How Is an Offer Terminated

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Before we discuss the topic of “how is an offer terminated”, we should have a general view on what is an offer. An offer is a definite promise or proposal to be bound on specific terms, and cannot be vague. If the offer had terminated, a contract would never be completed. Offer can be terminated in number ways and I will make use of examples or case law to show how an offer can be terminated.

1. Acceptance
When an offer was accepted by someone, it would bring the offer to the end. For example, Mary offered John to sell her computer for $5000 on Sunday, and ask John to reply no later than this Wednesday. John sent an acceptance to Mary on Tuesday noon. And Mary sent revocation to John on Tuesday night. It was held that the revocation is not valid and a contract was formed. So Mary had to sell her computer to John.

2. Rejection
Rejection means that offeree think the offer is unacceptable and the offeree rejects the offer. However, we should notice that it is impossible for the offeree to accept the offer again once he rejected the offer. For example, Mary sent a notice to John to say that she is willing to sell her computer to John for $5000. And John replied that it is too expensive and he was not willing to buy. It was held that the reply from John is a rejection. After rejecting Mary’s offer, John cannot accept the offer again and the offer was terminated.

3. Counter offer
A Counter offer is the rejection of offer from offeree to offeror and subsequently, the offeree make an alternative offer to the offeror. A counter offer would terminate the original offer and introduce a new offer to the original offeror. This principle laid down in Hyde v Wrench(1840).Wrench offered to sell his estate for £1000 and Hyde offered to purchase for £950.Wrench rejected and Hyde replied that he accepted Wrench’s earlier offer. Wrench rejected Hyde’s offer. Hyde sued for breach of contract. It was held that Hyde’s replied was a counter offer...
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