Profile picture for user3497786

Can a seller refuse a full offer bid and take the house off the market?

The home is /was listed for 319,000. We made an offer of 291,000 plus 3% sellers assist. Also the basement is currently being updated we requested in the bid that whatever the already purchased items like doors, trim etc be included as part of the sale. The verbal counter offer from the seller is 374,000. Consequently, we received a written counter-offer of 330,000 and the seller would complete the work in the basement.
  • January 29 2013 - Star Valley Ranch
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Answers (14)

 A seller is generally under no obligation to accept an offer from a buyer. That being said, the seller may owe the broker a commission if he/she refuses a full price offer. Most listing agreements state that commission is earned once the broker has produced a ready, willing, and able buyer that has agreed to the price/terms set in the listing contract. 

That being said, I don't see how your offer was full price. 

  • March 13 2013
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First, I don't see how your offer is full price.
Second, yes, a buyer can turn down any offer they want.  Some listing agreements may require a Seller to pay their listing agent a commission if a full price offer is refused but those are very difficult to enforce and would require the Broker suing their clients.  Not a very good practice.
But again even that only relates the listing agreements and commissions.  Only the government can force an owner to accept on offer.
  • March 13 2013
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There are quite a few answers here, but I think they all missed the fact that you think you made a full offer, but you did'nt. Did the seller take the house off the market,or just decline your offer?
  • March 13 2013
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Profile picture for RealEstateCrew
If you asked for 3% seller assist it was not a full price offer.  If the counter was not executed and delivered prior to the home being taken off the market, then there is not a written agreement and both parties are allowed to performed as they see fit until a written agreement is reached.  
  • March 13 2013
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If you are an Eskimo and the seller is a Pacific Islander, and you can show that his animosity toward your people was the reason he didn't accept your offer then you may have grounds for a federal law suit. But you may have to work on your case presentation.
  • January 30 2013
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
1) If your agent told you that it was "normal" for the seller to pay for YOUR closing costs, your agent lied to you.  And if you "need" the seller to pay YOUR closing costs, you likely can't afford the purchase anyway.  I certainly would have flat out "rejected" your offer, even if you offered $375k.

2) You didn't mention race, nor ethnicity, nor physical handicap, nor gender, nor age, nor family status, nor any of the other Federal Government prohibited "discrimination" classes.  Thus the seller can refuse to sell based on any other discrimination they choose.  It is not "illegal discrimination".

3) A number of years ago, an historic Greene & Greene home in Pasadena was on the market... the sellers overheard a potential buyer stating that they were planning on painting the natural hardwoods in the house all white.... the seller's immediately took the house off the market and gave it to the University of Southern California (Architectural school) and the City of Pasadena instead.  It is not always "all about the money".
  • January 30 2013
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Sellers do not have to accept bids. A listing is not an offer to sell.
  • January 29 2013
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Profile picture for hpvanc
Yes they can.  It would have been better if they had noted the listing price as a minimum bid, but there is nothing illegal about it.
  • January 29 2013
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Profile picture for blub blub blub
Wow  lets read a lot more into this question than was asked.

Commissions, monies spent, forced to sell, go to court....It's an offer, no mention of a signed contract.

To answer the question, a seller does not have to accept any offer just because their house is on the market.  They can refuse any offer and take the house off the market if they choose to do so.

  • January 29 2013
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
Your message is a bit confusing.  The verbal counter offer from the seller was $374,000 and then the written counter offer was $330,000, that's the reason verbal offers are worthless.  Where does the full offer comes in?  Your offer was not a full offer.  The seller can withdraw the property from the market if he wants to, apparently you have not signed a contract with the seller yet.
  • January 29 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Yes, a seller can refuse a full bid offer.   However, as you describe, you didn't make a full bid offer.     As described, you made an offer of about 88% of initial asking price, plus the parts for basement completion.
  • January 29 2013
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If you have a contract signed by all parties, the seller is legally obliged to sell. Otherwise he can be sued for breach of contract. Is it worth the effort and cost? Only you can decide. It is not easy to predict what damages would be awarded and you would probably have to show actual damages.

If you are that concerned, talk to an attorney. Otherwise, you would be best advised to move on and find another home to buy.
  • January 29 2013
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Does a seller have to sell ? No, absolutely not. You can not be made to sell your house. Will there be repercussions? There could be but it would have to go into court to do so and you still will not force a sale if the seller does not wish to sell. Could you get back moneys you spent? Maybe. Will you likely spend more on lawyer and court fees to do it? Yes.
  • January 29 2013
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Profile picture for RealEstateCrew
If there are no concessions, the seller will still be liable for the commissions as the agent produced a full price offer without any concessions, the agent for filled their duties.  

Best of Luck
  • January 29 2013
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