Need a Date?

Of course you do! And by "date" I am referring to a specific date for settlement inserted on the appropriate line of the agreement of sale. And by "specific date" I am referring to a named date in a given month in a given year and not something like "45 days following the bankruptcy court's approval of the sale" or some other formula.

Pennsylvania has a statute of frauds that provides that for an agreement of sale of real estate to be enforceable, it must be in writing and include certain elements. One of the elements to be included is a date for settlement that can be ascertained with specificity. One may question whether a formula by which a date can be calculated will satisfy the statute of frauds.

Why jeopardize an agreement by failing to name a date certain for settlement? The Standard Agreement of Sale published by PAR requires the insertion of a date and it clearly intended that the date be a month, day and year and nothing else. Agreements may be made contingent upon other events, but the date for settlement is critical because it is that date which terminates other temporal obligations (e.g., buyers contingency obligation to get a mortgage commitment, etc.). Filing to include a date certain may give parties an "out" not intended.

Copyright © James L. Goldsmith, Esquire, CALDWELL & KEARNS, P.C., 2012
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