Hyde v Wrench
(1840) Beav 334
D offered to sell land to P for $1,200. That offer was rejected. D then offered to sell the land to P for $1,000. P responded by offering to buy the land for $950. D refused to sell at that price whereupon P said he would pay $1,000 for the land. D refused to sell. Was there a contract?
No - P's offer to buy for $950 constituted a counter offer; effectively a rejection of the original offer and a new offer. Once rejected, an offer cannot be revived by subsequent acceptance.
Lord Langdale: Under the circumstances in this bill, I think there exists no valid binding contract between the parties for the purchase of the property. The Defendant offered to sell it for £1000, and if that had been at once unconditionally accepted, there would undoubtedly have been a perfect binding contract; instead of that, the Plaintiff made an offer of his own, to purchase the property for £950, and he thereby rejected the offer previously made by the Defendant. I think that it was not afterwards competent for him to revive the proposal of the Defendant, by tendering an acceptance of it; and that, therefore, there exists no obligation of any sort between the parties; the demurrer must be allowed.