An Offer to Purchase is a Binding Contract
Buying Real Estate
In Massachusetts, all Real Estate Offer to Purchase contracts must be in writing with consideration, that is, with a reasonable deposit to bind the offer. Most often, the consideration is a check made out to the listing agency for $1000. In the case of McCarthy v Tobin 1998, the court ruled that the offer to purchase stated all terms & conditions material to the completed transaction, signed by both parties, is a binding contract. I have heard some agents say “well, we can put in an offer and if you decide in a few days that you don’t like it, we can back out of the deal by finding something wrong in the inspection contingency.” WRONG! A buyer should have reasonable cause for withdrawing from the contract and can be held to that assumption. When you make an offer to purchase, do so with the intention of buying the property. In light of the legal significance of this binding offer, buyers (and sellers) are wise to consult an attorney to review the Offer to Purchase before they sign it.
Thanks for reading, Michael Spurr
Owner/Broker, Cert. Buyer Representative