No Longer Interested; Rescind Your Offer
If you make an offer to purchase a property, but then change your mind and decide that you no longer are interested in making the purchase, before the offer is accepted, then rescind your offer.
Here is an example. The numbers have been changed so that the guilty are not exposed and so that the innocent are protected.
I have a house listed for $150,000. The Seller will take less and, in fact, an offer comes in that he is willing to take at $125,000. However, before accepting it, he decides that he would like to see if he can get the Buyer to come up in price so he says that he would consider it at $140,000.
I send an email to the Buyer's Agent stating that the Seller will consider the Buyer's offer if the price is changed to $140,000.
A key point here is the use of the word "consider". If the Seller had sent back a "counteroffer", then it could be stated that the original offer was terminated once the counteroffer was made. In this case, the Seller is stating that the original offer would be considered if the price were changed. This may be a matter of semantics, but I am not sure, if it were put in front of a judge, which way the judge would rule.
After a day, I do not receive a response, so I send another email. The Buyer's Agent responds that his client has not yet replied.
After waiting another day, I call the Buyer's Agent and get his voice mail. I leave a message asking if his client has made a decision yet.
After a day with no response, I talk with my client about the lack of response. I let him know that it seems like the Buyer may no longer be interested, however the Buyer has not rescinded the original offer. If you are willing to accept the offer at $125,000, then if you sign the original offer and I send it back to the Buyer's Agent, then we could possibly technically have a contract. I, also, tell the Seller that given the lack of response from the Buyer, it is a good chance that the contract will fall through, however, the Buyer could be putting his earnest money deposit ($2,000) in jeopardy.
My guess is that the Buyer has not yet given the earnest money deposit to the Buyer's Agent, whose, Broker, per the contract, would be responsible for holding the money. If the Buyer truly is no longer interested in moving forward with the sale, then it is highly unlikely that he will give this $2,000 to the Buyer's Agent / Broker. Notwithstanding the Buyer's failure to perform, the Broker would still be liable for the earnest money deposit, unless, they notified us in a timely manner that the Buyer did not supply it.
My client, the Seller, decided to sign the offer. I promptly sent the signed document back to the Buyer's Agent, which upon his receipt, made it a contract.
At this point in time, the Buyer's Agent says that his client might not be interested anymore. Too bad, you now have a contract.
As I have stated earlier in the post, it may be that the statement about considering a higher price might be a reason to consider the offer terminated. However, to be safe, and courteous, would not it be better to simply let the Seller know that this person is no longer interested and that the offer is rescinded?
It is unlikely that a Seller in this situation would pursue this Buyer if the Buyer were not interested in moving forward because it would be too much of a hassle and it would have a cost. Most Sellers would just look for another Buyer.
But, again, it is simple, safe, and courteous to let the Seller know that there is no longer any interest and that the offer is rescinded.
My example becomes cloudy because of the statement about considering a higher offer, however, the example could be related to the seller being slow to respond, whereby the buyer assumes that there is no interest and moves on, only to find that at a later time the offer has been accepted. Some agents deal with this by placing a deadline on how long the offer is good, but without a deadline a statement rescinding an offer would be worthwhile.