can a seller accept 2 contracts for the same property?

Asked by Pat Broe, New York, NY Fri Oct 19, 2007

was ready to sign contract and found out the house was already in contract with "right of first refusal"
i was told the other buyer has to sell his house first. is the dual realtor odrsellers attorney required tell you about other contract?

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Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Fri Oct 19, 2007
Hello pat,

I am in California. For us, if a buyer has the 'first right of refusal', you can still make an offer, and if the seller is interested in your offer, he has to go to the first buyer and see if the first buyer can match or exceed your term, whther it's price, timing, contingency, etc; does not matter. If the first buyer says yes and delivers, then you will have to wait. If not (they refused), then your contact, after negotiation, kicks in.

Yes, the realtor, and/attorney will need to disclose that that the seller has an agreement with the first buyer for first right of refusal. To protect you, before you present your offer terms to the seller, have them sign an agreement NOT to disclose the terms on your contract to the first buyer. If they agree, then you can present your offer.

However, since I am in California, take it with grain of salt. Hopefully NJ agents will reply to you.

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Andy Nelms, , 30019
Fri Oct 19, 2007

If the second offer is to be a "backup contract" there must be specific wording in the contract to that effect. Also FYI, the kickout contingency mentioned below is just that, it is not a "right of first refusal" or "first right of refusal".

A "first right of refusal" is a clause that allows a buyer to match the terms and price of another offer. This type of clause is usually used in an "option contract." In the case of the kickout contingency, the first accepted offer is not changing their terms and price to meet the new offer they are simply removing whatever contingency was in the contract, if they choose to do so. If they choose not to remove the contingency then their contract is null and void, assuming notiofications are sent etc.
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Carrie Crowe…, Agent, Southaven, MS
Fri Oct 19, 2007
When a buyer puts a contingency in a contract, ie, stating they need to sell their own home first, there is usually a kick out clause(first right of refusal). This allows the sellers to continue to market the property. If another offer comes in that is better, ie without a contingency, the seller has the right to ask the first buyer to either take off the contingency, or back out of the agreement. If the previous buyer cannot take off the contingency, then the second buyer becomes the primary contract and the first buyers contract is removed from the playing field. This is a very common practice.

Carrie Crowell
Keller Williams Realty
Baton Rouge, LA
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Elizabeth Bu…, Agent, Englewood, FL
Fri Oct 19, 2007
You would be the back-up contract. The first contract that has First Right of Refusal has a kick-out clause , and that is if another offer comes in and the seller likes that offer better than the first offer, the first buyer has usually 72 to remove the contigencie from the contract or the seller has the option to move your offer to the first position. The sellers agent or attorney should inform the buyers agent that there is a First Right of Refusal contract on the table. Good Luck.
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Richard M. J…, , Sherman Oaks, CA
Fri Oct 19, 2007
You can accept a contract as a back-up offer.
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