What is the 72-hour clause

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Real Estate

We have had people that did not realize what the “72 hours first right of refusal” clause is when included in a contract.  Let us explain.  How the 72-hour clause works is like this:   It is included in a contract to give a Seller the opportunity to accept a contingency offer while still marketing the house to other potential buyers.  For example in order to purchase a new home you must sell your current residence first (this is very common).  So you wrote an offer contingent on the sale of your current home.  Now, another buyer comes along who can purchase the home without waiting for another home to sell.  That purchaser writes an offer on the home that you’ve already put an offer on and are under contract.   That is when the “72 hour” part comes into play.  Now you have exactly 72 hours, or three days, to either sell your house and remove the contingency of the sale or come up with another idea how to advance to closing.  If you cannot do that then the Seller can void the deal and accept the new offer.  Who does this clause protect?  The Seller.  If the Seller is forced to take the house off the market in the hope that your house will sell, they are closing the door on buyers who could potentially purchase the home today – not in the future.  Bonus is, the purchaser, knows their dream home is within reach but still on the market, has incentive to do what may be necessary to make sure it is the best it can be.

Some people mistakenly think the clause is a buyer’s remorse protection clause.  That after the purchase you have 72 hours in which to change your mind and give the house back.  That is NOT what it is.