How to Count Contract Days

Real estate contracts are filled with deadlines. Important deadlines.  But knowing how to count contract days can be a little tricky.  

Grab your calendar and take notes: counting contract days in Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) contracts is easy if you mind these simple measures.

There are no holidays.

The days referred to in the TREC contracts are calendars days, including weekends and holidays.  That means the drum beats on no matter if it's Sunday or Thanksgiving Day.

It starts on day one.

Most deadlines for performance are measured from the effective date of the contract.  Not sure of the effective date? Check near the end of the agreement or ask your Realtor.

Remember to count within.

Most deadlines for performance use within ___ days (or within a predetermined number of days.) To calculate the last day for performance when this is the case, start with the first day after the beginning day and count the number of days specified to reach the last day for performance.  Basically, when the language says "within," count the effective date of the contract as Day Zero and go from there.

Time isn't of the essence...usually

According to the Texas Association of Realtors, in most TREC contract provisions, time is not "of the essence."  This means that minor deviations from deadlines may not result in damages or the termination of a contract.  

But don't mess with these deadlines.

The time period for the buyer to exercise his right to terminate under Paragraph 23 or give written notice to the seller that he cannot obtain financing approval in accordance with the Third Party Financing Addendum for Credit Approval must be strictly compiled with.


Give it a try.

Let's say you've entered into a contract to purchase a condo using the Residential Condominim Contract (Resale) form promulgated by TREC.  Section 2.C.2. says "Seller shall deliver the Certificate to Buyer within FIVE days after the effective date of the contract.  Buyer may cancel the contract before the sixth day after the date the Buyer receives the Certificate by....  The effective date of the contract is May 5.

Q. By when must the seller deliver the Certificate to the buyer?
A. By midnight on May 10.  The effective date of the contract is May 5 (day zero), add five days and it's May 10.

Q. Let's say the seller delivered the Certificate on May 8. By what date must the buyer cancel, if he  chooses to do so under this clause?
A. By midnight on May 13. "Wh-what?!?" you say? Let's walk through it:
"Buyer may cancel the contract BEFORE the SIXTH day AFTER the day the Buyer receives the certificate by."  The buyer received the certificate on May 8. The sixth day AFTER that day is May 14. The buyer must cancel BEFORE that day.  Follow?


Have more questions on counting contract days or what's typical in a Texas real estate contract? Ask in the comments below and we'll get you an answer ASAP.