Question: I made an offer to buy a house two days ago. We have not heard back yet. We have been looking at other homes and fell in love with another house. What if the original seller accepts our offer?  Will we be stuck buying two homes?

Answer: You can rescind your offer any time before it is accepted in writing. Furthermore, most standard offers contain an expiration date. So if you forget to rescind the offer, it will die anyway, usually after a day or two.

Sometimes, a buyer may choose a longer term for their offer’s life cycle. A client recently made an offer that was valid “until a counteroffer is accepted, by Buyer.” This was abnormal, but I guess it covered their bases.

Finally, a seller can simply deny your offer, which terminates your chances of getting together in the end.

Attorney James Haroutunian practices real estate law, including estate planning. Contact him at with questions or at the Haroutunian Law Office at 790 Boston Road, Billerica, 978-671-0711 or email at