Can you retract your counter offer before hearing back from the other party?

Asked by MP, 01748 Sat Mar 14, 2009

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Sandy Hewett,…, , Dallas, TX
Sat Mar 14, 2009
Hello MH,

Yes, unless you have final initials/acceptance on the actual paperwork you may resend an offer. However, if you have provided the party with the final initials on your side of the transaction and they need to initial to complete the process and have done so then you become an executed contract then it gets a little more difficult to get out of the contract. Once you send the termination to cease negotiations notice to the other party you must be sure that they have not faxed or emailed the executed contract to you or your Realtor. Dates and times are crucial here. If you call the other party they can always say we have already signed off and zip it to you immediately before you send a retraction. Always, always communicate in writing. Also, even if you do have a final contract in the State of Texas, if you purchased an option period you may opt out within a certain period of time and not have to give a reason. Realize that you do not receive the Option Fee back from the Seller. However, that's why you purchased that option. I am not an attorney and do not practice law but these are some basic real estate premises. Be sure to consult your Realtor as they are specifically trained to protect you interests. Also, remember, if you opt out of a contract and you change your mind and decide you want this home after all, it will most likely be much harder to re-negotiate another contract with this Seller. Good luck to you in your home search.
Web Reference:  http://www.sandyhewett.com
1 vote
I'm sure Sandy means "executory" and not "executed".
Flag Wed Aug 17, 2016
Kim Marin, , Grapevine, TX
Sat Mar 14, 2009
Absolutely! Until the moment the other party agrees to your counter offer in writing and you receive the agreement in writing, or the acceptance has been relayed to you, you can "rescind" your offer or counter offer, rendering it of no force or effect. It is a requirement to do this & all other correspondence in writing with real estate transactions, I think email is great due to the delivery time stamp. It must be relayed to the other party, not just their agent, but it is presumed that once delivered to the other agent it is if it has been delivered to the other party.
At that point, you may make a counter offer, or reject the other party's offer or counter offer.
This opinion should not be considered to be legal advise. For complete information you should seek the advise of an attorney.
1 vote
Kim Marin, , Grapevine, TX
Sat Mar 14, 2009
Just so you know, while a sales contract calls for earnest money, not paying the required earnest money per contract only puts the buyer in breach of contract and does not nullify the contract
"If you agree to pay earnest money but do not make the required payment or your earnest money check “bounces,” you will probably be considered in breach of the contract."
Our Texas contracts say: "If Buyer fails to deposit the earnest money as required by this contract, Buyer will be in default."
The consideration that William wrote about refers to the purchase price stated in the contract, which is an integral part of what constitutes a valid contract.
I'm not sure what state you are in, but Sandy is right when it comes to Texas contracts regarding the option period.
0 votes
William Brok…, Agent, Jamaica Plain, MA
Sat Mar 14, 2009
Everyone here forgot one very important piece of information. A purchase contract is not binding until "consideration" has been paid. Until you have given the seller or their agent a deposit, there is no legal contract. Consult an attorney.
0 votes
Bella, , Newton, MA
Sat Mar 14, 2009
Hello, MH,

until you initialed all the changes to and signed previously verbally agreed upon terms, you don't have a binding contract. I would recommend to always have a paper trail. A great means for this is e-mail, since you always have date and time.

Thank you.
0 votes
John DeMars, Agent, West Orange, NJ
Sat Mar 14, 2009
When the counter offer is presented to you it is just that an Offer it is not a contract.
Web Reference:  http://www.JohnDeMars.com
0 votes
John Savigna…, Agent, Hopkinton, MA
Sat Mar 14, 2009
There is NO binding contract until both parties have signed the verbally agreed terms. In other words even if the terms are agreed to, they still need to be initialed by both parties. Assuming you are using a realtor, you should speak with them regarding this question. Good Luck John
0 votes
Territory.c…, Agent, MA,
Sat Mar 14, 2009
You ca retract an offer any time before it has been accepted by the other party. To be safe retract in writing so you have a paper trail.
0 votes
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