Home Selling in Los Angeles>Question Details

Rochroch, Home Seller in Los Angeles, CA

In California what are consequences of a seller rejecting a less than full price offer from a buyer.

Asked by Rochroch, Los Angeles, CA Fri Jun 13, 2008

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Hi Rochroch,

I can tell you firsthand as a buyer that made a very fair offer with outstanding credit and 20% down, being ignored (not to mention rejected) was shocking to me. There were at least six offers on a property I wanted and my agent said that with the quality of my offer (granted it was a few thousand below asking but I expected to negotiate fully for a fair price) that I should expect to hear back quickly. Instead, we heard nothing and I had to keep bugging my agent to find out what was going on.

Then astonishingly, I saw the same property listed again on various sites not even a week later with no indication that it was a pending or backup offer pending. My agent and others said that unfortunately this happens a lot when sellers and their agents want to continue to get new offers that are either at or above their asking price. Line them up and see which one is the very best.

So, that is how a buyer feels when a seller rejects less than full price from a buyer. Not sure what can be done about this unethical practice (IMO and statements from friends) but it sure wasted a lot of our time and effort. Not sure if you are a FSBO or working with an agent, but some friends suggested that I complain to the REA at the least.

On the bright side, I am finding better and larger properties out there with asking prices waaay below what I was prepared to offer the first time. So there is a ying/yang to all of this madness.

Good luck to you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 18, 2008
The consequences are likely the same in CA as they are in TX. I can't imagine that there are legal consequences, but you should consult with an attorney if you are concerned about legal issues. There are potential consequences though.

If an offer is extremely unreasonable, none. An agreement would likely never happen. If it is just a matter of some marginal accommodation, rejecting an offer outright might turn any further negotiation confrontational. Always counter any offer that is not unreasonable--don't just reject them--and do your best to avoid confrontation.

Since this has the markings of a FSBO question, I'll add that you will need to detach yourself from your emotions during negotiations. Objectivity is key. An agent who is schooled and experienced in the dynamics of negotiation can be an invaluable asset during negotiations. This is one of the most difficult things for a FSBO to understand and appreciate, so good luck.

BTW--By offer, I mean the asking price on a home too. If you priced your home at the high end or unreasonably high for the market, you can expect many buyers to walk away, or submit offers that you will think are unreasonable. If you considered a prospective buyer's offer unreasonable because they were trying to save themselves the amount of the commission you expected to pocket in addition to coming in under asking price, you should have expected that.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 13, 2008
Hi Rochroch,,

Have you just gotten the offer or are you already in escrow? If you just received the offer and you are not satisfied with it, then there is really no consequence for rejecting the offer. However, you can ask your agent to make a counter offer that will make you happy. But please, be reasonable since you also have to consider if the property will appraise and also the buyers want to feel that they had a good deal. Also, review the offer- if these buyers have impeccable credit and will be putting down 20% or more, I would really urge you to do a counter offer. Remember , this is no longer a seller's market. If you want to get out of this property and you will make some profit from it, then review your stance. Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 13, 2008
Rochroch there are no consequences to the seller but the logical step a seller should take is counter the offer if the seller feels the offer is too low. Hope this answers your question.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 1, 2008
Please please please don't REJECT an offer. Counter their offer! It is all about negotiations in this market..."this market" being a buyers market.

Keep the lines of communication open.

I am hoping that you have a professional representing you. Ask their advice. Ultimately the decision is yours and only YOU know what is best for YOU.

Good luck to you.

Emily Chance
The Chance Team

"Success is not about avoiding failure. Failure is about avoiding failure. Success is about trying."
-Gary Keller
Web Reference: http://www.DotChance.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 19, 2008
The Answer From SouthBay Guy Home Buyer has a very good point. Statistically (not always) however usually the first offer is the best offer that a seller gets.......
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 18, 2008
Hi Rochroch,
It is a buyers market now and if you reject an offer than they will most likley find another bank repo or short-sale (aka short-pay) which is a pre-foreclosure. If it was way out of your price range than of coarse you do not want to waste your time or the agents time. however, if it's within reason, you should just counter back , even if its just a couple thousand less then your list price, at least it's a start and will start the negotiations. In some areas (when the home is listed just right) there are multiple offers and they will sell over list price. Just make sure you are asking for your home "Todays" fair market value (not a few years ago) - Have your realtor prepare another comparative market analysis, even if it's only a few months old. It's time to update and have a serious look at what your home is worth. Also, what is your motivation? If you would like an outside opinion (B.P.O. Brokers Price Opinion) I would be more than happy to help! Lesley Harris (562) 673-0943 cell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
Hi there Rochroch, Great Question, The buyer can counter or walk.
If yiu house is priced correctly and your listing agent can back up the data to shows the value then good offers should come.
You might want to find out how many active buyers there are out there that are bying in yiur city, zip code and price range to to really determine if you wnat to reject offers. Even a low offer is a starting point. Many times you can work with them and Negotiate

Hope this helps
Michael Barron
First Team Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 13, 2008
The consequence is no escrow, no sale of your home with that buyer.

If the offer price is extremely low there is no point in entering into any kind of negotiation with that buyer.

The question is, why is a full price offer the only price acceptable to you.

Is your asking price below the current market price for homes in your area? If so you should have multiple offers within a week of listing the home.

Yes, multiple offers are happening in Westside Los Angeles for well priced single family homes and condos and the property typically sells for over asking.

If your asking price is within a price range for homes that have sold in your area than be open to negotiating with a "real" buyer.

Price is only one factor in a transaction. The overall "quality" of the offer is most important.

Your realtor is the best person to guide you in this process.

Be open, otherwise you may end up "chasing the market."

All the best,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 13, 2008
a rejection could stop negotions on the track. Keep communications open. In todays market we see many offers that come in below full price. Sometimes it works for the buyer sometimes it doesn't. In some cases the seller's home has been on the market for a long time , the buyer takes a shot.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 13, 2008
from the buyers viewpoint, you will probably not make a sale very quickly if you are not will to accept less than full price and terms - there is more to an offer than the price - we have often offered full price but then want all of our own terms - by terms I mean the many other items that are part of the sale - time for escrow, what escrow company is used etc
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 13, 2008
Hi Rochroch,

You got some great answers here from Laarnie and Jim, I agree totally with what they said. Good luck!

Joan Patterson, B.A., A.S.P., G.R.I., Realtor
Keller Williams Realty
8250 White Oak Avenue, Ste 102
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 13, 2008
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