Can a seller withdraw a counter offer?

A seller has received an offer for her home and after consideration makes a verbal counter offer through her Realtor. The potential buyers verbally accept, but the seller then gets cold feet and withdraws the counter offer. Is the seller’s move legal?

Answer: Yes.

Assuming the parties have nothing in writing, the seller is likely able to do this based on a legal concept called The Statute of Frauds. Under the Statute of Frauds, certain types of contracts must be in writing in order for them to be enforceable. One of the types of contracts under this rule is the contract for the sale of real property. Therefore, if the parties only have a verbal agreement, it is likely an unenforceable contract as it wasn’t memorialized in writing.

© 2017 Florida Realtor®

Reprinted with permission Florida Realtors. All rights reserved.