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Old 02-09-2017, 02:01 PM   #21
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I will be a slight contrarian here.... the first offer is NOT always the best offer.... there are people who want to low ball...

However, your offer is for more than you listed, so they are hoping to snag it before there is a bidding war...

I would wait for the showing this weekend... it is not like you are waiting a month... but do accept an offer early next week since you are already above list... if the person who made the offer really wants the house they will wait a few days...

I agree with the people who say the less contingencies is the best... IOW, if they are putting down a lot of hurdles for you, they will be pressing them later to try and lower the price or make you do repairs etc. that you do not want to do...
All of this.

When we sold in the bay area in 2015 we got a cash offer above asking four days after listing on the MLS. I wanted to accept it, but the problem was we had told everyone we would review offers after the weekend open house, and the party making the offer wanted us to decide in 24 hours. We were pretty certain there were more offers coming, so we very politely invited the party to renew their offer after the open house. They did, and upped the offer to boot, but still got beat out by a much better offer from a family that never saw the house until, you guessed it, the open house. Once we saw the offers we asked the first offeror whether they wanted to match the best offer, more or less because we had promised them due consideration in putting them off the first time. They declined, and we immediately accepted the best offer without further negotiation.
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Old 02-09-2017, 02:47 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by ExFlyBoy5 View Post
Not true. If they accept what you are OFFERING (you are offering to sell your house for such and such a price) to the letter, and they agree to YOUR terms, you are under contract. The buyer has quite literally assented to your offer.

This is very, VERY rare but it can be binding.

Also, the OP mentioned that you listed a bit higher than comps...if that's the case, you *could* have an issue with appraisal.

Nonetheless, every market is truly different, so take all of this advice with a grain of salt.
This is what I thought. If you get an offer, without edits, full price, the deal is done.
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Old 02-09-2017, 02:57 PM   #23
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I agree with those who recommend taking the "best" (meaning no or fewest contingencies) offer if it's anywhere close to your asking price.

I'm assuming a few things here:
1. Your home is appropriately priced (seems a good assumption based on comps)
2. You still live in the LA area; meaning $20k here or there is likely <2% of your sale price. (So, not worth lots of energy.)

Having bought/sold several houses in high priced West Coast/East Coast markets, as well as in "fly over land", if I've learned one thing about buying/selling, it's "don't chase the market"; either up or down, either as seller or buyer. It's almost always a frustrating and/or losing tactic. A virtually guaranteed smooth deal @ 98% of perfect is better than a risky, contingency laden deal @ 105% of perfect. It's somewhat analogous to the low cost, passive index investing philosophy, as compared to riskier methods, if you think about it.
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Old 02-09-2017, 04:05 PM   #24
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This is what I thought. If you get an offer, without edits, full price, the deal is done.
I don't think so... IOW, the offerer could not sue you for specific performance... even if you get a full price offer you need to accept it for it to be binding and as I recall real estate is one of a few areas where you need to have a written contract in order for it to be enforceable (the buyer force specific performance on the seller).

So OTOH, if you get to the point that you have a signed, written contract and the seller decides that they don't want to sell, you can then take them to court and force them to sell you the property (aka specific performance).

For example:
Quote:
In Ohio, the Statute of Frauds is found in the Ohio Revised Code Section 1335.05, which requires real estate purchase contracts to be in writing and signed by the parties.
My recollection is that this is true for most other states.

I am not a lawyer but that was my understanding having studied and passed the real estate licensing exam back in the mid 1970s.
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Old 02-09-2017, 04:12 PM   #25
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I don't think so... IOW, the offerer could not sue you for specific performance... even if you get a full price offer you need to accept it for it to be binding and as I recall real estate is one of a few areas where you need to have a written contract in order for it to be enforceable (the buyer force specific performance on the seller).

So OTOH, if you get to the point that you have a signed, written contract and the seller decides that they don't want to sell, you can then take them to court and force them to sell you the property (aka specific performance).

For example:


My recollection is that this is true for most other states.

I am not a lawyer but that was my understanding having studied and passed the real estate licensing exam back in the mid 1970s.


My current listing contract with my broker specifies that I can reject any offer for any reason.
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Old 02-09-2017, 04:15 PM   #26
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Saw this on a legal site:

It's perfectly legal in most states for the seller to reject a full-price offer, or indeed any offer (unless the reasons are discriminatory). The exception is that in certain states, sellers must accept a full-price, "clean" offer -- that is, one that comes with no contingencies, such as the sale being conditional upon financing or approving the results of a home inspection. But those don't come along very often, and you probably put a contingency or two into your offer.
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Old 02-09-2017, 04:15 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by ExFlyBoy5 View Post
Not true. If they accept what you are OFFERING (you are offering to sell your house for such and such a price) to the letter, and they agree to YOUR terms, you are under contract. The buyer has quite literally assented to your offer.

This is very, VERY rare but it can be binding.

Also, the OP mentioned that you listed a bit higher than comps...if that's the case, you *could* have an issue with appraisal.

Nonetheless, every market is truly different, so take all of this advice with a grain of salt.
Are you a lawyer and do you know this for sure?


From what I understand, if it is not in writing it is not under contract...

IOW, someone cannot just come to your front door with the money and say "I accept" and you have to sell....
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Old 02-09-2017, 04:20 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by COcheesehead View Post
Saw this on a legal site:

It's perfectly legal in most states for the seller to reject a full-price offer, or indeed any offer (unless the reasons are discriminatory). The exception is that in certain states, sellers must accept a full-price, "clean" offer -- that is, one that comes with no contingencies, such as the sale being conditional upon financing or approving the results of a home inspection. But those don't come along very often, and you probably put a contingency or two into your offer.
Did it name the "certain states"?
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Old 02-09-2017, 04:22 PM   #29
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Did it name the "certain states"?
No
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Old 02-09-2017, 04:48 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by COcheesehead View Post
Saw this on a legal site:

It's perfectly legal in most states for the seller to reject a full-price offer, or indeed any offer (unless the reasons are discriminatory). The exception is that in certain states, sellers must accept a full-price, "clean" offer -- that is, one that comes with no contingencies, such as the sale being conditional upon financing or approving the results of a home inspection. But those don't come along very often, and you probably put a contingency or two into your offer.
I can attest that this is true. A friend got a "clean" , full price offer from a person that, unbeknownst to the seller, turned out to be a company (that the seller's neighbors were very unhappy about). He had to accept the offer or, get sued.
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:01 PM   #31
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What state?
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:28 PM   #32
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The owner is not required to sell the property at any price at any time if they choose not to prior to an executed contract. The only time an offer becomes a binding contract is when both parties have executed (signed) the documents.

However, a seller could be in breach of his listing agreement by refusing to accept the full-price offer.
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:54 PM   #33
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Others have said it, but I will repeat. It's about price and contingencies - the whole package needs to be evaluated. I have no way to know if this is true, but in buying the house I'm in now (bought a year ago), we won out to a full price offer because mine was a cash offer with no contingencies. The couple took less than their listed price because they wanted to get on their way. They were an older couple, they had a house built at their destination and it was complete and a few more bucks wasn't going to change their life. As the seller, you have to evaluate those things but in general, less contingencies is best and certainly worth a few bucks.

Keep in mind, there are two obvious pitfalls. One is the buyer who offers high and then during the inspection tries to work you down for every little thing they can find wrong with your house. This one isn't too bad because they have to inspect quick and hopefully other buyers are still eager. If the inspection does find something significant though, now you know it and there's no way around disclosing it.

The other one is the appraisal. Buyer wants the house, offers high, can't get a mortgage without adding more of their cash to the deal. They don't have the cash and the deal falls through. This takes awhile and you're house is off the market during this time.

In our deal, we had cash and the buyer knew we were planning on a major remodel of the house so unless the inspection identified a major problem (like the foundation), I didn't really care what they found. Sellers had their car loaded on closing day for the trip to their new house near DD. The moving van left the day before.
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:37 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by COcheesehead View Post
Saw this on a legal site:

It's perfectly legal in most states for the seller to reject a full-price offer, or indeed any offer (unless the reasons are discriminatory). The exception is that in certain states, sellers must accept a full-price, "clean" offer -- that is, one that comes with no contingencies, such as the sale being conditional upon financing or approving the results of a home inspection. But those don't come along very often, and you probably put a contingency or two into your offer.
What legal site? One of the problems is that accepting does not include consideration... that is also a requirement of a contract...

I looked it up, and found a site that said that in Texas you need a written contract... from the site which is talking about verbal contracts...
While it is true that some contracts must be in writing, such as the sale of real estate, Texas courts will enforce many oral promises.

I have found a number of links talking about verbal offers, but they all seem to be.... 'I accept, put it in writing'....

I have also read that 'most' states require a written agreement and that in some states this might not bind the buyer and seller!!!


So, I am skeptical that accepting a listing is binding...
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:46 PM   #35
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The seller can always find a way to get out. We were very eager to find our home in 2006 and found a place. Full price non-contingent offer, IIRC we agreed to skip some inspections. The owner couldn't agree to a possession date. They were thinking of staying till they found some land and built, maybe a year or so. It was a blessing in disguise.
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:54 PM   #36
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There was a person at the company many years ago that would make offers on houses, contingent on the sale of his house. He would brag about what a good deal he had going, because he had bought the house at a very good price.

Of course, he expected to sell his existing house at a premium price. He did make a couple deals, but there were many folks who thought they had sold their house that were just being strung along.
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Old 02-10-2017, 03:38 AM   #37
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What legal site? One of the problems is that accepting does not include consideration... that is also a requirement of a contract...

I looked it up, and found a site that said that in Texas you need a written contract... from the site which is talking about verbal contracts...
While it is true that some contracts must be in writing, such as the sale of real estate, Texas courts will enforce many oral promises.

I have found a number of links talking about verbal offers, but they all seem to be.... 'I accept, put it in writing'....

I have also read that 'most' states require a written agreement and that in some states this might not bind the buyer and seller!!!


So, I am skeptical that accepting a listing is binding...
Here's the site.
Can a house seller refuse a full-price offer? - Nolo.com

For future reference, you can highlight a quote and hit search web and you can find the original page it came from.
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Old 02-10-2017, 04:37 AM   #38
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One of the problems with the seeming contradictory advice given so far is that real estate involves state by state regulation. Your state law may be different from my state.

1. In MY state, you do not have to accept any offer, by law. BUT, your listing contract may specify that if a full price, non-contingency offer is given, and you refuse it, you are obligated to pay the full commission to the Realtor. Check your contract.

2. In MY state, real estate sales are one of the few sales that cannot be enforced unless the deal is in writing. (You and I can have a "hand shake" agreement on buying a car, for example and it can be enforced in court, but not a real estate transaction).

Back to the advice of acceptance of a full price offer: ask your Realtor. If you want further clarification, ask his/her broker/owner. Or ask an attorney.

On which offer to take: I agree contingencies are nearly as important as price. Can you be assured of a closing in 30 or 45 days? Very important. Great offers are offers that close on time.
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:34 AM   #39
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^^^^^ consistent with my understanding

The first one is because a Realtor is contracted to bring you a "ready, willing and able" buyer and if they do that and you decide not to sell you still owe them since they have done what you contracted them to do.

The second one has to do with statute of frauds... generally real estate transactions are of such significant $$$ and complexity that legislatures decided that written contracts should be required to protect both buyers and sellers.
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:55 AM   #40
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I just emailed the RE agent asking him to send me a copy of the offer so that I can see for myself. I asked the agent (his son) who came to show the house yesterday about the offer and he said there were no contingencies. I want look it over at this point.

We had two showings yesterday. I've seen and talked to numerous people who are looking from seeing it on the internet. The agent says that there has been a lot of calls and that the open house should be busy.

I can see the logic of taking a full-price, no-contingency offer if it all looks good. I hope we can settle this soon. I am definitely leaning towards taking a full-price-ish offer like this and not dragging it out any more.
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