Profile picture for user33666

Seller backing out to take a different offer after signing docs, any recorse?

I put an offer in on a short sale house.  Sellers signed the docs and sent them to my realtor, a few hours later the sellers realtor emailed back saying they were backing out to take a different offer.  Just wondering what type of action i might have.
  • April 17 2012 - Monroe Township
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Answers (9)

Profile picture for realtorss
In NC, the seller must present all offers to their lender for final review and acceptance. In a short sale situation, there can be multiple offers and since the lender is losing money, they have the right to negotiate to get the highest and best offer. This is one reason that most buyers do not like to get involved with short sales.

Don't despair though, make your offer a back up offer to the other and if for some reason that offer terminates, you will still have a chance at the property.
  • April 18 2012
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In NJ, the seller can still back out after signing contracts while in the 3 day attorney review period.
There is so much inventory out here. Unless this is your dream home, not worth all the hassle.
Good Luck!
  • April 18 2012
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Profile picture for azretirement
Good luck!
  • April 18 2012
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As Connie points out with a short sale you need a 3rd party contingency signed by the bank for the contract to be a fully enforceable document.

Absent the approval of the bank, you don't have a fully executed purchase agreement so you have no grounds for a legal action.

In Michigan this is the document that would have to accompany any short sale purchase agreement.
  • April 18 2012
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Profile picture for Connie Klemme
the key here is that it is a short sale.
the seller's acceptance is contingnet upon bank acceptance of the offer so you don't have a contract until that happens and more than likely they have to continue to take offers until the bank agrees to one.

typically what happens is that the "acceptance" had contingencies and states it will continued to be markted- so to answer whether or not something was done wrong one would have to review your contract in detail.  Visit with your agent about it.  Keep in mind that the other offer  on the table likely is not a "contract" yet either.  Until the bank accepts one, it's just paper between you and the occupant of the home.  While I am not suggesting that you engage in a bidding war, there are measures you might take to stay in the game, so definitely talk with your agent and get their broker involved if you want to keep after it. It doesn't sound from your description like the listing side handled communication well, but that doens't mean that it can't be corrected.
best of luck.
  • April 18 2012
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Profile picture for Cindy Quinton
You may want to reconsider if this is really worth the time and effort to fight. You could spend battle this only to find the bank simply won't accept your offer anyway.
  • April 18 2012
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
Without looking at your contract, I cannot say much, but once the Purchase and Sale Agreement is signed, it is a legally binding contract.  Rules change from state to state, so seek advice from your buyer agent's broker, to help you interpret your contract contingencies.  Hope it works out for you!
  • April 18 2012
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Profile picture for kapyarets
Usually when offered singed it's a binding contract and to be released from the contract requited written agreement of both parties. But!
You want o be sure that all contingencies, including time and date in line "offer is good until" are correct for the time of signing - it can be escape clause for the seller if he wants to get of the deal.
 The second - if that is a short sale and seller received much higher offer that will help him to get bank approval the seller can take the other offer and present both to the bank - bank will be making decision. 
  • April 18 2012
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Once you have a copy of the fully executed (signed) contract by both parties, they can't back out.  You can mostly bet on them not making any repairs or agreeing to anything else you want going forward if they want out of your offer, so be forewarned.

  • April 18 2012
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