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Anita, Both Buyer and Seller in New Jersey

When does a contract to buy expire? When is it considered null and void?

Asked by Anita, New Jersey Tue Mar 4, 2008

I just made an offer to purchase a house. I have signed the contract listing the amount to be financed, closing dates, etc. How long is this contract valid? How long does the seller have to decide if they will accept the offer? When could I make start offers on other houses?

Help the community by answering this question:


Anita, If you have not specified a date and time on the contract to be accepted by the sellers, than sellers can take their time until seller accept/reject/or counter it. However, you can also do the same by withdrawing your offer. Next time you would like to submit an offer, on page one or special provision of the contract you may write, “This contract considered Null and Void if is not accepted by ”! This encourages the seller to respond to your offer prior to the expiration date. This system always works for my clients! As Diana specified, you must withdraw your first offer by writing a WITHDRAWN with the large fonts on top of first page of the contract of sale diagonally and faxed it back to the Listing Agent! This way you have notified them in writing that you have withdrawing your offer, legally you are no longer bound to the contract, and you can go somewhere else and submit your new offer!

Disclaimer: Please check with your Real Estate Agent and Local and State Law’s Guideline regarding submitting and withdrawing your offer! This may not apply in your state!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 4, 2008
Without signatures from both the seller and buyer, the contract is not valid at all. What you have is an offer. Typically, a seller will get back to you within a few days, but there is no set timeframe in NJ for doing so. Some states have clauses which make a response happen within a certain timeframe or the offer is automatically withdrawn, but not NJ. That is, not unless you added such a clause into your contract. So then it becomes what is "normal." Things usually move pretty quickly these days, and your agent should stay on top of this for you. A response from either side, once negotiations start should not take more than 2-3 days. Sometimes sellers are out of town on vacation, or just out of state residents and it can take longer. Again, use your agent here to find out (if there is a delay, why.)

Before you go putting in offers all over town, though, you want to be sure that the contract you have signed has been withdrawn if the seller hasn't signed it. If you are in attorney review, you can also get out of the deal, but your attorney will handle that for you. Be sure to get copies of all "kill" letters your attorney writes. You don't want to wind up having to close on more than one property.
Web Reference: http://www.dianeglander.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 4, 2008
Good morning Anita,
the offer is valid until either the seller accepts your terms as written or the parties amend the contract to satisfy both sides. the other option is if there was a clause or date put into the contract stating the expiration of the contract if not excepted by the seller. Both parties can cancel/withdrawal the offer prior to conclusion of attorney review. hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 4, 2008
There should be a specific date and time in an offer at which the offer is no longer offered to the seller. In most places the buyer can withdrawal their offer at any time prior to the expiration date as long as notice of acceptance has not been received. In some states that notice is considered to have been given to the buyer if the buyers agent has been notified.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 4, 2008
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