Many times you will hear that a property listed for sale has an “accepted offer”. Accepted offer is a contract law term that means that buyer and seller have reached an agreement on the terms of sale and both have signed a legally binding contract (in most cases a residential purchase agreement). Once an offer has been accepted escrow is opened.
The status of a listing with an accepted offer can still be active in the MLS if the listing agent hasn’t gotten around to updating their listing status yet. Once a property has an accepted offer, the mls status should be changed to pending or looking for backup.
Be careful! If an agent representing the seller tells you verbally that you have acceptance, don’t take their word for it. Until you have received a signed copy of the complete contract with both parties signatures, in your possession- you do not have acceptance. According to contract law, acceptance by the seller must be in writing. A verbal statement is not enforceable and does not create a valid contract.
‘Spit and Handshake’ deals are not a valid contracts in legal terms.
Think: Acceptance is synonymous with signed contract in your hands.