What is the Legality of the Counter Offer Expiration Date?

I made an offer on a property in Colorado, and the seller countered and listed the
expiration date 30 days out. Two days later, my reality agent buyer agent tells me
the seller has another interested party and that I should accept the counter
immediately or risk losing the property to the other party. Can the seller sell the
property to another before the counter to me expires? The seller has said she did
not intend to provide such a long expiration. Only intended 3 days.

Asked on September 26, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

While generally a date in a contract, such as an expiration date on a  counteroffer, is enforceable, courts will not enforce a date that as clearly a typo or other plain error. In the context of selling a home, it would be very unusual for a seller to keep a counter open for a whole month and refuse any other offers that came in during that time; therefore, it is very plausible that it was meant to be a 3 day time period, and a court would likely enforce 3, not 30 days, against the seller. That being the case, if you accepted the offer within 3 days, the would contractually have to take it. After 3 days, they could accept other offers.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.