Real Estate

Can you retract an offer for a house while its under review but not accepted yet?

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  • Jan 18th, 2022 7:26 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 17, 2010
1840 posts
310 upvotes

Can you retract an offer for a house while its under review but not accepted yet?

long story short, their was some new details on a home we put an offer in and want to retract our offer

their are a number of other people who put an offer as well and currently their "under review".

we want to retract our offer. can we do that?

chances are we wont win the house given the number of peopel bidding on it but do we wait till someone is picked or can we retract it while its under review?

first time noob house question i know.

thank you
21 replies
Deal Fanatic
Apr 5, 2016
5785 posts
4195 upvotes
Calgary/Vancouver
You can as long as it's not accepted, tell you realtor to act fast.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
6931 posts
3524 upvotes
Ottawa
Your offer has an irrevocable time and until then, your offer is binding (it's a written contract). That said, I suspect that you can contact the agent that received the offer and tell them you changed your mind and they'll probably just skip your offer. Technically, they could hold you to the offer but if they have to drag you to court, it's probably not worth the hassle.
Sr. Member
May 3, 2013
686 posts
286 upvotes
Toronto
hmm... where is your Realtor during this process? If your Realtor tells you that you cannot retract the offer, s/he is correct. The typical Ontario agreement has an irrevocable date/time. This means the offer is non-retractable for that duration.
Having said that, if you tell the listing agent you are no longer interested, the listing agent would most probably not want to force you to take it prior to taking a deposit. It's just not worth the trouble.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
6931 posts
3524 upvotes
Ottawa
bomber17 wrote: You can as long as it's not accepted, tell you realtor to act fast.
That's not correct. Your offer is a binding contract once presented.

If they respond (e.g. counter) then the offer is no longer binding.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 17, 2010
1840 posts
310 upvotes
bomber17 wrote: You can as long as it's not accepted, tell you realtor to act fast.
michelb wrote: Your offer has an irrevocable time and until then, your offer is binding (it's a written contract). That said, I suspect that you can contact the agent that received the offer and tell them you changed your mind and they'll probably just skip your offer. Technically, they could hold you to the offer but if they have to drag you to court, it's probably not worth the hassle.
realtorhome wrote: hmm... where is your Realtor during this process? If your Realtor tells you that you cannot retract the offer, s/he is correct. The typical Ontario agreement has an irrevocable date/time. This means the offer is non-retractable for that duration.
Having said that, if you tell the listing agent you are no longer interested, the listing agent would most probably not want to force you to take it prior to taking a deposit. It's just not worth the trouble.
emailed him but hasnt responded yet.
michelb wrote: That's not correct. Your offer is a binding contract once presented.

If they respond (e.g. counter) then the offer is no longer binding.
Yes i recall their is a time limit on the offer up until the end of the day. we also have a condition to finance on it.

so from my understanding once my offer has been "presented" . regardless if it is under review and not accepted yet, its still technically a binding contract although the agent of the seller could just toss it asside if we retract our offer?
Sr. Member
May 3, 2013
686 posts
286 upvotes
Toronto
thatsnazzyiphoneguy wrote: so from my understanding once my offer has been "presented" . regardless if it is under review and not accepted yet, its still technically a binding contract although the agent of the seller could just toss it asside if we retract our offer?
Especially if you have a condition on it, just tell the listing agent and it will be tossed. The condition (if written properly) will allow you to simply say you can't get satisfactory financing and the transaction is cancelled.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 17, 2010
1840 posts
310 upvotes
realtorhome wrote: Especially if you have a condition on it, just tell the listing agent and it will be tossed. The condition (if written properly) will allow you to simply say you can't get satisfactory financing and the transaction is cancelled.
I think all was written on the contract is “condition to finance”
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 4, 2005
3183 posts
993 upvotes
Toronto
Yeah, you're definitely okay to back out.

Just tell your agent to let the other agent know asap, send it in writing. If they accept, don't waive your clause.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 30, 2005
1814 posts
1403 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
Your offer is binding until the irrevocable time has elapsed or if they counter you. However like everyone said, if you have an condition on it, chances are it won't be accepted anyways. The listing agent won't just cast it aside because they can use it pad the total number of offers on the house to get more money. Just relax and let it expire.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 3, 2011
6517 posts
3780 upvotes
Thornhill
If you're using pre-printed forms from a Realtor there is a seal, a star burst type sign beside your signature, that means you cannot take back your offer during the time your offer has not expired.

If howver there is no seal and you've not provided a deposit, speak with your attorney they can rescind it on your behalf.
thatsnazzyiphoneguy wrote: emailed him but hasnt responded yet.



Yes i recall their is a time limit on the offer up until the end of the day. we also have a condition to finance on it.

so from my understanding once my offer has been "presented" . regardless if it is under review and not accepted yet, its still technically a binding contract although the agent of the seller could just toss it asside if we retract our offer?
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 17, 2010
1840 posts
310 upvotes
Super_Chicken wrote: Yeah, you're definitely okay to back out.

Just tell your agent to let the other agent know asap, send it in writing. If they accept, don't waive your clause.
ZxExN wrote: Your offer is binding until the irrevocable time has elapsed or if they counter you. However like everyone said, if you have an condition on it, chances are it won't be accepted anyways. The listing agent won't just cast it aside because they can use it pad the total number of offers on the house to get more money. Just relax and let it expire.
is it always like that? even a condition fo house inspection?
licenced wrote: If you're using pre-printed forms from a Realtor there is a seal, a star burst type sign beside your signature, that means you cannot take back your offer during the time your offer has not expired.

If howver there is no seal and you've not provided a deposit, speak with your attorney they can rescind it on your behalf.
just an update. the realtor finally got back to me. we lost on the house regardless. some one of course had a higher offer.

thank you everyone for your responses on my inquiry.
Deal Addict
Mar 28, 2011
1122 posts
921 upvotes
Toronto
Just curious what new detail emerged that made you not want the house?

Easement? Death? Illegal activities? Potential development close by?
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 17, 2010
1840 posts
310 upvotes
BoredAtWork wrote: Just curious what new detail emerged that made you not want the house?

Easement? Death? Illegal activities? Potential development close by?
Itwas for my parents. they are pretty anal about buying a place knowing a death occured in the home. Our realtor mentioned the owner died at the hospital. I looked up their obituary as i was curious who this person was and if we knew them (both locals) and it mentioned the owner died at home. That and the fact we also knew the owner lived alone and was likely discovered by family members a period of time later was a little disturbing for them.

i know for some people it wouldnt bother them but for us it was bit of a deal breaker if you can understand.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2012
4233 posts
2241 upvotes
Toronto
realtorhome wrote: Especially if you have a condition on it, just tell the listing agent and it will be tossed. The condition (if written properly) will allow you to simply say you can't get satisfactory financing and the transaction is cancelled.
Any financing condition in an offer needs to be used to actually try and get financing. No matter how it's written, a buyer must act in good faith if choosing to invoke a condition to get out of a deal.

In majority of cases yes all it takes is a statement to the sellers and the deal is cancelled, and sellers can move on to the next person or re-list since usually challenging a condition is futile. But in a case where buyers have asked to have their offer withdrawn in advance (not due to financing), yet their offer is actually accepted, it would look very suspicious to then invoke financing clause. If sellers refused to mutually release and challenged it in court the buyers may need to show proof they actually attempted to get financing from a reputable lender, and that all they could get was an unsatisfactory rate to what a reasonable person would expect. An obvious attempt to abuse the financing clause to void the deal, would be seen as acting in bad faith and judge could award damages to seller.

Of course that doesn't apply to OP here anymore.
Member
Jul 26, 2015
278 posts
213 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
You can revoke your offer any time, preferably in writing, as long as it is not accepted yet and/or acceptance was not communicated to you.
Just inform your realtor that you are rescinding your offer. If you do it by email you’ll have date and time for your records.
Jr. Member
Dec 14, 2021
149 posts
245 upvotes
What is this 'conditional offer' that is being spoken of? Never heard of one if these...
Deal Addict
Jul 11, 2010
1261 posts
302 upvotes
Toronto
StatikIEV wrote: What is this 'conditional offer' that is being spoken of? Never heard of one if these...
Conditions are put in such as:
subject to satisfactory home inspection or subject to obtaining financing . If there are major problems that show up from a home inspection or the person does not qualify for financing the "buyers" can not waive these conditions and the deal is dead.
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2019
1888 posts
1607 upvotes
GTA
dougboswell wrote: Conditions are put in such as:
subject to satisfactory home inspection or subject to obtaining financing . If there are major problems that show up from a home inspection or the person does not qualify for financing the "buyers" can not waive these conditions and the deal is dead.
Wooooshhhh.
Newbie
May 8, 2018
65 posts
37 upvotes
Sam286 wrote: You can revoke your offer any time, preferably in writing, as long as it is not accepted yet and/or acceptance was not communicated to you.
Just inform your realtor that you are rescinding your offer. If you do it by email you’ll have date and time for your records.
It depends on the offer made.

If his offer says it's irrevocable for x days then it cannot be withdrawn until the date specified. However if his offer does not contain this verbiage, i.e. an open-ended offer--then he can certainly withdraw it anytime prior to acceptance.

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