Is a counter offer via email legally binding if the official offer is not signed?

Asked by Sam, Virginia Beach, VA Sun Jul 13, 2008

countered via email and the seller informed us that the offer was on the table. The seller is seeking a higher offer. Our counter offer was put in an email. is this legally binding since the counter offer was not initialed?

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7
Dan Zarate, , Chesapeake, VA
Mon Jul 14, 2008
Hello Sam! I concur with the responses of the other agents in this regard. Talk to your agent to get the sellers initials the changes in the counter-offer so you can review whether or not to accept the terms before the acceptance.
3 votes
Andres Munar, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, State College, PA
Thu Jul 17, 2008
Sam,

Even though I am a mortgage specialist I took the real estate courses. And the one thing my teacher said and it has stuck with me is EVERYTHING MUST BE IN WRITING!!!!! plain and simple hope that helps
0 votes
Charles McDo…, Agent, Charlottesville, VA
Mon Jul 14, 2008
Like the previous answers you need to have it signed....
Because this is a legal question in VA I would also recommend that you (or your agent) contact Lem Marshall the legal expert in VA. http://varbuzz.com/author/lem/
Best of luck to you!
0 votes
Carl Fuller, Agent, Virginia Beach, VA
Mon Jul 14, 2008
No, the counter offer is not legally binding unless it has been initialed by both parties. Additionally, when dealing with legal contracts and email, get all documents signed and initialed as soon as possible instead of relying on an emailed documents which might not be enforceable.
0 votes
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Sun Jul 13, 2008
O.K. Sam,

For CA contracts, there are special wording for counter offer (which is issued and signed by one party), if the 2nd party agrees with the counter offer, then they need to sign and return to the party who issued the counter. After that, it's done. But we do need signatures not just email a counter back without signature or initial.

However, like I said, that's what happens in CA and while I am waiting for VA agent to reply at this late hour, I did some googling... here they are ..

From what I am reading - you will need to have e-Signature if you are emailing the contract out without physically signing it. I don’t think sending a email out with blank signature without some approved e-Signature format works.

http://www.jaredmore.com/internetlaw/contracts.html

Check out this definition of e-Signature http://www.answers.com/topic/electronic-signature?cat=technology

I will let you know when I hear back from a VA agent, or if we are lucky, they will just go ahead and reply here.

Sylvia
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Sun Jul 13, 2008
Nothing is legal till its in writing signed by both parties on sale purchase agreement http://www.lynn911.com http://www.homes-for-sale-dallas.com
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Sun Jul 13, 2008
Why did you not scan the signed counter and then email that?

Don't know about Virginia, but in CA, our contract, addendum, counter, ..etc, need to be signed by authorized persons. .

What does your Realtor say?

Sylvia
0 votes
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