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I just signed a contract to buy an apartment and it says that the closing date is at 10 a.m. on February 28, 2015. Should I schedule my movers for that time?

No! The closing date in a New York contract is just an estimated date – regardless of whether it’s preceded by the words “on,” “on or about,” or even “on or before.” The actual closing date is scheduled by the parties’ attorneys when everything is ready (such as board approval, loan clearance, etc.) The only exception to this is when the following language appears after the closing date: “time being of the essence.” “Time of the essence” language is almost never used in residential contracts because there are too many factors beyond the control of the parties. However, this language does often appear in contracts involving new construction purchases, but even in those cases, there are grace period provisions.

Answered by:

Alexander Suslensky

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