Can a seller accept another offer if we already accepted their counter offer via email and signed the purchase agreement?

Asked by lalore, 48317 Tue Sep 4, 2012

We have been in negotiations to purchase a home for about a month. Here' some background:

- The sellers, have been slow to respond to each offer/counteroffer and have repeatedly tried to get us to increase our offer price by not responding to our counters until after other scheduled showings (annoying, but fine).
- They have already allowed our offer to expire once to wait out weekend showings & the following Monday came back to us.
- We countered same-day (Monday)
- They countered on Thursday and we accepted on Friday. Our realtor accepted their offer over the phone as well as via email and we signed the PA that day.
- The sellers' realtor was on vacation & did not send the PA to the sellers to sign. On Saturday, they got another offer on the house.
- They are now telling us that they can consider this offer & will continue to take other offers (if we do not increase ours), since they've not signed the PA yet.

Can they do this? It is now Tuesday & we have not received a signed PA.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


lalore, Home Buyer, 48317
Tue Sep 4, 2012
We are fortunately in the position that we are not being forced to move - we have a perfectly nice house and we just happen to really like this one and would like to upgrade.

We are unfortunately in the position, however, that we do have to sell our current house in order to move. Because we are only selling if we are able to buy this other house, we really need to know whether we have an agreement and whether we should sell ours.

Therefore, it seems to me that the best course of action is to give them a time limit to sign after which our offer expires. This will either force them to make a decision or relieve us of our obligation so we can move on. This is the course our realtor recommends. We do really love the house but we don't want to be strung along forever, either.

Is this a reasonable request of the sellers?
0 votes
Marge Bennett, Agent, Fort Myers, FL
Tue Sep 4, 2012
if your signed counter offer was not conveyed to them, and they didn't sign it, then it doesn't count. sorry
0 votes
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Tue Sep 4, 2012
I am confused but I bet you mean they countered verbally and you accepted verbally. If that is the case then you have nothing at all. It MUST be in writing and it MUST be signed by you and them. Then and only then do you have a contract. Verbal means nothing at all.
0 votes
sorry - I meant the phone convo DOES NOT hold water
Flag Tue Sep 4, 2012
Their counteroffer was emailed to my realtor and our realtor sent back our acceptance via email. They also spoke on the phone to confirm the offer and acceptance. I realize the phone conversation does hold water, but does the fact that there was an agreement via email mean anything? Or does none of it matter until they sign (even though we signed already)?
Flag Tue Sep 4, 2012
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more