A person had placed an ad on the internet about property for sale, a response and offer was madeThe person that has the ad, responded with an counteroffer, an agreement was made, but the party that...

A person had placed an ad on the internet about property for sale, a response and offer was made

The person that has the ad, responded with an counteroffer, an agreement was made, but the party that had made the agreement baked out of the deal, was there any legal contract that was broken, since all responses and agreements were made through email?

Expert Answers
brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are a lot of variables here depending on what state the deal was made in, and/or what auction site, if any, was used to make the agreement.

On sites like eBay, by bidding or listing an item for sale, each party is entering into a legally binding contract to abide by the terms of the sale.  The buyer is agreeing to the price of the bid and to pay in a timely fashion according to the terms of the seller.  The seller agrees to ship the item in a timely fashion at the price of the highest bid.

If this was a simple online classified ad or Craigslist posting, then in most states the contract of sale is not binding unless and until money changes hands.  Some states have stricter contract laws, but it will be difficult, time consuming, and relatively costly (compared to the cost of the item that is) for you to pursue it legally.  Even a verbal agreement can be a contract, but any time you are dealing wth a person instead of a business, and online instead of in person, the risk of someone breaking that contract is greater.