Agent

Can a text message be considered a real estate contract?

Two recent rulings in Massachusetts show how binding text-message agreements can be
  • In March 2016, one company sued another for breaking an agreement that was made via text message.
  • The buyer and listing broker discussed the buyer signing a final letter of intent and sending a deposit check to the seller to sign.
  • In Massachusetts, where both companies are based, text messages can form a legal, binding contract.

When you send a text message, are you aware that a court might consider it a valid purchase contract? That's what a Massachusetts court ruled in a commercial real estate case involving a medical marijuana company attempting to purchase a property and a buyer texting back and forth with a listing broker. In Dec. 2015, St. John's Holdings sought to lease a property for its medical marijuana operations, and reached out to Timothy Barry of Barry Realty Group about a property owned by Two Electronics. The next month, St. John's Holdings decided to buy the property instead and began negotiations with the sellers. From there, Frederick McDonald, the manager of St. John's Holdings, and his agent, Stephen Cefalo of Stephen Cefalo Real Estate, met with Barry and the manager of Two Electronics, Matthew Piccione. Just text me! Throughout January 2016, buyer and seller, along with their respective agents, met several times to hammer out the basic terms of the offer. After those mee...