Question and Answer Regarding Revocation of a Counter-Offer

Question:  I am a listing agent in the sale of real property.  The seller seeks to revoke a counter-offer issued before the expiration has expired.  The buyer has not signed the counter-offer.  The counter-offer reduced the contingency periods.  The buyer is objecting to the revocation claiming that the conditions are not “material.”  Does the seller have a right to revoke the counter-offer before the buyer signs it?

Answer:  Yes.  The counter-offer contains material terms and the parties do not have a meeting of the minds.  Therefore, a contract has not been formed and the seller may revoke the counter-offer.  However, the counter-offer must be revoked before the buyer signs and returns it.  A counter-offer may legally be revoked verbally, but that is not advisable.  It is recommended that the seller revoke the counter-offer in writing and the listing agent contact the selling agent by telephone immediately upon submission of the revocation.

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