The real estate market in British Columbia is a dynamic and ever-changing landscape, with many buyers and sellers trying to score the best deals as they come. However, with such dynamics come various risks, including the revocation of an offer. In this blog post, we will explore the implications and potential liabilities associated with revoking an offer to purchase real estate in BC.

As mentioned, accepted offers with subject conditions can create enforceable contracts that are not revocable. Therefore, before proceeding to make an offer, it is crucial to consult a legal specialist in order to ensure that your offer is not only enforceable but also protect your legal position. A poorly drafted set of subjective conditions may fail to create a binding agreement, hence the need for legal advice.

Furthermore, to form a firm and binding agreement, all essential terms must be included in the contract. Missing material terms, such as an outside completion date for a new home build, can compromise the parties’ legal position and potentially lead to revocation. This is because a contract that does not contain all of the necessary and material elements is legally invalid.

In what situations can revocation occur? There are several situations in which an offering party may wish to revoke an offer such as a counteroffer from a preferred buyer. For example, a seller has made a counteroffer to a buyer, but they just received a higher offer from another buyer, who they prefer. In this case, the seller can revoke the initial offer and accept the higher offer.

Law hammer and house model

Secondly, withdrawal due to a new listing. For example, buyers have made an offer to a seller, but they have found new listing that they prefer, so may choose to withdraw their offer.

Non-participation in a multiple offer situation is another reason revocation may occur.

As a buyer or seller in the real estate market, it is imperative to understand the risks associated with revoking an offer. While there are legitimate reasons for revocation, such as the above mentioned, it is important to ensure that your offer is enforceable, and all essential terms are included in the contract, lest you face potential liabilities. Therefore, consulting with a legal specialist before making an offer, and seeking immediate legal advice if you wish to revoke or withdraw from an accepted offer, is the best approach to safeguard your legal position.

PATRICK A. BELL – Lawyer at Bell, Jacoe & Company in Summerland BC provides legal help with real estate and wills and estate law.
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