In Massachusetts the Seller accepted our offer to buy her house over the phone. Now she won't sign it. Are verbal acceptances legally binding?

Asked by Kerrymoreau, North Attleboro, MA Sun Apr 11, 2010

I made a written offer for a house and gave it along with a check to the realtor in Massachusetts. The owner accepted the offer over the phone but now refuses so sign the offer because she has been offered more money. Is her verbal acceptance binding? They want to return my check

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Ghealey, Home Buyer, Rockport, MA
Mon Sep 4, 2017
I am the seller. First step completed "good faith money" in escrow --here is the question/s .
Timelimts stated in first legal document for proceeding to p&s signing have run out by 11 days.
Do I have to sell? buyer is getting unreasonable and not working with his agent just mine.
Is there a conflict of interest?
Also real estate brokers contract has run out 12 days ago. What is my liability 2 him as well?
0 votes
Heidi Zizza, Agent, Framingham, MA
Mon Apr 12, 2010
Bottom line you had no signature! No proof of offer accepted. Morally it may be incorrect but it's a losing battle. Take the check back and move on. It wasn't meant to be!
Web Reference:
0 votes
Susan Costa, , Westport, MA
Mon Apr 12, 2010
Kerry NO verbal offer is enforceable. Unfortunately you are not the first one this has happen to.

This happened to one of my clients as well, until the P & S is signed, there is no contract. You would think that people would have a moral ethic to continue with what they aggreed to, unfortunately, sellers have the right to accept the highest and best offer. I am really sorry for your pain and dissapointment.

Good luck with your search.
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sun Apr 11, 2010
Computer says, no.

Kerry, I feel for you, but when it comes to real estate, verbal agreements aren't enforceable. If it isn't signed, then, it really doesn't exist.

All the best,
0 votes
J.M.Jones -…, , Massachusetts
Sun Apr 11, 2010
Look - I am upset just reading your words - I know exactly what it feels like to be lied to - BUT legally you need to think it out - exactly how do you know that it was the actually owner on the phone? I mean really How? That in itself is a defense angle in my opinion. Now ask why she says no now, what is not lined up, what changed? see if you can resolve that issue and maybe she will come around - If your getting mad and she is getting mad she wont sell it to you for spite and you lose regardless. See if you can resolve it calmly, but the advise above is crutial - always ask a YOUR lawyer legal questions - no agent is qualified to help you unless they posses a law degree in the state the issue has occured.
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sun Apr 11, 2010
Your agent can advise you best--The only binding acceptance is a legal contract signed by all parties--how badly do you want this property--you can try offering additional money or simply take the check back and move on.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Home Buying in North Attleboro Zip Codes

Email me when…

Learn more