The Arizona real estate market had record sales last year and was off to a booming start in 2020 when news of COVID-19 began to circulate in the US. By the time the coronavirus had been declared a pandemic, the state was making plans to shelter in place. Despite the drastic changes brought about by the governor’s March 31, 2020, stay-at-home order, real estate has continued to move amid the restrictions. During this time, some prospective buyers have been using virtual tours and meetings to purchase homes. When conducting a transaction under these remote conditions, the use of additional protective language in a real estate contract can help mitigate risk. In some states, special “corona clauses” have appeared for this distinct purpose.” If you are buying or selling real estate right now, you will want to know: What is a “corona clause,” and should I have one in my Arizona real estate contract?
Arizona Real Estate Practices
In Arizona, as in many other states, it’s not uncommon for real estate contracts to have clauses that allow the parties to move deadlines in case of emergencies or unexpected events. Recently, the Arizona Association of REALTORS developed a sample CORONAVIRUS /COVID-19 ADDENDUM for use in Arizona real estate transactions. The document gives buyers and sellers the option of using this document as part of their real estate purchase contract and to select terms specifically pertaining to COVID-19 issues. For instance, in the event of quarantine, parties can elect to automatically extend closing for up to 10 days “after such quarantine is over or closure order is lifted” with a written notice. The parties can also agree to mutually release one another from their agreement without liability upon the expiration of any agreed-upon or automatic extension.
Why Use a Corona Clause?
Although most real estate contracts already have “force majeure” clauses or clauses for unforeseen circumstances, the global pandemic has created uncertainty. As conditions are rapidly changing, having the added protection of language related to quarantine and COVID-19-related events can help protect the interests of both sellers and buyers.
Contact an Experienced Arizona Real Estate Attorney
Depending on your circumstances, adding protective language to a real estate contract may be a good idea. However, it’s crucial that you work with an experienced Arizona real estate attorney when drafting any documents related to your transaction.
Laura B. Bramnick is an Arizona real estate attorney with the knowledge and experience to protect your interests during every stage of your real estate matter. If you are seeking an exceptional, client-driven real estate lawyer in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Sedona, and throughout the State of Arizona, contact Laura B. Bramnick to schedule your consultation.