Binding Contract???? - Posted by Sarah Kelly

Posted by JohnBoy on November 30, 2000 at 22:51:52:

You obviously misread something here or perhaps to much Ajax.

Once the seller makes ANY change in a contract it becomes a counter offer, period! Now the buyer must accept the counter offer and sent it back. In this case the buyer didn’t just accept it “as is” with the changes made by the seller. The buyer in this case has countered the counter offer to the seller. Unless the buyer has that offer accepted and SIGNED BY THE SELLER, the contract is NOT binding.

A contract MUST be in writing and signed by BOTH buyer and seller accepting ALL the terms to the contract. Without the sellers signed signature accepting the buyers counter offer to the sellers counter offer, there is NO binding contract, period!

Binding Contract??? - Posted by Sarah Kelly

Posted by Sarah Kelly on November 30, 2000 at 11:58:39:

I have a situation where I submitted a sales contract on a for-sale-by-owner rehab. This will be my first investment. The house is owned by a Aunt and her nephew. The Aunt is very old and sick and has her other nephew (brother to first) acting as Power of Attorney. So, basically there are two brothers (not on speaking terms) selling the house. If the brothers sell the house before she passes away, they split the profit. Once she passes away, the first nephew will get sole ownership of the house. I am dealing with the POA.

I submitted a sales contract to the POA, he sent it to his brother whose lawyer made a bunch of changes. The brothers initialed all changes, signed it and faxed back to me. I agreed and initialed all changes expcept one. The one being the date of settlement. The lawyer changed it to "on or after January 02, 2001’ and I did not like the fact there was no limit on the date. So I changed it to “on or before January 26th, 2001”. I signed the sales agreement, initialed all changes and faxed it back on Saturday at 1:00pm. The aunt passed away that day at 6:00pm.

If this contract if binding, the brothers split, if not the first brother gets all.

Do you think I have a binding contract. The issue being the change I made to the settlement date. I appreciate any advise.


Re: Binding Contract??? - Posted by dewCO

Posted by dewCO on December 01, 2000 at 11:11:09:

Absolutely NOT binding, you created another counter offer, and any all changes you made need to initialed or signed off on in some manner.

Also, when faxing, maker sure you cadd lanuage that states faxed signatures are binding, until original signatures can be obtained before or by closing. Just so there’s no question there either. Could also add langauage about signing in counterparts.

Re: Binding Contract??? - Posted by Glynn

Posted by Glynn on November 30, 2000 at 23:36:30:

Both Joe Kaiser and Johnboy are correct. In the situation you outlined there is no binding agreement.
By not agreeing to the closing date of “on or after January 2, 2001” you created a counter-offer with a closing date of “on or before January 26th, 2001” Unless you were notified of acceptance by the seller or agent/attorney representing the seller, your offer to purchase died with the Aunt. If you are still unsure of your position due to conflicting opinions I would suggest a visit to your local library and look for a book on contract law, specifically Real Estate Law.You should find what you need by looking in the index under"Ratification of contract"

Nope . . . - Posted by JoeKaiser

Posted by JoeKaiser on November 30, 2000 at 12:13:23:

By making the change, you created a counter offer. Since there was no acceptance of that counter, you’ve got no deal.


This is a binding agreement - Posted by Glenn

Posted by Glenn on November 30, 2000 at 21:50:17:


This contract is binding. The guy simply stated what he wanted and as long as he initialed it before the Aunt croaked and the dates reflect that …then you are bound Sarah.

Don’t know where this guy got his information from but we ain’t talkin about “Pup Tents” here, were talking Real Estate.

It’s all in writing!..YOU MUST PURCHASE


Re: This is a binding agreement - NOT - Posted by Brent_IL

Posted by Brent_IL on December 01, 2000 at 12:19:28:

No mutual acceptance. No meeting of the minds. As always, Joe is correct.

On what planet is this a binding agreement? - Posted by JoeKaiser

Posted by JoeKaiser on December 01, 2000 at 03:49:54:

Certainly not this one. Tell me you’re just yanking my chain. I hear the Big 5 has an opening in their camping department, btw.


Re: This is a binding agreement - Posted by JohnBoy

Posted by JohnBoy on November 30, 2000 at 22:55:06:

The buyers counter offer to the sellers counter offer was NOT signed off. The contract is NOT binding in this case!

The buyer counter offered the sellers counter offer. The seller didn’t accept it in time! Reread the post.

Re: This is a binding agreement - Posted by Milt

Posted by Milt on November 30, 2000 at 22:33:07:


Great points!

A lot of people are under the misconception that just because a seller don’t like a certain aspect of an offer and changes it that the buyer can back out. NO!! Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Sellers have more rights than the buyers. It’s a fact and only makes good good sense. Afterall, they purchased that property and they own it, therefore they can sell it for and any way they wish. Just because they make a minute change does not give the buyer the right to walk away! Let a buyer try that after a seller accepts an offer and see what transpires! Hmmm. You know it would never fly!

Your post to Sarah is just fine. I don’t know what kind of reply “NOPE” was referring to, but it’s real obvious that he has plenty to learn before he starts giving advise out!

You know…You can learn a lot if you’d just shut your mouth and listen sometimes.

I’m sure Sarah learned a lot on this question of hers.

Glad to have been a help to any readers and heres wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons!