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Withdrawing an offer

Discussion in 'The Buying & Selling Process' started by D&J, 17th Mar, 2016.

  1. D&J

    D&J Active Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm currently in the market for a house in Qld and there are a couple of places at interest at the moment. My question relates to placing an offer on a property and whether I can withdraw the offer at any stage (prior to the vendor accepting/signing).

    If I place an offer on a property with a clause that the offer will expire in 24/48hours, however prior to the 24/48hr period ending and prior to hearing back from the vendor, can I simply withdraw my offer for any reason?

    If so, can I simply call the agent advising them of this and then put it in writing via email?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    An offer is by no means binding unless a purchase agreement has been signed by both parties.

    If it is just an offer there is no formal process to withdraw it however just an email to the agent saying I am no longer interested may be courteous
     
  3. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    Gday D&J, if you're submitting offers on multiple houses you can add a blurb about subject to other offers being accepted.
    If you do a bit of search around on here you will probably find an example.
     
    Last edited: 17th Mar, 2016
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  4. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    Hey Xenia, a little different in QLD as generally you submit a completed and signed contract to submit an offer.
     
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  5. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    As Azazel says, in Queensland if you sign the contract (which is how it is done here) and you want to retract that offer, I would be emailing the agent and getting confirmation that he has indeed not had the vendor sign. Until he calls you and says "you have bought a house" you should be safe to know it has not been signed, but double check and ensure you get confirmation of your email.

    There could be even more you need to do and I think you should ask Darryl (RPI) to confirm how to safely ensure you've rescinded your offer properly.
     
  6. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    That's a good idea, ask Daryl or your Lawyer/Conveyancer (save time and go with RPI ;))
     
  7. Bran

    Bran Well-Known Member

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    I spoke to Daryl last time that I was very close to having the other party sign, but I chose to withdraw at the last minute. From memory, he told me to send an email prior to calling the agent, just in case the agent conveyed verbal confirmation that it was signed. IF the withdrawal email predated the signed copy, or communication thereof, then it became void.

    Ill never know if they actually signed it...
     
  8. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    I used to think it was just the agent being polite and enthusiastic when they would call to say "congratulations, you've bought a house" (first recall hearing that phrase about 30 years ago) but was told that until the agent conveys this to the purchaser, even though signed by the vendor, that the contract is not binding. That is why (as Bran has pointed out) I would email before making a call in case he slips in that "congratulations" phrase before you can say you want to rescind your offer.
     
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  9. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    Ah Ok, I thought they were just being friendly as well.
    Wonder which one overrules if you're both going "Congratulationsonyournewpurchase..." "Iwanttopullout..." at the same time.
     
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  10. Bran

    Bran Well-Known Member

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    The former I bet.
     
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  11. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    Maybe.
    I might start answering every call from an agent with "Iwanttopullout..."
    What was that? Nothing...
     
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  12. JDM

    JDM Well-Known Member

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    Queensland property lawyer here - You can generally withdraw an offer at any time before acceptance has been communicated to you. Putting a clause in the contract that says "this offer is valid until x" would work against you unless you drafted the clause correctly. If you wanted to be extra cautious:

    1. The Buyer's offer is conditional upon the Seller's acceptance being communicated to the Buyer on or before the earlier of:
    (a) 5:00pm on 17 March 2016; or
    (b) the date the Buyer withdraws the Buyer's offer.

    In reality you can just put nothing in the contract and email the agent saying 'sorry, offer is withdrawn' and this will be valid. This is usually the easiest method.
     
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  13. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    And just don't answer your phone.
     
  14. JDM

    JDM Well-Known Member

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    Ah but then you have to watch out for email and post!
     
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  15. D&J

    D&J Active Member

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    Thank you very much everyone for the thoughts and feedback!

    Can I ask for thoughts on this situation..

    - Property listen for $450k
    - I formally offered $420k via contract (Qld purchase).
    - Agent/vendor countered with $430k
    - I 'thought' about it and eventually agreed to $430k, agent said she will try and get in contact with the vendor and get back to me but never did
    - If I send through the updated offer/contract tomorrow, can the vendor counter sign and we exchange or will this need to wait till Monday?

    I would like to take it off the market prior to the inspections tomorrow afternoon.
     
  16. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    Did vendor counter by amending the price on the contract and initialing (normal procedure)? If so then as soon as you initial the amendment that is a contract and the agent should have come straight back to you for your initial and tied it all up.

    Sounds like the agent may have not got their counter and initials and has just called them - pretty slack really. A good agent would have the price altered and vendor initials and should have got back to you quick smart before you change your mind.

    Sounds a bit dodgy to me. And sounds like they are waiting for tomorrow's open to see if they get a better offer.

    I would call first thing tomorrow, ask if vendor countersigned by crossing out and initialing the contract and if not, insist it be done before the open house or you will rescind your offer. If she holds an open house tomorrow she could use your offer as leverege.
     
  17. JDM

    JDM Well-Known Member

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    This is on the money. It will depend on the facts and how it has all played out. A counter offer in Queensland usually involves the seller amending the contract (price usually), signing and sending the amended contract to the buyer. Is this what happened?

    It could be the case that you technically have a legally binding contract on foot already (seller counter offered and you have communicated acceptance to this counter offer). This issue with this would be proving the offer and acceptance.

    The easiest approach might be to amend your offer and submit the amended offer for signing by the seller.
     
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  18. D&J

    D&J Active Member

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    No. It was all verbal. I was told the $430k was the lowest the vendor will accept, I said I will think about it and get back to them.

    Shortly after, I called back and agreed to the price over the phone. The vendor is apparently hard to get a hold of (which I question) and never heard back from the agent re the counter offer signed contract.

    I did have a 5pm termination clause and told the agent I needed to wrap this up as I had other potential properties that I needed to make a call on. I just find it odd that if I agreed to their price then why the agent and vendor would not have wanted to lock me in whilst they had the chance.

    Yes, that is what I was thinking I will do. Let them know my new offer of $430k is valid as long as I have the countersigned contract by X time. Otherwise I rescind my offer and I am moving on.

    Yeah, I don't want to assume this is the case. Until I have the countersigned contract, I am not assuming anything.

    Thanks guys, good to bounce some ideas and thoughts from some others out there. I appreciate you taking the time out to respond!
     
  19. MyPropertyPro

    MyPropertyPro SE Qld Property Management & Investor Services Business Member

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    Hi D&J,

    Looks like you have Qld sorted but after having bought property in almost all states and overseas my biggest piece of advice would be to find your legal representation first, advise them of your plans and have a chat about the state based rules, regulations and best practice with regard to the purchase process. Every state is completely different and knowing how the process works prior to making offers will save you a lot of headaches and potentially a lot of money.

    Regardless of what the norm is, there is no law that says you can't negotiate a price verbally or via email prior to putting in on a contract. Even in states where best practice is to put your offer on a contract, I found that this just wastes a lot of time if the vendor decides they don't want to come to the party. I usually make it clear that I'm willing to put my offer on a contract immediately upon acceptance and come to an in-principle price agreement. If you're buying an investment property you may be looking at many different properties at the same time and if they're all the roughly the same, it becomes a lot of work to fill out multiple contracts time after time, particularly with special conditions etc. There's nothing wrong with a verbal discussion first or even an email first and it's the agent's decision as to whether they take you seriously or not. Remember, nothing is binding until it's an executed contract.

    Andrew
     
  20. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    I've never told an agent what I will be putting in the contract until I'm sitting there with a pen in my hand and I would never make an offer other than on a contract, signed by me and usually taken directly to the vendor (usually within an hour or two). This is Queensland and I know other states are different.
     
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