The 72-Hour Clause

Also called a release clause, the 72-hour clause is typically written into sales contracts by the seller. With a 72-hour clause in the contract, a seller is able to keep the home on the market and accept backup offers on the property. When buyers enter into a contract to purchase a home that is contingent on them selling their current home, the 72-hour clause can force the buyer to purchase the house within a short period of time or allow the seller to choose another buyer. If the seller receives an offer that is better than the initial offer, he can activate the 72-hour clause to force the buyer to purchase the house or forfeit the contract. The time period in the release clause can be negotiated, but advanced notice is always required before the seller can cancel the deal.