometimes derail the timeline, leaving both parties feeling frustrated and uncertain. One such unforeseen event is a “force majeure” occurrence.

What is Force Majeure?

3D illustration of FORCE MAJEURE title on legal document

Force majeure refers to unforeseen events or circumstances beyond human control, such as natural disasters, wars, or unforeseeable government actions. In legal terms, these events can excuse a party from fulfilling their contractual obligations without incurring penalties because they could not have been anticipated or prevented.

Impact on Homebuyers and Sellers

In the context of purchasing a new home, force majeure can delay the process in numerous ways:

  1. Title Searches and Property Assessments: Natural events, like flooding or fires, could prevent inspectors from accessing a property, delaying evaluations and title searches.
  2. Loan Processing: If a force majeure event affects the financial sector, it might slow down the loan processing time or make acquiring funds more difficult.
  3. Construction and Renovations: If you’re purchasing a new construction or a home undergoing renovations, calamitous events can delay the completion of the home.

For home sellers, there’s a risk too. A force majeure event can mean potential buyers are unable to secure financing, or their existing home sale (if they are in a home sale contingency contract) falls through.

In extreme cases, a force majeure event could even result in the cancellation of a sale. If, for example, the property is severely damaged or becomes inaccessible, or if government regulations suddenly prohibit the sale, both parties may have to walk away from the deal.

Arizona’s Stance on Force Majeure in Real Estate

Arizona‘s real estate laws, like those of many states, do address force majeure. In contracts, there may be a force majeure clause that outlines what qualifies as a force majeure event and the rights and responsibilities of each party should one occur. It’s essential to read and understand this clause when entering into a real estate contract in Arizona.

If the contract doesn’t explicitly address force majeure, Arizona courts may interpret the situation based on common law principles, considering the nature of the event, its unpredictability, and whether it rendered the contract impossible to fulfill.

The Importance of a Knowledgeable Real Estate Team

This is where having an experienced real estate team, like The Carol Royse Team, comes into play. Such a team can:

  1. Draft and Review Contracts: They ensure that force majeure clauses are clear and fair, protecting your interests.
  2. Offer Advice: In the event of unforeseen delays, a seasoned team can provide guidance on the best course of action.
  3. Negotiate on Your Behalf: If delays occur, they can negotiate revised timelines or terms that satisfy both parties.
  4. Provide Market Insights: By understanding local trends, they can predict potential risks and advise accordingly.
The Carol Royse Team

In conclusion, while force majeure events are unpredictable by nature, having a skilled and experienced real estate team on your side can mitigate the risks and potential negative consequences associated with these unforeseen delays. In the dynamic landscape of Arizona real estate, entrusting experts like The Carol Royse Team ensures that, come what may, your home buying or selling experience remains as seamless as possible.

Looking for your perfect real estate match? Finding your dream agent is easy with Our team consist of top Real Estate agent to help you with any of your real estate needs! Call Carol Royse at 480-776-5231. Or feel free to share our contact information with anyone you know that needs expert help in buying or selling their home.

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