Is it legal to raise the listing price on a house after the asking price has been offered?

Asked by House Hunter, Farmington, MO Fri Sep 3, 2010

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Jane Grant, Agent, Aguanga, CA
Sat Sep 4, 2010
I am guessing that you are speaking about a SHORT SALE that you have placed an offer on and the bank is asking for more money. The answer is YES, the bank can raise the price due to the fact that all short sale terms are "Subject To", Bank Approval. This means that the seller/owner, who is still on title and who signed and accepted your offer is only submitting your offer to the bank for final approval. When the price is lower than market value the bank will often ask for more money in the form of a counter offer.

So yes, it is legal in this instance. Remember that price is not only negotiating factor, length of escrow and inspection contingencies, loan contingencies, are all negotiation factors in an offer!

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Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Fri Sep 3, 2010
I don't know of any state where a seller is obligated to sell to a buyer who makes a full price and terms offer.

However, virtually every listing agreement provides that a full commission be paid to the listing broker if a full price and terms offer is procured, which is a different matter altogether.
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Dale Weir, Agent, Chesterfield, MO
Fri Sep 3, 2010
The seller never has to accept an offer and the seller always has the right to raise his price, just as he always has the right to lower his price. Even if a home owner has an accepted contract on the home and he is continuing to market the home to get a backup contract, he can change the price of the home as he continues to market it. Typically we may expect that some work has been done on the home to justify the increase in the price, but legally there doesn't have to be any. Note, he's not raising a sales price, he's raising a listing price.
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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri Sep 3, 2010
Good advice from Scott. And certainly check with a lawyer.

Often, however, the answer is "yes." The seller may be responsible for paying a commission to the listing agent, but that's another issue. Also--though you didn't so indicate--that's not unusual with foreclosures and, even more, with short sales.

Hope that helps.
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Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Fri Sep 3, 2010
The basic answer is it depends... The seller can ask any price they want and can raise or lower it as they see fit. They key is the offer, if you offered full price with no contingincies , do they have to take it? the key is it depends on your state law regarding contract law. if there were any contingincies than no, they do no have to take it in virtually all cases, If there was not any contingincies, the question is best asked to a local real estate attorney. usually the first meeting is free if you feel strongly enough for a consultation with an attorney. If it was a short sale, the asking price doesnt mean anything unless accompanied in writing that the sellers lender will approve that price.
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