Is a purchase offer binding?

Asked by Michele Seidenspinner, Greenwood Lake, NY Tue Jul 17, 2012

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Paul Miller, Agent, Bradford, MA
Tue Jul 17, 2012
Hi Michele,
It depends on where you are with the purchase offer. When the offer is first made, it is basically a request to buy a piece of property. An offer then becomes a valid, legal, and binding contract once it is signed by both parties, consideration(a deposit) is paid, and it is delivered back to the party that made the offer. It starts its journey as a request to buy, and if followed through, becomes a full fledged and binding contract. Good luck to you!
2 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Tue Jul 17, 2012
An offer is just that-- until an executed contract exists, signed by all parties and deposit money is exchanged, the seller is free to do as he/she wishes...
1 vote
Phoward@crrn…, , New York, NY
Tue Jul 17, 2012
Not in New York state, unless it;s in the form of a contract, signed by the bidder, with consideration, and signed by the seller in acceptance.
1 vote
Maryann John…, , New York, NY
Tue Jul 17, 2012
Only a fuly executed contract is binding. An offer is not.
1 vote
Michael Hunt…, Other Pro, Burbank, CA
Fri Mar 17, 2017
An Accepted & Signed Offer Is A Binding Contract. ... Under established Massachusetts case law, a signed standard form offer to purchase is a binding and enforceable contract to sell real estate even if the offer is subject to the signing of a more comprehensive purchase and sale agreement.Sep 8, 2009
0 votes
dploves2sell…, Agent, Woodbury, NY
Fri Apr 10, 2015
In New York, the contracts are legally binding. Consult with an Attorney for any legal questions and concerns you may have.
0 votes
nsmanley, , New York, NY
Tue Mar 24, 2015
The Buyer's attorney is demanding that the seller make further repairs after 4 or 5 issues have been addressed by contractors and financial concessions before they will purchase home. It is a USDA Purchase Offer and had met all requirements until a new issue with moisture was apparent. All repairs were made but new inspection said they found mold that was not there initially. After thousands of dollars in repairs, the buyer is threatening litigation if seller takes it off the market. The seller in good faith has done more than most sellers would have. Is the seller obligated to do more repairs by having a PO? Seller is more than frustrated.
0 votes
Joseph Hasti…, Agent, Bayside, NY
Mon Aug 20, 2012
Hi Michele. I know I'm late to the party but when I saw the question, I had to respond. I am NOT an Attorney, just a humble Associate Broker :) I've not read the other answers but to be direct, NO, a purchase offer is not a binding document, especially downstate in Manhattan and the boroughs.

I suspect they use "purchase offers" up in Greenwood Lake, yes? You may have been asked for a small deposit to "take it off the market." You have every right to back out of the deal if you want to provided you have NOT signed a Contract of Sale. In NY State you are required to use an Attorney to purchase real estate. I certainly hope you are represented. If you have any doubts, talk with your Atty.
0 votes
Jennifer Fiv…, Agent, Red Hook, NY
Tue Jul 24, 2012
A purchase offer is not the contract . My experience has been the parties can walk away during this period and earnest money is returned. Once the contract is signed walking away usually has consequences unless it is due to a contingency that could not be met.
0 votes
The Stephen…, Agent, Portland, OR
Tue Jul 17, 2012
In most states, there are numerous ways of getting out of the offer. This is so often the case, I've never had a buyer client of mine lose their earnest money.
0 votes
Jill Raff, Agent, New York, NY
Tue Jul 17, 2012
Hi Michele!

An offer is nothing more than that, an offer to pay a set price for the property for sale. Once an offer has been accepted by the seller, there is an ethical and 'good faith' agreement that unless the buyer defaults for some reason, the seller will sell to that buyer for that price. Nothing is legally binding until the contract has been signed by BOTH parties, the 10% deposit has been paid to the seller's attorney, AND until it is DELIVERED back to the buyer mutually signed. It is not enough to be signed.

If you need any other help, feel free to give me a call or write.

0 votes
Michael Liew, Agent, Bayside, NY
Tue Jul 17, 2012
No. Only a contract signed by both parties is legally binding. Why are you asking?
0 votes
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Tue Jul 17, 2012
A Purchase offer in Rockland/Orange County New York, is just that. It is in NO WAY binding. When both parties(Buyer & Seller) actually sign a Contract, Deposit(issues of inspection resolved) put in escrow of Sellers Attorney, etc you may consider that the real start of the process subject to a Mortgage, Commitment and clear to close from Buyers Bank. Need any further help, email or call!

Allan Erps, ABR,SFR,C.O.R.E.
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
BHG Rand Realty
95 S Middletown Rd
Nanuet, NY 10954
VM(24 Hours) 845-624-8100 X141
Cell Phone/Text 845-304-3040
Fax# 845-624-7137
My Email:
For the latest in Buyers and Sellers Resources,
visit my website at;
or find me on Trulia at;
0 votes
Jenet Levy, Agent, New York, NY
Tue Jul 17, 2012
In NYC, no. In NYC until a contract is signed and the deposit changes hands, it is not binding. I don't know if you are the buyer or seller, but generally an accepted offer is taken on good faith by both parties, but not legally binding by either party until that party has signed, and if you are the buyer, signed and given your 10% down.
0 votes
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