Situation my son is in.

  • He made an offer, then the seller countered.
  • He countered again, they countered back.
  • He accepted their counter.
  • Now they don't want to do it, and may have sold the house to someone else.

Does he have any recourse? This is Ohio.

  • 3
    Unless there is a signed agreement, the buyer or the seller can choose to walk away. Feb 6 '20 at 18:39
  • 3
    Even if there is a signed agreement, many home purchase contracts are loaded with contingencies and allow either party to back out for all kinds of hard-to-nail-down reasons. Further, many buyers and sellers back out even when it isn't explicitly allowed.
    – dwizum
    Feb 6 '20 at 18:43
  • 2
    Was there a deadline with the offer that he accepted? Did any money change hands? Feb 6 '20 at 18:46
  • @BobBaerker Don't assume that. An agreement is an agreement, even if it is not in writing. The only thing writing gives you is documentation that proves the agreement was made and what was in it. If there is another way to prove that the agreement was entered into then both sides are bound by it. Feb 7 '20 at 16:30
  • @DJClayworth - I would assume that if you went to court and you told the judge that "He said he would sell the house to me" that the judge would show you the door. A signed contract is a legally binding written agreement. Saying yes verbally is not. Feb 7 '20 at 17:14

This will be highly dependent on the actual content of the offer/counteroffer contracts, and what version, if any, the seller actually signed. Potential recourse could include absolutely nothing, a refund of any money paid alongside the initial offer, or a court order to execute the sale as agreed - or anything else, really. If your son is not happy just walking away from the deal, he will likely need a lawyer to pursue any recourse; this may or may not be worth the money, time, and headache involved.

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