Southern Maryland Best Buys


A text message is not an official counter.

This is a good reminder that nothing is enforceable in real estate unless it is in writing. Texts and emails simply do not count. Some Agents do not even check them that often so this would be a very unsafe assumption to handle a business transaction in such a casual manner.

Monday, 11:30 am:  I submit an offer on a home for a buyer.  I email it to the listing agent and text her to let her know it's coming.  

Listing agent texts me back and let's me know she received it.

The expiration of the offer was Tuesday at 6:00 pm.  I wanted to make sure that she had enough time to meet with her sellers to either accept or counter.  

Monday comes and goes with no response from the listing agent and sellers.  Not a problem and not a surprise.

Tuesday afternoon at around 4:00 pm I start to wonder when we'll hear back from the listing agent.  I text her and she says "soon."  

Again, not a problem.  

As we approach the 6:00 pm deadline, I really start to wonder what's going on.  I'm in communication with my buyer and let them know that I'm just not sure what's going on.

Tuesday, 5:59 pm.  (One minute before our offer officialy expires)  I get a text from the listing agent.  She texts that the sellers are going to counter at X amount.  The she asks me what I think about their counter.  

TextingMy response was "WHAT counter?  This is a TEXT."  

She gave me the ole "Oh, come on now Jared, let's just go verbal (or textal if that is even a word??) until we can agree on a price, then we'll write it up and make it official.  

Nope.  Not happening here.  Technically, since our offer expired at 6:00 pm Tuesday and it was after that time,our offer is dead.  

During a real estate transaction, NOTHING is official until it is signed. Period.  A text is not a counter.  

Once I gave her the business, she scrambled and sent us a signed counter.  Yes, it was a little bit late, but we moved forward and got the deal done.  

The only texts I recieved from her after that were letting me know that she was sending over a signed counter or signed inspection response.  

I hated being "that guy" but I play by the rules.  



Amanda and Jared Christiansen are award winning Realtors with Century 21 Bradley Realty in Fort Wayne.

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Amanda can be reached at 260-704-0843, and Jared can be reached at 260-704-0842.


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Comment balloon 2 commentsCheryl Ritchie • December 01 2013 08:34PM


Maybe it is a generational thing but I hate it when people try to transact business with me via texts, my reply is generally to just call them back rather than playing the game of texting cryptic messages back and forth.

Posted by Bob Crane, Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671 (Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities) about 7 years ago

Thanks so much for the reblog Cheryl!  In this day and agen, texting is a great way to communicate, but it's not official unless it's in writing.  Have a great week!

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) about 7 years ago