Is a Verbal Rejection Enforceable?


I sent an offer open until 8:00 pm tomorrow. The agent let me know we have a “verbal” sign back. Does that mean we can move on and make an Offer on another property?

Or can they still accept the offer before 8:00 pm tomorrow?

Is an actual verbal sign backs a rejection? I assume the actual signback needs to be in writing to be an actual Counter Offer.


There is no such thing as a verbal Counter Offer, but there is a verbal rejection. Proving it is the only problem. Acceptance is quite frequently verbal. So, if the verbal comments are clear that the Offer has been rejected, then it can’t be accepted afterwards. The risk, of course, is the actual verbal discussion. Was it a real rejection, or was it just fishing for information and simply part of the negotiating process? If the Buyer is to take the rejection, then it would be best to reduce this to writing by text or email, if you must deal with another property immediately.

The risk is that the Agent might simply say that you misunderstood. The Seller was still considering your Offer, and was merely thinking about the signback.

To be safe, the second Offer could be conditional upon the first Offer not being accepted. The best course of action would be to wait until 8:01 pm tomorrow night, hopefully, that’s not too late for the second Offer.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

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