When Does My Real Estate Offer Become a Contract?


  1. When a buyer makes an offer to purchase, the seller is usually given a deadline to respond by. Please respect these respond times, or request an extension prior to the deadline.
  2. If you make any changes to the offer you have made a counter-offer. This means that the buyer is no longer obligated to any of the terms of the contract until he signs off (initials) the changes made.
  3. When dealing with transaction brokers, as many companies are, the offer is not a contract until all parties have signed and initialed any changes, AND the contract is delivered back to the party who made the last counter-offer. It is NOT sufficient that everyone has verbally agreed to the contract, nor is it sufficient for the sales agent to accept the contract on behalf of his/her customer.

Common Misconceptions

  1. The seller must look at offers in the order they are written.
  2. The seller must take the highest priced offer.
  3. The seller must counter each offer and give buyers a chance to respond with a higher price or better terms.
  4. The seller can deal with only one offer at a time.

Last but not least, verbal offers and acceptances are not enforceable in Florida! Until everyone has signed, initialed and received a copy of the fully executed contract, other offers may be accepted by the seller.

We encourage you to seek the advice of a real estate attorney for any additional information or discussion about this subject matter.

Click here to find out about contracts for buyers.

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