If a full price offer comes in, is a Seller obligated to accept it?

October 11th, 2008

The bottom line answer is NO. Barring imminent domain, foreclosure and a handful of other specific situations, nobody can force you to sell them your property. A better question may be “What are my risks if a full price offer comes in and I don’t accept it?” The main risk is that you may be held liable for paying a commission to the Buyers Agent.

When you list your home for sale, the listing agreement details all of the terms of the listing. The listing price, items included in the sale, the expiration date and of course the commissions. If a Buyers agent brings in an offer from a ready, able and qualified Buyer, and the Seller will not accept it, the Buyers broker (having done their job) may sue for their, commission.

What’s the bottom line here? Don’t list your property below a price you’re willing to accept. There is no guarantee that a Seller in the Oakland hills, Berkeley or Piedmont is going to get an over asking offer.

“Pricing to entice” is still used as a marketing strategy. Sometimes a Seller will list their property at a price that is LESS than they are willing to accept. It’s an attempt make the property appeal to a greater amount of Buyers. If competition develops, the price can get bid up and the property sells over the asking price. Happy Seller, right? But, if only one offer comes in at asking or lower, a Seller unwilling to accept it could be in for some financial consequences.

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