The coronavirus clause is now a thing in resi deals

“Force majeure” clauses allow for extension or termination of contracts

Real estate brokers across the country have been adding standardized coronavirus-related legal language and addendums to help buyers manage risk.
Real estate brokers across the country have been adding standardized coronavirus-related legal language and addendums to help buyers manage risk.

Less than a month ago, a “coronavirus clause” in a condo deal was a rare curiosity. But now such clauses have gone mainstream.

Real estate brokers across the country have been getting standardized coronavirus-related legal language and addendums from their attorneys, title companies, brokerages and trade organizations to help buyers manage risk in these uncertain times, Inman reported.

“Any new contracts that we’re writing, we are putting an addendum in,” Linda Fercodini of Fercodini Properties in Wolcott, Connecticut told the publication. “We’ve had a few of our buyers want to extend because of their job — the companies they work for have asked them not to come in.”

Many of these clauses include “force majeure” language allowing contracts to be terminated or extended for a period of time under certain unforeseeable circumstances.

The clause used by Fercodini states that a contract may be delayed in the event of “an act of God, declared state of emergency or public health emergency, pandemic (specifically including COVID-19), government mandated quarantine” and some other scenarios.” [Inman] — Kevin Sun