Contract Formation Time

What is common to contracts in Canada and India - iPleaders



You take an offer of $145,000 to a seller who refuses the price but agrees to a sign back for $150,000, changes the sale price and initials it. No other change is made to the terms of the offer, which expires at 11:59 p.m. tonight. You return to the buyer, who agrees after a long discussion that this is a good buy, and initials the change at 11:45 p.m.

Is there a contract? Explain.

No info given on anyone signing the Acceptance. 

When the seller upped the price to $150,000 that constitutes a new offer back to the buyer. No mention of any changes to the irrevocable date/time. The buyer did not sign acceptance, only initialed the changes. If either buyer or seller sign the acceptance in the next 14 minutes then it’s a deal. Or the buyer can send it back with a new irrevocable date, though that seems odd as he’d be sending the same offer back to the guy who made it.


There are two components to Acceptance, namely “signing” and “communication”.

Here we have the Buyer “signing” at 11:45 which is within the time period, but there is no evidence that this fact was communicated to the Seller. It’s the second part of acceptance, namely, the communication which is the start of the contract.

The signing itself is not good enough. You need to get to the next step which is communication.

It wouldn’t matter if the Buyer signed the Confirmation of Acceptance or failed to sign it. The “key” here is communication of acceptance to the Seller or Seller’s agent.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

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