The California Association of Realtors published their coronavirus addendum/amendment today.
Those with an existing contract aren’t obligated to sign it, but they mentioned the ‘Force Majeure Clause’, which is a common clause in contracts that essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties, such as a war, strike, riot, crime, plague, or an event described by the legal term act of God (hurricane, flood, earthquake, volcanic eruption, etc.), prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract.
I did whip through our standard contract, but didn’t find the words “force majeure” anywhere in the text, but it is probably in the Civil Code. In practice, most force majeure clauses do not excuse a party’s non-performance entirely, but only suspend it for the duration of the force majeure.
The CAR form suggests a 30-day extension, but whatever works for you. If the good-faith deposit is at risk, they are asking the sellers nicely to give it back to the buyers if they can’t qualify due to COVID-19 issues.
Let’s hope none of these get contested.