Email Negotiations and the Creation of Contracts | Pyramis Company Pyramis Company

Email Negotiations and the Creation of Contracts



Email has become one of the most convenient methods of communication today, so why not use it to hammer out the details of a contract? Deciding whether a contract can be created via email is a little more difficult than you might imagine. An exchange of emails does not always have the power to create a binding contract between the agency and the property owner. The details contained in those emails have to be reviewed to see if that contract would hold up in court.


If you want to learn more about how an email contract is evaluated, here are a few of the ways a court system will determine its validity. Make sure you’re familiar with these details before you create or enter into one of these agreements.


UETA Purpose and Meaning


The Uniform Electronic Transaction Act is the primary reason why individuals are able to consider creating a contract via email. It states that a record or signature cannot be denied legal effect by being in an electronic format. As long as there are no records that state that one party wants to opt out of the contract, UETA allows these email agreements to hold up in court. The rest of the elements of the contract remain the same.


Unless you are signing a contract that is required by law to be in writing, an electronic signature will work for an online contract. An electronic signature is defined as a sound, symbol or process that is legally associated with a record or is used by a person with an intent to sign an agreement. It can be attributed to a person if they were the one who created it for the sole purpose of signing the agreement.


The Contract Elements


The elements for an enforceable contract must include an offer and acceptance that mirrors the terms of that offer. There must be a period of consideration, a meeting of the minds, and direct communication that demonstrates that both parties have agreed to the terms of the agreement. Last but not least, the delivery of the contract must be mutually binding.


While those might seem like achievable milestones, there is an additional step when the contract pertains to real estate. Real estate contracts in regards to property must follow the statute of funds, requiring both a contract in writing and a formal signature. Keep in mind that a real estate broker is generally considered to be a “special agent” and is not able to bind a property owner to a transaction. Only a general agent can perform this.

When it comes to creating email contracts, there is a lot of grey area about what is allowed and who can conduct these negotiations. It helps to have the assistance of an experienced property management company on your side. At Pyramis Company, we have over 30 years’ experience working with property management that can work to help you have a more successful real estate experience!

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