Time Is of the Essence

A contract clause that emphasizes punctual performance as an essential requirement of the contract. Thus, if any party to the instrument does not perform within the specified time period (the drop-dead date), that party is in default, provided the nondefaulting party has made a valid tender of performance. If no tender is made, then the clause may be waived. The clause may also be waived by the subsequent acts of the parties such as accepting tardy payments or signing escrow instructions that allow for extensions of time in which to perform.