What is acceptance in a real estate transaction?

Definition of Acceptance

Acceptance in a real estate transaction is the exact point in time when a buyer and seller reach an agreement on the purchase of a property. Acceptance is formalized through a binding signature of both parties and is official when both the buyer and seller have been notified of the completed transaction or property sale.

Why is this term important?

Once all terms of an agreement and settled through contract, acceptance can be officially made through real estate transactions. There are different forms of acceptance which include oral, written and contractual. The most common type is contractual acceptance as it is the most irrevocable and requires terms that both the buyer agree to, following signatures from both parties to complete the transactions. Written acceptance is not as irrevocable as a legally binding contract, but it is a letter stating the acceptance of an offer by both parties. Lastly, the least common form of acceptance is oral. This agreement is a vocal agreement and deal placed between two parties.

When an offer is made by a buyer, the seller will have a certain amount of time to accept or decline. This timeline will be written into the contract or agreement. Due to this timeline, the acceptance must include the date and time the offer was officially made.

Examples of term

Say you were looking to purchase a home and found one that fit all of your must-haves. Once you make the decision, you and your real estate agent draft up a written acceptance letter to the seller. The contract has a 72-hour period for acceptance to be allowed and also includes the offer price and date of the written acceptance offer. Within 24 hours, the seller confirms the written acceptance and both parties sign a dated acceptance contract to make the transaction official.