Okay, so you have found the house you LOVE, you’ve submitted your offer to purchase, and you’re mere inches away from having those keys in your hands to your new abode. “Saskatoon Homeowner” has a nice ring to it! But what if your feet start getting cold? Or what if you get a fantastic job offer in a different location? Is there still time to withdraw your offer?
The short answer is “yes,” but there are some conditions. You can still back out so long as the offer or counter-offer has not been accepted and communicated by the seller and their agent. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when buyer’s wish to retract communicated offers.
A valid contract requires an offer and acceptance of that offer. For the seller’s offer to be valid, that acceptance must be communicated promptly to the Buyer that has made the offer.
Communication of acceptance through a telephone call, fax or email are all valid means of communication, as deemed by the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission.
Confirmation of acceptance is not an essential element for the contract to be valid. Provided that the approval of the offer has been communicated to the Buyer, confirmation or acknowledgement of the accepted offer is not required for the contract to be valid.
Acceptance communicated to the buyer’s agent counts as a sufficient point of contact to establish the contract. Buyers or sellers need not communicate directly with the other party as the agent representing them is a viable placeholder.
The Buyer can be bound at any time after submitting the offer once acceptance is communicated to the other party. Be it by after-hours fax to the brokerage office or an unread email, the contract is cemented, and the Buyer is no longer free to withdraw.
The moral of the story is that it’s all about communication and that before submitting the offer to purchase, it is best to be as sure about the property as possible. If you have changed your mind and the offer is already submitted, you will need to contact your agent ASAP. Time is of the essence for your agent to act as quickly as possible in your favour to communicate the retraction to the other party before it is accepted, preferably in writing. If the offer is accepted before the Buyer’s retraction or the Seller disputes the retraction, you must seek legal counsel.
Our highest recommendation is to have a trusted and knowledgeable REALTOR® by your side, assisting you in navigating the local housing market. Whether it’s buying or selling, we’ve got all the tips and tricks to landing you your dream home!