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The mailbox rule is a contract law that states an acceptance of offer would have reasonably occurred when a party places a letter of acceptance in the mail, receipt of the offer would not be required.
This rule can occur in various circumstances and can play an important role in preventing disputes from occurring.
For example if a home seller makes an offer to sell in writing for a specified asking price and a willing buyer agrees to the price and mails over a letter of acceptance, once the mail is posted in the mail, it is deemed that a contract has been agreed.
Should the seller change his mind in selling while the acceptance letter has yet to reach his mailbox, he cannot do so and is obligated to follow through on the original agreement of sale.
However, if the seller informs the potential buyer of his withdrawal, and the buyer proceeds to mail the acceptance letter anyway, the law would be in the seller’s favor.