FAQ – “My seller has countered a buyer’s offer and left it open until midnight, but I just received a better offer from another agent. Can we accept this offer?”
In this video Steve Jamieson, Managing Broker of RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside, explains how to navigate the tricky territory of revoking offers and counter offers.
Here’s a brief summary:
A contract is in negotiation and a better offer is received
Even though an offer or counter offer is open for acceptance until a defined date and time, it is important for your buyers and sellers to know that the offer may be revoked by the other party prior to acceptance.
Revocation of offers and counter-offers
Work quickly and seek the advice of your Managing Broker if there is anything that you are unsure of*
Communication of acceptance is KEY!
If you have not received communication of acceptance, then the buyers technically haven’t accepted your seller’s counter-offer. The buyers may have signed the counter offer an hour or two hours earlier, but it’s the actual communication of the acceptance to you that is important.
Call the buyer’s agent and do not give them a chance to say anything. Don’t ask if the counter offer has been accepted or any other details. Your first words should be “I hereby revoke the seller’s offer.”
Immediately follow up with an email and / or text so that you have a record of the date and time.
Though an offer can be revoked orally, it is critically important to have written evidence of the revocation. Revocation is not effective until it is received by the offeree (i.e., the person to whom the offer was made) or the offeree’s licensee.
You are now free to accept the other offer.
Avoid selling the same property twice!
You may find yourself in a situation where despite your best efforts, the necessary communication to revoke the offer has not taken place. This leaves you in limbo until you either receive acceptance from the buyer’s agent, or the time for acceptance expires.
Let’s say your counter-offer is open until midnight, but the second offer is only open until 10:00pm.
What you could do is accept the second offer, but make it subject to the seller ceasing to be obligated in any way to the first offer. Refer to your Professional Standards Manual for information about the Back-up Contract Clause.
* Please note: The Frequently Asked Question video series is used for training purposes within our group of RE/MAX offices. If you are licensed at a different brokerage, you must refer to your own Managing Broker for advice.