Legitimate Cancellation of a Contract: The Case of Josefa and Sara

Real estate purchase and sale contracts are complex transactions that must meet several legal requirements to be valid and enforceable. One of the essential elements in the formation of a valid contract is the principle of “mutual consent – mutual consent“.

Through the following scenario, we will explore the situation in which Josefa, a buyer, makes an offer to purchase a house, and the seller, Sara, accepts the offer. However, before the real estate agent can inform Josefa of Sara's decision, Josefa delivers a written notice withdrawing and canceling the agreement. We will analyze the validity of this cancellation and the legal implications in this particular case.

Key Elements for a Valid Contract

For a real estate purchase and sale contract to be considered valid, it must comply with certain essential elements:

  1. Competent Parties (competent parties): All parties involved in the contract must be legally competent to enter into contracts. This means that they must be able to understand and accept the terms of the agreement.
  2. Voluntary Act of Good Faith (voluntary act of good faith): The parties must act voluntarily and in good faith when entering into the contract. They should not be subjected to duress or undue pressure to accept the agreement.
  3. Consent (Mutual consent): All parties must give mutual consent to the terms of the contract. This means that they must agree to the terms and conditions set out in the agreement.
  4. Legal Purpose (legal purpose): The contract must have a legal purpose and must not be used to carry out illegal activities.
  5. Valuable Consideration (valuable consideration): There must be valuable consideration, that is, a value or benefit exchanged between the parties as part of the agreement.

The Situation Presented

In this case, Josefa, the buyer, makes an offer to purchase a house, and Sara, the seller, accepts the offer. However, Before the real estate agent can inform Josefa of Sara's decision, Josefa delivers a written notice withdrawing and canceling. the agreement.

The Validity of the Cancellation

The cancellation of a contract is legitimate when one of the parties decides to withdraw from the agreement before mutual consent is formed between both parties. In this case, Josefa chose to withdraw before Sara, the salesperson, had the opportunity to communicate her acceptance. This means that mutual consent was not achieved as to the terms of the contract, as the seller had not had the opportunity to express her acceptance. Consequently, the contract is considered invalid.


In summary, canceling a real estate sales contract before a mutual consent is formed is a legitimate action and results in the contract being voided. For a contract to be valid, all parties involved must agree to the terms and conditions. In this case, Josefa withdrew her offer before that mutual consent was formed, leading to the conclusion that there is no valid contract in place.

Legal and Tax Disclaimer

Please be advised that the content presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. The articles and information provided here are written from the perspective of a real estate agent affiliated with Keller Williams, and do not represent legal or tax counsel.

As the author, I am a licensed real estate professional under Keller Williams, holding Brokerage DRE License Number: #02197031. However, it is important to note that my expertise is in the field of real estate, and not in legal or tax matters. The insights and opinions shared on this blog are based on my experiences and knowledge in the real estate industry and should be treated as general guidance rather than definitive legal or tax advice.

For specific legal or tax concerns relating to any real estate transactions or investments, readers are strongly encouraged to consult with a qualified attorney or tax advisor who can provide tailored advice based on your individual circumstances and the latest legal and regulatory requirements.

The information on this blog is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, and I, along with Keller Williams and its affiliates, disclaim all liability for any loss, damage, or misunderstanding arising from reliance on the information contained herein.

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