Time is not usually “of the essence” in contracts for the sale of real property. A party may enforce a contract even though he is not unreasonably late (usually a few weeks will be considered not unreasonably late) in tendering performance. Although time is not of the essence, a party that is late in tendering performance may be liable for damages.
Suits for damages (action in law) will assume that time was “of the essence.”
Suits for specific performance (action in equity) will not assume that time was “of the essence.”
Time may become “of the essence” if the parties expressly agree to that effect, or one party gives notice that time will be important, or circumstances show that time was important.