An article came out in the Real Estate Weekly that I thought I would share. Offers or counter offers can be revoked by the party that made the offer as long as the contract has not been accepted in writing.
In B.C. any real estate dealings must be in writing to be enforceable. Sometimes buyers or agents like to "negotiate verbally" to see if there can be a meeting of minds on price. There's no enforceable contract and another offer can come in with the seller free to accept the second offer. This is much more common occurrence than a revocation but both situations can lead to disappointment.
If a buyer has made an offer on a property and a new listing comes up that is more attractive to them, they can revoke their offer on the first property. This is done by their Realtor by phone, text and email to the listing agent.
The flip-side is when a seller has countered an offer and a second offer comes in at a higher price. The seller can revoke their counter offer on contract #1 again through their agent. Being forewarned on what can happen in negotiations allows you to act in your best interests no matter what side of the deal you are on.