Can a text be used to make or accept an offer to purchase a home?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Godzyk Real Estate Services NH License 033394

The question of the year perhaps. A buyer makes a written offer of lets say $200,000 with $10,000 towards buyers closings costs. The listing agent texts the buyer agent that the seller will accept $200,000 with $5000 towards the buyer closing costs. The buyer agent makes the change, the buyer initials  the change. It is promptly sent to the listing agent for sellers signature. 

 

Then crickets. The listing agent does not respond until much later saying "the text was only the range of what the seller would accept." What does that even mean?

 

The question before you is the text from the listing agent that said "the seller will accept $200,000 with $5000 credit" a valid counter offer?

  

Please leave a comment with your answer and take on the situation. Is texting considered "in writing". Wat if it was emailed? The bottom line is that it should be communicated to a buyer and seller how the buying and selling process works. What is and is not a counter offer. What is a meeting of the minds and what is enforceable. 

 

 

The MOST IMPORTANT thing in real estate for me is to provide great service. To stand out from the crowd by being there through each step of the buying or selling process. My message that I want to share in Real Estate, is that my philosophy is simple, to provide more personal and professional service to guide clients through each step of the buying or selling process. All Agents are not created equal and every buyer or seller should take the time to hire the BEST not just the biggest.

 

To CONTACT Scott Godzyk please call 603.661.2121 or EMAIL: Sctprop@aol.com .

 

About the Author: Scott Godzyk is the Owner/Broker of the Godzyk Real Estate Services in Manchester NH. Proud to be locally owned and operated with 32 years of experience, Scott is a leading Agent for Listing and Selling Homes in this area.We are Full Time Agents ready to serve all of your Real Estate needs. Servicing Hillsborough, Rockingham, Merrimack and Belknap counties. 

 

    

 

 

 

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Rainmaker
220,613
Carol Skon
HomeSmart Island Homes - Princeville, HI
RB, Kauai, Hawaii Real Estate

If it is not in writing and signed by the Principals, it is not valid.  

Aug 28, 2018 08:36 PM #75
Rainmaker
144,990
Damon Botticelli
Silver State Realty & Investments - Las Vegas, NV
Realtor - Las Vegas Real Estate

The correct response from the buyer's agent to the listing agent's text would have been, "The buyer is on board, would you please send us a counter?"

If no written counter, then the conversation between buyer's agent and buyer could have been, "I got a text from the listing saying they would accept $200k with $5k contribution, but still haven't received a signed counter offer. Why don't we put those terms in an addendum and send it over for their signatures before they change their mind or get another offer?

Aug 28, 2018 10:54 PM #76
Rainmaker
488,731
Terry McCarley
REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL
REALTOR, SRES, CDPE - Cape Coral, FL

Years ago my real estate class instructor told us over and over again “If it’s not in writing it doesn’t exist”.  That holds true in this situation - the sellers didn’t sign. When I give my word I stand by it but not everyone done that

Aug 29, 2018 04:25 AM #77
Rainer
52,695
Mark Davis-Cote
The HomesFinder Realty Group - Beaufort, SC
Broker-in-Charge, The HomesFinder Realty Group

In South Carolina, text message is not considered "writing" for real estate, and agents have no requirement for record retention of text messages.  Verbal offers are of course non-binding.  Best to put it on paper where there can be signatures (or esign) from all parties.

Aug 29, 2018 05:11 AM #78
Rainmaker
97,117
Jimmy Williams (352) 874-2354
Classic VI Realty - Mount Dora, FL
Lake and Western Orange County Real Estate Expert!

Not in writing and signed by the seller, is not a valid contract.  

Aug 29, 2018 05:49 AM #79
Rainer
265,445
Gayle Barton, Forsyth County Real Estate
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY Georgia Properties - Cumming, GA
Cumming GA Homes For Sale (404) 710-0204

I'm in Georgia, and per my broker, we are not allowed to accept a text as "in writing".   When emailing, I have this notice at the bottom of my signature: 

E-mails sent or received shall neither constitute acceptance of conducting transactions via electronic means nor create a binding contract until and unless a written contract is signed by the parties.

 

Aug 29, 2018 05:52 AM #80
Rainmaker
254,410
Pam Jank
Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro

It was certainly very tacky and underhanded but not binding.  A text between agents is not a written contract.  It must be fully signed around by both the Buyer and Seller to be binding.  

Aug 29, 2018 06:57 AM #81
Rainmaker
180,172
Karen Steed
Tallapoosa, Bremen, Waco, Buchanan, Temple, Carrollton - Tallapoosa, GA
Associate Broker Haralson Realty

Great comments!  Text does make things convenient, but signed contracts are the only things that are enforceable.  

Aug 29, 2018 07:07 AM #82
Rainer
280,371
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

Excellent topic to discuss. As a Mortgage Lender this information is worth knowing since my clients sometimes bring up these topics.

Aug 29, 2018 07:25 AM #83
Rainmaker
258,158
Sandra Paulow
Aspen Properties, Inc. - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ
REALTOR, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR

Nothing is firm until it is in writing. We often negotiate by email or text, but you do not have a valid contract until everyone signs on the bottom line. 

Aug 29, 2018 07:29 AM #84
Rainmaker
371,320
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

No because the seller didn’t sign anything.

Aug 29, 2018 08:29 AM #85
Rainer
5,732
Paula Zaluski
Action Realty - Sebastian, FL
20 years of Real Estate Experience.

Texting is Great for your record of what the other person/agent is saying. Not a valid contract. 

Aug 29, 2018 11:10 AM #86
Rainmaker
1,469,311
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

While a text is a good record of the communication, it's hardly a way of accepting an offer.  Where is the signature?

Aug 29, 2018 01:11 PM #87
Rainmaker
584,685
Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

Unless it is signed manually or sent by Docu-Sign it is just an idea floating in text-land.

Aug 30, 2018 08:35 AM #88
Rainer
137,572
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

I don't know that it is a deal until it is signed, sealed and delivered. I had a situation where our offer was accepted but the seller couldn't sign it until Monday. I told the agent that I would be very unhappy if a better offer came in over the weekend and she took that one. It wasn't our fault that the seller couldn't sign until Monday so we expected them to honor their word. BUT they could have pulled the rug out from under us, I think. Thankfully, they kept their word and documents were signed on Monday.

Aug 30, 2018 10:00 AM #89
Rainmaker
786,079
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

You don't want to give up your hand, so maybe should negotiate over the phone.  But nay text outside of the contract doesn't matter as far as I'm concerned. 

Aug 30, 2018 01:18 PM #90
Rainer
95,192
Brian DeYoung
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ithaca, NY
Brian DeYoung

No matter how low the offer may be, I ask for it in writing.

No matter how great the offer may be, I ask for it in writing.

 

I just did a class where one seller thought it was all about the money.

I knew he thought his house was worth somewhere North of 190,000.

I said, would you sell your home for 400,000? If so, indicate it on this paper, sign it, and I will  add in the terms and conditions.

He did ! This was just for instructional purposes.

I then told Him I would pay him  $400,000, at a rate of 10 dollars a day, paid monthly, until paid, with possession in 30 days.

He got the point.

Aug 31, 2018 09:35 AM #91
Rainmaker
501,963
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I do not negotiate over text, but a lot of pp want to do it! Any initial offer should be in writing and signed, with terms very clearly written out.  Negotitation from there--nothing valid until both parties sign!  Anytime someone wants to negotiate via text, I back it up with an email

Sep 01, 2018 12:39 PM #92
Rainmaker
560,892
Peter Mohylsky, SoWal Is HOME.
PrimeSouth Properties - Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Let me help you find your path to the beach.

The vote is in,  no deal here,,,

Feb 28, 2019 06:10 AM #93
Rainmaker
1,654,743
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

It was fun to read through the responses - thanks for the question

May 23, 2019 05:30 AM #94
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Scott Godzyk

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