Have you ever put an offer on a house you were sure was the one, but then had second thoughts? What if the offer was prepared and submitted to the seller, but not accepted? Can you back out?
There is a standard paragraph in an Agreement of Purchase and Sale that reads, “This offer shall be irrevocable by (Seller/Buyer) until ………………………. on the ………….. day of …………………………………… 20……, after which time, if not accepted, this offer shall be null and void and the deposit shall be returned to the Buyer in full without interest”.
So what if the offer is irrevocable by the Buyer until 11:59 p.m. on September 16, 2014, but they decide before that time they no longer want to buy the house. Can they retract their offer if it has already been presented to the Seller?
In a recent article on this topic, lawyer Brain Madigan noted:
“It is trite law that an Offer can be withdrawn by the Offeror at any time prior to acceptance. This information is easily retrievable from many sources. But, you have to read on, and not just conclude that you have the right answer.
If an Offer is made “irrevocable”, then it cannot be revoked. … you are stuck with your Offer until it is accepted, rejected or expires.”
So, in short the answer is no. You can’t withdraw your offer. The only exception to that would be if there was a glaring error in the offer, such as for example, you have the wrong property address or the offer price is obviously incorrect (eg. you offer $100,000 on a $1,000,000 property).
In my opinion, if at this early stage a Buyer wants to walk away, let them. Otherwise, you may face challenges receiving the deposit cheque, waiving conditions, etc. Do you really want to deal with the potential hassles that may lie ahead? If your home is priced properly you will have more showings with other offers to follow … from someone who really does want to buy your home.
I was in a multiple offer situation recently where my buyer clients were the second of two offers. After both offers were presented, I was advised by the agent for the buyers who submitted the first offer that they were withdrawing their offer. While this agent was not obligated to give me this information, she did. The listing agent could have refused to allow the prospective buyers to walk away, but she didn’t, leaving my clients’ offer the only offer and no longer an offer in competition. That scenario brings with it a whole new issue.
Stay tuned next week to find out how to protect yourself in that type of situation.
When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Burlington or Oakville area, or for general real estate advice, please contact me. I can help!
Information contained herein is general information and in no way should be deemed to be specific advice. Data and information relate to and is based on the author’s local real estate market, and is subject to change at any time. This blog represents the opinion of the author. No warranties implied or expressed have been provided. Please contact the author directly if you would like advice relating specifically to your transaction.