Can You Withdraw A Counteroffer?

cartoon figures fighting over real estate

This week, a buyer’s broker emailed me about her buyer’s counteroffer. Buyer offered, seller countered, buyer wanted to accept all of the terms of the counteroffer with a minor addition. Buyer counters the seller’s counteroffer.

I am sure you can see this one coming. The seller gets a better offer. The buyer’s agent asked me if the buyer could withdraw the buyer’s counter (which had neither been signed nor rejected by the seller) and sign the seller’s counteroffer as is.

Unless the contract says the buyer can do so, the answer is no. Under the common law, a counteroffer is made up of two things: First, a rejection of the other party’s offer and, second, an offer to contract on different terms.

Once an offer is rejected, the buyer can’t resurrect it without the consent of the seller. And, because the seller just got a better offer, that’s not likely to happen!

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