Profile picture for jboncquet

Cash offer can the seller ask the buyer for a bank account statement before they accept

We have put any offer in on a home and so has another buyer.  Both offers are cash now the seller wants our bank account statement in order to decided what offer they are going to take?  Is this legal?  If they sellers see that the buyers have more money in their accounts they can then counter the offers. That not fair to either of the seller. What if the high offfer has only what they have in their account and that is the best offer but the low offer has more money to go up.  That not fair to the person who made the best offer.  This seems un ethical.
  • May 02 2014 - Benson
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Answers (13)

Yes, often this is requested to confirm proof of funds. You do need to protect your privacy by obscuring account numbers and social security numbers, etc.
  • January 22
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Profile picture for Scottsdale AZ
It is standard practice in Arizona for a buyer to show "proof of funds". This is a copy of a bank statement, brokerage statement or a letter from your banker stating that you have the funds to proceed with the transaction. If you use a bank statement or brokerage statement you can black out your account numbers. Only your name needs to be visible. I understand it may have been a shock to you, but this is legit and completely normal in Arizona.
  • January 21
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Yes, this is done all the time. The sellers want to make sure that the funds are ready and available, so they don't take their home off the market and loose valuable time. As for you thinking it is not fair as one may have more money that the other buyers, well that is life. Some people have more that others. In addition please know that just because one has more money it does not mean they are willing to pay more, just that they could if they elected to. It is up to the seller to decided what is the best offer and it may not be the highest price either.

Thanks for your question,

  • May 08 2014
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They can, and often they do ask for this information.. they are trying to verify that you actually have the funds liquid to purchase their home.. and your suspicions are correct.. if you have more in your account then what's necessary to purchase the home, they could see that as a reason to hold out for more money.  I would recommend you contact your bank and ask them to issue you a letter stating you have sufficient funds to purchase a home at a sale price of $xxx,xxx.  and then let the agent know that upon acceptance of your offer, you will provide a bank statement.  This should satisfy both concerns..  I'm a Broker here in Scottsdale AZ and I only lend in Arizona.  If you or someone you know is looking for financing options, feel free to contact me or pass along my information.  William J. Acres
  • May 08 2014
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Profile picture for PrescottAz
Move your money into a separate "Club or Sub" account.. with the exact amount of the sale. Also make sure to black out all account info.. And yes if you are paying cash they want to see that you have it. 
  • May 03 2014
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I wouldn't show them my bank statement. I would get a letter printed on the banks letter head from your lender stating that you have X amount of funds to purchase the home.  The seller only needs to know you have the money you say you do.  Best of luck.
  • May 03 2014
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You can also have a letter from the financial institution stating your client has sufficient funds to purchase 12345 Clark St at $_____ amount. 
  • May 02 2014
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It is absolutely ethical and legal and required.   Get a letter on bank letterhead showing the amount of the purchase and a little extra for closing, no more
  • May 02 2014
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Jenny's on the right track; have your bank account rep draw up a letter stating that you have such-and-such amount in available funds to buy the home.

All the best,
  • May 02 2014
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Profile picture for Amanda Cox
A simple letter from your bank confirming that you have the sales price available in ready funds is just good business on the part of the seller.  They surely do not need to see in excess of the funds needed, as this may weaken your position when negotiating for repairs.  The seller doesn't need to see any more than that simple information.

In contract situations that involve agents, we usually give a time-horizon after acceptance in which the buyer will provide this proof.  If they are unwilling or unable, the property will then return to 'active' status on the market or we notify the back-up offer that they now have a chance.

In short, please don't be put off.  It's just good business.  
 
  • May 02 2014
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
There is nothing unethical about requesting documentation that you have the ability to buy the house.   In fact, they would be foolish not to request this documentation.   

I can see your concern that you don't want them to know exactly how much you have, so there are some options.   How did we deal with it when we bought all cash?  We simply created a separate account with the right amount in it and gave them a copy of that statement.  They did not need to know whether we had 100% of the money required, or 10,000% of the money required in our account.   An alternative would be to have your banker write a letter to confirm that you have the funds available.

When you give them a copy of the statement, make sure the account number is blacked out.
  • May 02 2014
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Yes. It's legal. If you don't provide the bank statement they may not accept your offer. The seller doesn't want to take their home off the market if you don't have the means to pay for it.
  • May 02 2014
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You should ask your Realtor how to handle this.  Your bank can write a letter on letterhead that states that you have XXX available for immediate use. This was the additional funds in your account are not disclosed. 
  • May 02 2014
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