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Buying Information -> When Does My Offer Become a Contract?

When Does My Offer Become a Contract?


  1. When you make an offer to purchase, please give the seller ample time to respond. Your agent should call the listing agent to determine an appropriate amount of time, and to inquire if there are other offers already on the table.
  2. If there are other offers, make your first offer your best offer. A seller is looking at the price and terms most acceptable to him, and the seller may deal with multiple offers in the way he deems best.
  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 sellers.

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