When are you in contract?

Our Spring Texas real estate contracts have many dates listed in them with the most important date of them all being the date of the contract itself.  The contract date (a.k.a. effective date) is the starting point for all the other actions in the contract that are specified to be done in X days.  The contract date is also the date the real estate contract becomes binding upon both buyers and sellers. 

We have this saying when its comes to Spring Texas real estate transactions “verbal means nothing and written means everything”.  What this means is when your agent says the sellers have accepted your proposed terms it doesn’t mean you are in contract on the house.  Why?  because verbal means nothing.  I know you are probably thinking the sellers gave you their word and that should be worth something.  In the days of horse trading, a person’s word was worth something.  But in real estate it is worth nothing. 

The written word is what rules in real estate contracts.  So when does the real estate contract become binding upon you and the sellers?  The date of final acceptance occurs when

  • the contract is in writing
  • both buyers and sellers have signed and initialed the final contract including any handwritten changes
  • acceptance must be unequivocal 
  • the last party to accept must communicate acceptance back to the other party or the other party’s agent.  What this mean’s is it is not enough for both parties to sign the contract and for the agent of the last party (buyer or seller) to date the contract.  The effective date of the contract is not until communication of acceptance occurs. 

spring texas real estate contract dateUntil all of the items above have occurred, you are not and I emphasize the word “NOT” in contract.  The seller can accept another buyer’s offer because verbal means nothing and written means everything in Spring Texas real estate contracts.

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