Skip links

Dear Forms Committee: Can a contract be withdrawn orally?

In Oregon (as in many other states):

  • an offer can be withdrawn if it has not yet been accepted,
  • the only thing required to withdraw an offer is to give notice of withdrawal, and
  • notice can be written or verbal.

Because an offer can usually be accepted and acceptance delivered at any moment (which cuts off the ability to withdraw), agents are advised to withdraw by phone immediately and quickly follow up in an email or text, followed by a signed notice of withdrawal. The time each of those steps happened should be documented. The party with good recordkeeping is likely to prevail in any dispute that follows. Judges and arbitrators frequently face conflicting testimony on this issue, and the party who can back up their claim with proof has the edge.

Always check with your principal broker or legal counsel to ensure that you are following any policy requirements of your brokerage.

All comments and responses from OREF or its staff, managers, and volunteers are non-legal opinions made for general purposes. Each Forms subscriber must rely solely upon their Principal broker or personal legal counsel for specific advice and instruction. You and your client should independently confirm that the Form(s) you use are legally suitable for the purposes intended and that they are current with respect to all laws and regulations.