Home Buying in 89012>Question Details

Kp78, Home Buyer in 89012

Order of Acceptance of offer: Does the seller have to accept an offer in the order it was recieved or are they allowed to choose an offer?

Asked by Kp78, 89012 Thu Sep 2, 2010


To give a little bit of past information I have been looking to buy for a little over a year. I have worked with two different agents each who have supplied me a different answer to the question, "What order to sellers have to view/accept offers?"

The first real estate agent I worked with explained it as there can be multiple bids on a house. The seller as long as they have not counter-offered or entered into contract has the option of choosing which offer they are going to accept.

The second real estate agent said they have to accept them in the exact order they were received. Which means unless they reject the first offer, not allowing them to come back to it, they cannot accept the second offer.

With the information being contradictory to one another, I would like to know the answer before even beginning to seriously look again. Please let me know what is the order which sellers must view/accept offers. With a little more knowledge I may feel comfortable

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi! I'm not sure if the answer will vary from state to state....but I'm a local agent in New Jersey. The seller has the right to take whichever offer they wish, as long as they haven't gone under contract with the first offer. Even then, NJ has a 3-day attorney review period in the contract, which allows buyer OR seller to cancel the contract during this period. Therefore, if seller accepts an offer and another offers comes in at anytime before the attorney review period has expired, the seller can get out of the first contract to go with the second buyer. Most offers are going to have different terms (not only price), which could sway the seller to take one over the other, taking all terms into consideration.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 2, 2010
Ok so let me answer your question, which there are 2 here. May explain 2 different answers.
what is the order which sellers must view offers?
The buyers agent is required to present the offer as soon as they can. Same with the Seller's agent (listing agent) they are supposed to present offer to seller as soon as they can. Seller can look at the offer, ponder the offer, some wait out the expiration period for a better offer before they counter or reject your offer. The seller can even accept another offer that is lower than yours, Its up to the seller, and the listing agent represents seller, buyers agent represents you. Seller needs no reason behind accepting an offer. In most cases the cash or best offer wins. Also with the bank owned rules seem not apply, bank believes since they are out of state, state laws do not apply. What I have seen many times is that someone puts in an offer let's say at 150K, bank rejects it, list is 160K, no actual counter, they say highest and best, you resubmit at 154K. They reject it. Then you see the house sold for 140K a month later. Really. WTF you think. What happened?? They may have been waiting for a cash buyer or their bottom line changed, they needed to move it off their books that next week, who knows but it happens.
what is the order which sellers must accept offers.- no order in which they must accept seller does not have to accept, They are the boss.
Good luck
Call me to view your future home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 14, 2011
The seller can do whatever they want until they have an accepted offer. Generally the go with the highest net as many have mentioned below. They can also do it in whatever time frame they want in order to generate even more offers :-/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 1, 2010
If there is more than one offer received at substantially the same time, the sellers can accept the offer that they feel gives them the highest net. Here is how it works: if your agent asks for closing costs, repairs, and home warranty the seller nets less than if you are asking for nothing in those areas. Two people can come in with almost the same price, but the seller would choose the one who had the least "requests." Another thing to bear in mind - cash will always close faster. If someone comes in with an all-cash offer and you come in with an offer with a mortgage, the cash offer will always be accepted before anything else. My advice is simple - make offers on many homes that you like at the same time. I always write up five or six at the same time. That way I get the clients a home. Right now is an excellent time to look/buy. There are less people fighting over the same home than there were two months ago. For further information, please call me and I would be happy to answer any other questions you may have. Myra Gouger/ Realty ONE Group/ 702-858-9311.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 1, 2010
Hi Kp78,

Just curious...were you the first offer or second?? I once showed a home to my buyer who fell in love with it as soon as she saw it....so much so that when I called the listing agent and he told me that he had just accepted an offer, and the seller had agreed to accept only back up offers.....my buyer put in an offer $5000 over asking price....pretty unheard of in this market. Again, the listing agent told me that the seller still was going to stick with the first offer. It made me a bit suspicious that maybe the listing agent also had the buyer and maybe my offer was never presented (hate to think that way, but unfortunately, there are some that would do that). My buyer chose to contact the seller herself (I'm not allowed, but couldn't stop the buyer from doing it). Sure enough....the seller was very remorseful and said she had recieved the other offer and offered to only accept backup, and even though she really wanted to take our offer, she felt she needed to keep her word to the first buyer. We actually respected that.....in a business sense, she could've had $10K more in her pocket had she taken our offer....but she was a woman of her word. Not everyone is.....I guess my point is that people have their own reasons for taking a specific offer....sometimes it's personal, and sometimes it'sall about the money. Good luck....hope you're next experience is better. Just remember....when you're dealing with real people, anything can happen. And it's usually not something you or your realtor can always control.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 2, 2010
Thank you Kimberly, using your answer I investigated some more on Nevada to see if they had similar laws and found out some interesting details.

To FSBOsucess: While I appreciate your response, please read the scenario and answer the scenario only. You concluded that I would have been the low offer without any knowledge, only your presumptions. In fact, my offer in the latest instance was higher. I believe that the selling agent did what is known as "pocketing an offer" due to the how the transaction took place.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 2, 2010
You can't force a seller to accept your offer. Let's say you offer $10,000 less than another buyer. Why in the world would I accept your offer or even be forced to?

Maybe states are different, but I can't believe any seller would be forced in a normal selling situation to have to take an offer. Trust me, if you were the seller, you would be singing a different tune.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 2, 2010
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