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Acceptance with Counteroffer

15 January, 2016 - 09:32

This is not really an acceptance at all but is a counteroffer: an acceptance that changes the terms of the offer is a counteroffer and terminates the offer. The common law imposes a mirror image rule: the acceptance must match the offer in all its particulars or the offer is rejected. However, if an acceptance that requests a change or an addition to the offer does not require the offeror’s assent, then the acceptance is valid. The broker at Friendly Real Estate offers you a house for $320,000. You accept but include in your acceptance “the vacant lot next door.” Your acceptance is a counteroffer, which serves to terminate the original offer. If, instead, you had said, “It’s a deal, but I’d prefer it with the vacant lot next door,” then there is a contract because you are not demanding that the broker abide by your request. If you had said, “It’s a deal, and I’d also like the vacant lot next door,” you have a contract, because the request for the lot is a separate offer, not a counteroffer rejecting the original proposal.