seattlehomes…, Home Seller in Seattle, WA

After cancelling a sales agreement, how fast can I officially accept one of my backup offers?

Asked by seattlehomeseller, Seattle, WA Tue Oct 1, 2013

We cancel our agreement with the seller. They wired all the funds to escrow on the last day (on the closing date) and escrow was unable to finish all the paperwork on time. We decided not to wait until next day because we have 2 backup offers which are higher.
What needs to happen before we can sign and accept one of our backup offers? Does escrow needs to return all money to the previous buyer before we can move on to the next offer? Any legal contentions?

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Karen Mcknig…, Agent, Kirkland, WA
Tue Oct 1, 2013
Hi seattlehomeseller,

Since the buyers funds were received at escrow, and the buyer also probably signed papers, the buyer has show full intent to perform to the contract. I hope you're not letting greed set in, because it is in fast paced markets with multiple offers that I have seen the desire to get out of transactions before. If the buyer signed and the funds are available for distribution, you will get yourself into a legal mess by not performing.

Just because you have a couple of back up offers, don't think that all sales close, or close smoothly. There is an old saying, "one in the hand is worth two in the bush". Maybe that saying applies here.

I also believe, it is always best, in business and in life, to do the right thing. Listen to your tummy, and in the long run doing the right thing will serve you best.

Be careful,
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2 votes
Kary Krismer, Agent, Renton, WA
Tue Oct 1, 2013
I would suggest you spend some money on a real estate attorney so that they can look over all the paper work and advise you properly. There's no way anyone can (or should) answer this type of specific question without seeing all the contract documents and perhaps more.
1 vote
Spencer Gray, Agent, Bonney Lake, WA
Fri Nov 8, 2013
There is some really good advice below. If you are that close to closing, I don't know why you wouldn't sign an extension.

Say you do back out, what happens if the other offers fall through? Are you willing to wait another 30+ days to close? What happens if the back up offers request expensive repairs or a new roof?

As others have made analogies, the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence...

Please let us know how things worked out.
0 votes
Jirius Isaac, Agent, Kenmore, WA
Wed Oct 2, 2013
I think you have some really good advice below & I suggest you follow it. Be careful!

Good luck to you in any case
Jirius Isaac

Isaac Real Estate Team
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TriStar Finance #MLO-107799
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0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Tue Oct 1, 2013
With the buyer. You cancel your agreement with the buyer.

We can not, and would not, advise you to contract with another buyer without resolving this matter to the satisfaction of both parties.

All the best,
0 votes
I really doubt the buyer is going to be satisfied. ;-)
Flag Wed Oct 2, 2013
Ray Akers, Agent, Seattle, WA
Tue Oct 1, 2013
As others have suggested, this is really a legal question. Did the buyer fulfill all the terms of the agreement? Did escrow or the lender encounter a problem at the last minute which delayed the closing? There's more unknown than known and Realtors are not able to give you legal advice. You should seek a legal opinion, and you should consult with the Designated Broker before taking any action. Good luck.
0 votes
Don Dominick, , Seattle, WA
Tue Oct 1, 2013
A bird in the hand is better then 2 in the bush.
0 votes
Margo Christ…, Agent, Seattle, WA
Tue Oct 1, 2013
Thank you for the question, you always should talk to the designated Broker in your office. That being
said as long as you are out of contract or have a rescission in hand you can take another offer.
I really do not know enough about the situation to give an answer. You can always call me.
0 votes
Rob Merhaut, Agent, Bellingham, WA
Tue Oct 1, 2013
You can probably begin immediately.

But just remember. Karma will begin immediately as well. And then of course is the Golden Rule.......
0 votes
And Karma is a B! I've seen it applied to real estate transactions.
Flag Tue Oct 1, 2013
Chris Moates, , Seattle, WA
Tue Oct 1, 2013
Assuming this is in the State of Washington.... If you did not close "on time" and no additional time was given to the buyer, technically you're "out of contract" and the buyer failed to perform. If so, you're free to sell to whomever you want. This is not legal advice and I'm obliged to inform you to consult an attorney, however you should consider going through with closing with the current buyer rather than taking your chances on another buyer that may only frustrate you more. After all, it sounds like you're buyer was acting in good faith having their funds delivered on the day of closing. The world is not perfect when it comes to closing these days. One thing I would suggest is asking for additional time to move out after closing, in lieu of not closing on time.
0 votes
Terry McCarl…, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Tue Oct 1, 2013
This is a question for a real estate attorney. Hopefully you made sure the buyers that submitted back up offers still want to purchase the home. Additionally, whose fault was it that the paperwork wasn't completed on time is key and should be discussed with whichever attorney you consult with.
0 votes
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