What does "time is of the essence" mean?
"Time is of the essence" is a phrase often used in contracts, which, in effect says: the specified time and dates in this agreement are vital and thus, mandatory, and "we mean it." Therefore, any delay, reasonable or not, slight or not, will be grounds for cancelling the agreement.
Failure to act within the time required constitutes a breach of the contract. The general rule is that time is not of the essence unless the contract expressly so provides. As a result, with respect to real estate transactions, the modern view is that time is not of the essence unless the parties have manifested such an intent.

Posted By: Tim Parker on Friday, November 13, 2009