Home Buying in Los Angeles>Question Details

Glen, Home Buyer in Los Angeles, CA

Can I offer the seller a one time cashiers check for the price of the home if it is already in escrow and waiting to close with another seller?

Asked by Glen, Los Angeles, CA Sat Apr 7, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Glen,

You can make the offer, but the seller will have to decide if they want to breach their current contract and be held liable, which might include specific performance. If the current buyer decides they really want that property, they can sue for performance of the contract. This would not allow you to take ownership of the house even if the cashiers check were cashed and spent. It would be better to make your offer a back up offer and hope that the current buyer falls out of escrow; or you can let escrow close and make your offer to the current buyer(new owner).

What makes the situation somewhat worse for you is that you made your search for information public rather than speaking to a single Realtor you trust. If you had a Realtor already, you would not be asking this question on Trulia. If the current buyer's escrow falls out for some strange reason, this forum would prove they had an outside offer from you and were purposely trying to get out of the contract. This would be the exact kind of proof the current buyer would need to prove their case and sue for performance of the contract. Get yourself a Realtor.

Buying a home is very emotional. Make the back up offer and hope for the best; or else look for a new property to invest in.

Have a prosperous day,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 11, 2012
Have your agent submit a back up offer to the seller's agent with your all cash fast close offer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 13, 2012
Hello Glen,

Just keep an eye on the situation, and if the closing unravels, be there to close quickly.
You can also try to give a back up contract (which won't be signed, but will put the seller on notice that you are out there as a buyer). But, a contract is a contract, and karma...comes back to haunt you.

Good luck!

Irina Karan
CDPE - Certified Distressed Property Expert
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 13, 2012
You can do anything you like. However, the seller would be extraordinarily foolish to agree to it. James is 100% correct that you have now, just, pretty much handed a gift wrapped legal case that will entangle you in a lawsuit and probably end badly if you were to proceed in this matter. I would daresay that a Judge would not look favorably upon the actions of someone who came up with the idea of conspiring together with the seller to deprive the rightful buyer of his/her contract rights under a prior, valid and existing contract….

FairPlay…as a concept….Real estate may be a game - but that doesn't mean it's a free for all without rules or consequences.

Be safe out there -
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 13, 2012
You can make the offer and get in backup position. The cashiers check would only serve to indicate your seriousness to the seller. It would work to give the seller the confidence to enforce any possible contingincies that the buyer may miss. It is a very precarious process but may put you in the deal. Just be sure that if the seller places you in the #1 position that the other deal is completely cancelled before you close on the escrow. You do not want buyer #1 to come back after the deal is closed claiming they had first right to the house. Those situations are very messy and do not turn out well for anyone involved.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 7, 2012
This is not a good idea considering that when under a contract already signed and in process during escrow it can be considered a breach of contract if the seller accepts this check. They could then be sued for damages. If the transaction falls out of escrow however then it is anyones game so I would suggest you contact the sellers agent and tell them you are highly interested and ready with a check if the deal somehow falls apart in escrow and to call you if it does.

Best of luck!

Tammy Hunt
Nelson Shelton & Associates
355 N. Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Lic# 01275416
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 7, 2012
You could be backup offer in case the existing contract cancels legitimately but Seller would be foolish to break the contract.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 7, 2012
You can offer whatever you like, however keep in mind that a contract is binding; if it is cancelled legal ramifications for the seller may come to play...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 7, 2012
No. The seller is already in contract with another buyer and in order for you to buy the house he would have to cancel the current Escrow.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 7, 2012
Hi Glen,

Afraid not - if the home is currently in escrow, the seller would be under a legal and binding contract with the other buyer, and would probably not be able to get of the contract just because they got another offer. Unless the seller has the right to cancel the contract due to the buyers non-performance or some other provision, they would he locked into their current deal. Sorry, hope this info is helpful.

John Barry
DRE #01856079
Coldwell Banker
Phone: 323-810-7976
Email: John.Barry@coldwellbanker.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 7, 2012
Well, I guess you can offer, but they cannot accept without legal ramifications. They are in contract with the buyers and if they accept your offer, then they will be seller the home to 2 parties. You can submit your offer as a backup offer, in the hopes that it falls out of escrow.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 7, 2012
You certainly can offer it, but they will not be able to accept and open escrow with you until the other contract and escrow is cancelled.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 7, 2012
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