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Does a seller have a legal obligation to accept a valid/reasonable offer?

Does a seller have any obligation to accept an offer that meets the asking price and conditions without contingencies?

I understand that contingencies, lower then asking offers or unconventional terms could be deal breakers.
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October 22 2013 - US
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Answers (6)

Best Answer

Everybody are right. Seller is not obliged to accept an offer regardless that if meets or exceeds asking price etc. Sellers must only be aware, that (if REA are involved) rejecting such an offer can have some consequences like paying  a commission to brokers because they secured a buyer according to terms of listing agreement.

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October 22 2013
If you are presented with a full price off and no contingencies what is the problem?

If you are FSBO you can refuse any offer you wish, except if your refusal violates the Fair Housing Act.  Please read the Fair Housing Act both federal and state.  This is a Federal Law and some states have enacted legislation more restrictive than the federal law.

Whether or not a buyer may have a cause of action because they perceive you unreasonably denied their offer is a matter to be discussed with an attorney.  That's a civil issue.

If you are listed with an REA more than likely your contract has wording which may obligate you to pay the full commission if you turn down such an offer.
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October 23 2013
No, the seller can opt not to accept any offer regardless if it is for full price or has contingencies or not.

The seller has no obligation to sell to a potential buyer until there is a ratified contract, meaning both parties have agreed to the terms of the sale and signed on the dotted line.

In fact, sellers may receive multiple offers when placing their home for sale - and the highest offer or full price offer may not always be their top choice or what is right for them. Some sellers may choose to take an offer that is lower because something about it is more inline with their needs, such as a quicker closing date or a larger earnest money deposit or a myriad of other reasons. Some sellers may even change their minds about selling at the last minute while considering offers.

The most important thing to remember is - there's never a deal until there's actually a deal in writing with agreement between both parties as to the terms.
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October 22 2013
No a seller can deny any offer even if it is above asking price and you are asking for nothing. For example if that scenario played out above and the sellers found out it was someone they don't like from their past or something silly like that they can say no to anything until they say yes and ratify the contract...
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October 22 2013
Profile picture for wetdawgs
No.  The seller can accept any offer they want, or none at all.  They don't have to accept the highest offer, the one with the least contingencies.  They don't have to accept an offer that meets the asking price. 
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October 22 2013
Profile picture for SoCal_Engr
No.

I found one reference that "in some states" a buyer must accept a full-price, clean offer, but the states were not identified. And, a quick Google didn't turn up a list of those states, either.

However, there are some references to a seller potentially owing a commission if they engage a REA and subsequently turn down a full-price, non-contingent offer.
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October 22 2013
 
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