OAR Advisory:  Wildfire Situation May Cause Delays with Lenders, Insurance Companies

| September 11, 2020

Prepare your clients and discuss the matter with cooperating brokers

REALTORS® should be aware that because of the wildfire situation there may be delays in closing transactions as lenders and insurance companies are evaluating whether a property is or is likely to be impacted by the fires.  We would advise that you discuss this issue with your clients and with cooperating brokers in advance.  In particular, sellers and buyers should be aware that buyers may face delays due to no fault of their own.  If the fires are causing delays, sellers and buyers may wish to extend closing deadlines.  Sellers should proceed with caution before terminating based on a delay that results from a wildfire related issue, as they may find the same situation will occur with the next buyer. Early and often communication, transparency and patience will be key to success.

Sellers or buyers who want to understand their legal rights with respect to termination, earnest money and any potential damages that result from a transaction that fails as a result of wildfires should contact an attorney.