In NYC, if I offer the asking price, is the seller legally bound to accept it?

Asked by Macaroni, New York, NY Thu Jun 12, 2008

Assuming there are no other offers on the table and I am pre-qualified for financing and I have a check for say a 3% deposit.

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Laura Karamb…, Agent, Downers Grove, IL
Thu Jun 12, 2008
When you write an offer to purchase there are 3 things that can happen: Your contract can either be accepted, rejected or countered. A seller is not legally bound to accept an offer just because it is full price. The seller may want more of a deposit from you, maybe they want a loan "approval" and not a pre-qual. There are other terms to a contract that have to be agreed upon by both parties in order to have a "deal".

I hope this answers your question & good luck!
1 vote
Joseph Ferra…, , New York County, NY
Sat Jun 14, 2008
Absolutely not! Until a contract in writing is signed, neither party is legally bound to anything. Disclosure: I am an attorney.
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Jenet Levy, Agent, New York, NY
Fri Jun 13, 2008
Often if there are multiple offers, we go to "best and final" which gives all who have submitted bids to give the highest offer. That usually results in an offer above the asking price. I have had this happen. On my last listing 4 people were competing. We took the highest offer which was all cash and above the asking price. So no, they are not obligated to take a full price offer. However, from the agent's point of view, if a full price offer of a qualified buyer is presented and rejected, the seller owes that agent the commission anyway because they have fulfilled their obligation as outlined in the contract. But they most likely will have to go to court to get it.
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Donna Quarto, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Fri Jun 13, 2008
No, The seller does not have to accept any offer presented to them. Some properties have multiple offers and the seller ususally goes with the best financially for them.
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Michael Rich…, , New York, NY
Thu Jun 12, 2008
No. the seller is not obligated to accept a full price offer. I have been involved on both sides of transactions on numerous occasions when the seller has received a full price offer and taken the property off the market. They were not serious about selling and only wanted totest the market to find out the market value of the property at the listing broker's expense..
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Joanna Lane, Agent, Cutchogue, NY
Thu Jun 12, 2008
Not at all. The seller has their own priorities and price is only one them. Speed of Closing may be very important for example, in which case an all cash offer in a lower amount may be more attractive to the seller. You can't force a seller to sell to you unless you are already in a legally binding contract with him, although you are certainly likely to have a full price offer accepted if all the other elements of the offer, including the contingencies, are reasonable. The only situation in which you could argue that the seller should sell to you would be a full price all cash offer, 30 day close, "As-is", no contingencies,. This basically means that you walk through then write the check, with no home inspection, no appraisal, no warranty on any of the heating and plumbing, fixtures and fittings, no Cos, and no guarantees that roof doesn't leak and so on. The only thing the seller would have to provide would be "Clear Title". Home buyers would not normally want to do that, even if they could.

But a full price offer from a qualified buyer is a wonderful thing...good luck!
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