Re Altered real estate contract

Question regarding a signed contract that has been altered by the sellers agent.
I just signed a contract to submit my first offer on a house. I received my
contract back and it turns out that the agent representing the seller changed the
first page of my contract by removing the purchase price and earnest money
deposit amounts and replacing it with the counter offer amount. My original
initials and signatures are still on the contract that I received back. I know
that there is a counter-offer/rejection section on this contract and it was not
utilized. Their agent made this already signed contract that had a different
amount on it now look like all parties are agreeing to this new amount that he
put on it. Is this legal? Can an agent adjust these amounts on the first page
that was already filled out with another amount and signed? Please help, I will
appreciate any advice on this matter. Thank you.

Asked on October 14, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Legally, the other side or party to a contract--or, for that matter, their agent or representative, like a realtor--may NOT alter your offer. You are only held to the offer you made, not to their modificiations. Send the realtor a written statement IMMEDIATELY, sent some way or ways you can prove delivery (e.g. fax and email also if possible, keeping the delivery confirmation) restating your original offer, stating that is the only offer you have made, that you did not and do not agree to the modifications made after you submitted the order and reject them, and that if the seller wishes to counter, he must do with a formal counteroffer, not by modifying your signed offer. You want to create a "paper trail" to document that they changed your offer without your consent.
Obviously, the above assumes you do not want to accept their counter. If you do, just accept it--it will not have been done properly, but you can accept it nonetheless.


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