At what point is a seller obligated to a buyer?

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At what point is a seller obligated to a buyer?

We recently made an offer on a house. The listing agent emailed us the following day with a counteroffer that we promptly accepted, also through email. The next day we received another email from the listing agent saying that this was a multiple offer situation to bring our best offers. Wasn’t the seller already obligated to us?

Asked on February 29, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

Hong Shen / Roberts Law Group

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Once you accepted the counteroffer there is a binding contract. There are two things to consider, though. One is the email. Did you use the standard forms? If not, then your acceptance may not be valid since this is a real property contract. Second, did you make any changes to the counter offer? Even a minor one would reject the counter offer and your acceptance would make a counter offer No. 2, which the seller is free to accept or reject. If none of this applies, I would think you have a binding contract. Consult a real estate attorney in your area.


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