Leonardtown, MD asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Maryland

Q: What is the precedence proving when a contract is ratified. Is it when it is signed or when it is sent to the buyer?

Meaning if the seller signs it and holds it for 5 days, the buyer cannot meet the timeline to setup up inspections before the 10 day timeframe. Can the seller state the buyer is at fault for not meeting their deadlines?

Update: Was the response specific to MD or is the precedence valid in VA also?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Offer + acceptance = ratified contract. Acceptance has to be communicated to be valid; there is no “secret” acceptance of a contract. However, a contract offer that is signed and placed in the mail is accepted on the date it is posted in the mail (unless the offer is made contingent on a different method of acceptance). If the seller accepted by email, the date of the email is the date of acceptance. You need to assert in writing that the 10 day inspection period started on the date of acceptance, as that is the date the contract times are calculated from, and not from the date the second party signed and then held notification of acceptance fir 5 days.

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