Best of the Ombudsman: Are You Still Using the COVID Addendum?
Question: I represent the buyer in the sale of property under contract. We have just been informed that an occupant of the home has had a positive test for COVID 19. We still need to do inspections and now we may not be able to have access until after the stated deadline. Now what?
Answer: This is a great example of the COVID Addendum to the rescue. With the COVID Addendum in place, the buyer could unilaterally extend the inspection contingency by an amount previously agreed to by the parties (30 days if not specified).
The COVID Addendum was not just for the red and yellow phases of our state pandemic response. It remains a useful tool for the remainder of the pandemic situation. There are limits to its use. For example, it is good for one time use only (by either buyer or seller) and after that the parties will have to negotiate additional extensions. And, of course, as an addendum the parties must both agree to it in for it to be effective. Realtors® should review the PAR Guidelines for Preparation and Use to fully understand the application and limits of the form.
Despite the limitations, in the situation described above, the COVID Addendum would give the parties time to re-group. Without it, the buyer could lose their opportunity to do the inspections or perform any other actions that might come due during the period of quarantine, unless both parties agree in writing to an extension.