What to do when you recieve an erroneous offer

March 13, 2017

What to do when you recieve an erroneous offer

Licensees know that selling property can be stressful on homeowners. After all, they are not just selling their property, but their home. Situations where there are short deadlines or competing offers may add stress to the matter, but it is crucial that the licensee continues to cross their t’s and dot their i’s.

What happens if you are representing a seller and you receive an offer on their property that is incorrectly completed? 

It happens; initials or signatures are missing, the number of pages may not be completed or a clause is poorly written. While these error may seem small or even trivial, they are important to correct and should not be ignored. So, what is the appropriate move to do in this situation?

As you may expect, the first step is to advise the seller immediately of the error(s). Once the seller is aware of their options, it is their decision on how to proceed.  The seller may instruct their licensee to:

  • send the offer back and request that the buyer’s licensee to address the error(s);
  • address the issues in a counter offer; or
  • fix/correct error(s) on the offer, initial the changes, and then immediately obtain buyer’s initials (This is not the best option and creates risk for your client as the unexpected could happen between the time the errors are fixed and buyer initials the change).

It is also wise to make clear, detailed notes to be kept in the transaction file when situations like this as they arise with dates, times of conversations, actions taken and your initials. Also note any recommendations given to your clients (whether they were accepted or not) and any directions they have given you. Licensees have an obligation to protect their client’s interests and keeping good notes is one way of protecting them, and yourself. These documents can act as support if licensees find themselves in a situation involving disciplinary action.

Sellers may already be experiencing a great deal of stress when selling their home. Ignoring clear errors in offers that are received is not in your client’s best interest. Giving seller’s ownership of making decisions on how to proceed will always be the right decision.

If you have other questions on how to deal with incomplete or erroneous agreements, contact our compliance team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Nova Scotia real estate industry.

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