"Active with Contract" - Recommendations on how I can get a house already in contract. Can I tempt the sellers to take my offer instead?

Asked by mgmitten, Ponte Vedra, FL Thu May 9, 2013

I am interested in a home in Orlando that states "Active with Contract." I called the seller's agent today & they told me that they are still showing the property and accepting back up offers & to come in strong. If I come in with a stronger offer than the offer/contract they accepted with contingencies, can the seller back out of the contract with the first person? Any recommendations on the best way I can go about getting this particular house? Thank you in advance!

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Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Thu May 9, 2013
Imagine that YOU are that person with the Contract:
How would you feel about the Seller backing out of your Contract?
3 votes
get over yourself.
Flag Mon Nov 10, 2014
Eileen Eskew, Agent, Orlando, FL
Fri May 10, 2013
Mark, I do agree that you should have a Realtor on your side, the seller pays the buyer Realtor so it is 100% to your advantage. Given what the listing agent has told you it sounds like if your offer is stronger than the first buyer who is under contract they may have "first right of refusal"(if this is written into their contract agreement). That means that they have "x" amount of time to remove the contingencies and or improve their offer. If they refuse to do so, then other offers can be considered. If this is a Short Sale or REO the rules change, which is why I asked you that question previously. This is the abbreviated answer as contract negotiations are complicated, you really need to work with a pro on your side.
1 vote
Thank you so much for that info! Forgot to mention. It is traditional sale, sold "As Is," home needs "a lot" of work/$ invested into renovations.
Flag Fri May 10, 2013
Sylvia Paul, Agent, Apopka, FL
Fri May 10, 2013
Sorry Mark, but no you cannot. '...with contract' means they are already under contract with a
buyer. Both sides are legally bound to the contract. However, if the buyer fails to perform, e.g.
miss a deadline, walks away, or does not qualify to purchase said property, the person who is next in line (backup contract) could move into first place. It happens, so if you are interested I suggest you find yourself a good agent and get that backup offer in there as soon as possible. Of course I would love to be that person! All you have to do is pick up the phone and give me a call, or send me an email. I would love to help you.

Sylvia Paul
Realty Center
Orlando, Fl 32819
(407) 864-3139
1 vote
Eileen Eskew, Agent, Orlando, FL
Fri May 10, 2013
Mark, is it a Short Sale or REO ? That makes a difference. Are you working with a Realtor ? Or are you going it alone. ?
1 vote
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Fri May 10, 2013
There are many things you can do.
As others have noted you MUST submit your offer as a back up......and wait.
You are waiting for the current buyer to do something stupid, such as cause negotiations to be reopened. (Do not take action to interfere with a current binding contract) The presence of your offer, especially if it is strong. will make the seller MUCH LESS flexible with the existing buyer. If the owner (seller) is well represented, an over eager buyer will be required to EXHIBIT their commitment before the present buyer is dismissed.
Consult the professional you hired.They know what to do.
This IS process and strategy that is worth paying for.

Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
1 vote
Mark LeMenag…, Agent, Lake Nona Orlando, FL
Fri May 10, 2013
Active With Contract officially means there is a BINDING contract between the seller and a buyer and that back up contracts are being sought. Although I have done a number of these, I’ve never seen a seller actually sign a binding back up.

This is almost done exclusively in the short sale market and in a short sale the seller doesn't get any money. So how can you make a stronger offer? Zero is not greater than zero.
1 vote
Well supported argument.
Flag Fri May 10, 2013
Lisa Morales, Agent, North Reading, MA
Thu May 9, 2013
In Massachusetts, a real estate salesperson has an obligation to present ALL offers to the seller and cannot "have it on his desk." If the current accepted offeree does not satisfy all contingencies in a timely manner, such as obtaining the home inspection or mortgage offer of funding and they go to the seller asking for more time, the seller is not obligated to extend the terms and is free to move forward on your offer. This is the best reason for having your offer in front of them. Conversely, the seller may be motivated to accept your equal or possibly even lesser offer since they just had a deal fall through and you may have come in too high otherwise. A qualified buyer's agent will help you decide the best strategy.
1 vote
Hi Lisa, We are also obligated to present all offers here in FL, too, UNTIL a binding contract is signed. After that it becomes a question of whether or not backups are taken. This is usually determined between seller and listing agent and indicated in the listing agreement. The seller can allow or not accept any further offers.
Flag Fri May 10, 2013
Richard Rutl…, Agent, Orlando, FL
Thu May 9, 2013
Well I would suggest making an offer on the property just so that the agent can have it on their desk.

Give me a call 4074941891
or Shoot Me and E-mail
1 vote
Linda Lorenzo, Agent, McKinney, TX
Thu May 9, 2013
It depends on what the contingencies are. If they have already accepted an offer then they are under contract to proceed with that per whatever the terms are, they cannot back out no matter what the higher offer is. You need to know what the contingences are. And please get your own agent do not use the listing agent, they represent the seller not you. There is no charge to you to have your own representation.
1 vote
Vincent Paige…, Agent, Orlando, FL
Mon May 13, 2013
Short Answer is NO, unless the buyer in contract fails to preform, or cancels due to inspection failure. If you have the highest and best next offer, then YES, then you may be able to buy the home if your offer is accepted at that time.

Vincent Warren Paige, Jr.
REALTOR® | RE/MAX Showcase
Certified Broker Price Opinion Registered Agent (BPOR)
8934 Conroy Windermere Road | Orlando, FL 32835
Direct: 407.256.8190 | Fax: 407.264.8073
0 votes
mgmitten, Home Buyer, Ponte Vedra, FL
Fri May 10, 2013
Thank you all for your responses! Forgot to mention. It is traditional sale, sold "As Is," home needs "a lot" of work/$ invested into renovations.
0 votes
All the best to ya however you choose to proceed. :)
Flag Fri May 10, 2013
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