Hendricks v. Behee

786 S.W.2d 610 (Mo. Ct. App. 1990)

 

RULE:

Unless the offer is supported by consideration, an offeror may withdraw his offer at any time before acceptance and communication of that fact to him. To be effective, revocation of an offer must be communicated to the offeree before he has accepted.

FACTS:

The purported buyer deposited $5,000 into an escrow account during unproductive negotiations for the purchase of real estate. The purported buyer mailed a proposed agreement to purchase the real estate and the purported sellers signed the proposed agreement. Before the purported buyer had been notified that his offer had been accepted, he contacted the purported sellers' real estate agent and notified her that he desired to withdraw his offer to purchase the real estate. A dispute arose regarding whether a binding contract had been made and the escrow money holder filed an interpleader action. A jury awarded the escrow money holder $997.50, and awarded the balance of the money to the purported buyer. The sellers appealed. The court affirmed the trial court's judgment and held that there was no contract until acceptance of the offer had been communicated to the purported buyer. 

ISSUE:

Was there an existence of a valid and binding contract between the parties?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

Before Behee was notified that the Smiths had accepted his offer, Behee notified the agent of the Smiths that Behee was withdrawing the offer. The notice to the agent, being within the scope of her authority, was binding upon the Smiths. Behee's offer was not supported by consideration and his withdrawal of it was proper. Thus, there was no valid contract in this case that could bind the parties involved.

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