Of course, unless the contract had zero contingencies, in California, I understand it would have been void once buyer changed his mind and communicated it to the seller.
I did not get from what you have written whether or not you meant they have both signed a contract (or offer as it is in Mass.) or if they were simply emails stating their intentions. If they were simply emails, they are probably not binding. If both parties signed contracts, that is a different situation. Also, was there a deposit involved and did any change hands?
You should check with a qualfied real estate attorney who practices in Virginia.
My answer is are you willing to pay an attorney over $400 dollars an hour to get an answer? Most attorneys I speak to are on the fence about the validity of email in MA courts. In my opinion nothing is executed until both parties have signed an updated and final offer. Until that point it is not final. I wish you the best. T
You need to see an attorney to interpret your contract and follow state laws.
If the Purchase & Sales Agreement is signed by both parties then you have a contract.
If no Purchase & Sales Agreement signed by both parties then there is an out.
Sorry, for you inconvenience - te lesson to learn here is "Until closing - it is never a done deal"
An accepted offer is unsually a signature on the offer itself. That can then be emailed or faxed. Just replying in an email may not be the same, but is a form of acceptance. The cost of pursuing this answer may be great. Carefully weigh the cost vs moving on to another buyer. The fact that the property garnered an offer is encouraging and there may be another buyer in the near future.
True that this is clearly a legal question and so only an attorney can actually answer it.
My impression is that there was no actual contract in place, and therefore nothing binding for the Seller to hold the Buyer to as an obligation.. A Contract requires Both Parties to have Signed THE AGREEMENT. It doesn't sound like this took place, and the Seller is trying to use an email with "we accept your offer", in place of a full reply with signatures on the contract by both parties.
I could be wrong but my impression is that there is NO EXECUTED CONTRACT. Emails alone, without the signatures of BOTH PARTIES on the CONTRACT, does not to me represent a binding AGREEMENT. A meeting of the minds is not a Contract.
So ... by all means check with a local real estate attorney. But if it were me and there was ONE set of signatures on that contract and it wasn't MY signature then I wouldn't worry about it.
Hope that helps, check back and let us know how you make out,