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If buyer and seller of property agree on a price; seller emails buyer an unsigned contract, can seller change price?

Miami, FL |

If the buyer and seller agree to a price for a piece of property and seller then e-mails buyer an unsigned contract with that price and buyer signs it and returns it, can seller change price since they never signed the contract?

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Attorney answers 3


That is actually a complicated question of contract law.

In some states, if you have agreed to all of the requisite elements of a contract and exchanged your assent through emails, you may have a binding contract even though the formal instrument has not been executed. If, however, the understanding was that there would be no binding agreement until a contract of sale was executed, then there may not be an enforceable contract.

I am not a FL attorney, laws vary from state to state, therefore you should always consult a local attorney.

If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.


Until a fully executed contract is delivered to both parties, there is no contract. Now, under certain circumstances, where there is an intent to proceed without a written contract, it's possible to make the argument that the terms were locked in. But written contracts are relatively the rule in real estate transactions, and your question intones that a written contract was anticipated. So until that written contract is drafted, signed and delivered, either party can suggest a change in terms- or simply walk away. Best wishes.


As both of the other lawyers have pointed out, it is not possible to fully answer your question from the facts posted. Whether a final offer has been accepted has been the subject of much litigation. Your case is very fact dependent and the final answer may only be available through a lawsuit. If you want to pursue the contract, you should consult an experienced real estate lawyer in your area to get advice on the best way to proceed.

Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.