What you need to know:

Whether you are a buyer or seller when it comes to real estate contracts, you must strictly follow the statutes. 

Hollar v. MarketPro South, Inc., 2023 WL 157643 Slip Opinion (U.S. Dis. Ct. Utah 1/11/2023)

Issue: Can a Buyer of a condominium in Washington D.C. cancel a contract to purchase BEFORE receiving the condominium documents? YES

Facts: Plaintiffs owned a condominium unit in Washington D.C. Defendant told Plaintiff by letter that it was interested in buying the condo. After negotiation, the parties signed a “Contract for the Sale and Purchase of Real Estate” for $650,000. A few days later Defendant advised Plaintiff that it was not going to buy the condo. Plaintiff sued for breach of contract and Defendant moved to have the case dismissed.

The Law: The laws in Washington D.C. provide that a seller must provide a buyer the condominium documents “on or prior to the 10th business day following the date of execution of the contract of sale…” If the seller fails to provide the documents, “the purchaser shall have the right to cancel the contract by giving notice in writing to the seller prior to receipt of the condominium instruments and certificate, but not after conveyance under the contract.” Even if the documents are provided timely, the buyer has 3 days to “cancel the contract by giving notice in writing and returning the condominium instruments and certificate to the seller.”

So under the law, the buyer can cancel the contract whether the documents are provided or not within a specific time frame. The seller wanted this time frame to begin only after the 10 days had passed or the documents were provided, however, the court found nothing in the statute that requires the buyer to wait to give notice of cancellation. Accordingly, the buyer’s motion to dismiss was granted.