Is the list price of a home legally binding and can you hold a realtor to that price?

Asked by Brooks8499, Creedmoor, NC Sun Jun 28, 2009

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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Mon Jun 29, 2009

And no.

Even if a home is listed for $400,000 and you offer $400,000, the seller doesn't have to sell to you. You can't force him. And your transaction is between you and the seller, not between you and the seller's Realtor.

The risk for the seller is that (depending on how the listing agreement is written) if a full-price offer comes in, then the seller may be obligated to pay the commission even if the seller declines to sell the house.

There are many instances, even today, in which a property is listed at a certain price and is sold for more. One recent example: I showed a couple a home, a foreclosure, listed for $180,000. It received 8 offers in 3 days. The accepted offer was all cash for $185,000. None of the other potential buyers (including some who offered full price) have any recourse against the seller for declining their offers.
1 vote
William Leigh…, , New Jersey
Sun Jun 28, 2009

Binding? What does that mean? Can you insist on the sale if you meet that price as a buyer? If that's your question, no, in fact the Realtor has no say in the selling price at all and the only say he or she has in the listing price is to take or decline the listing. The owner lists the house at price. He is soliciting offers from the general public. Excepting only the non- discrimination laws, he can accept or reject any offer that he cares to.

Does that help?
1 vote
Martha Lucia…, Agent, Union, NJ
Mon Nov 4, 2013
Your question could also be asking: If 3 REALTORS come to do a Listing Presentation and 1 says $400 anther $420 and another 499k......

You list with the unrealistic agent at $499k because you want to hold her to it!!! "LOL"
NO.... your home is only worth what someone is willing to pay.
Some realtors like to guarantee the Listing by going higher on a CMA Value, but that is in NOONE's Best interest. As a seller you will be reducing slowly each month, just to try and chase the market. That is not a good thing. The longer your home sit the worst it is. The questions from buyers will become...."Why hasnt it sold??" Whats wrong with the home..... You dont want to chase the market.

The buyers mortgage company will also do a APPRAISAL and it the offer amount is not what the appraisal value is, you will need to REDUCE or REMOVE IT FROM THE MARKET.

You Need 3 Comparable sales to figure out what your home value is.....NOT JUST 1 Neighbor "3"

FHA appraisals will stay attached to the property for 6 months. You can try to resell after 6 months.
Or try to get a CONVENTIONAL Buyer.

But usually the appraisers will be close to each other.

I highly recommend if you get 3 realtors, that are very different, you list between, the bottom 2.

Realtors usually dont like hurting feelings, but if you want the home to sell you need to be realistic.

Beside's you can always get over asking and a bidding war if you price it right!!
Bidding wars are the best way to go, you get to pick the buyer based on Money down and most likely to get approved. "Instead of take what you can get and prey."
0 votes
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Mon Nov 4, 2013
Absolutely not. Sellers negotiate the price of homes all the time and if you are selling and don't believe you're going to have to negotiate at all I think your expectations aren't realistic. There are also time homes sell over list price. The list price of a home is what a seller has put out to the world at large as the amount they would like for their home, but in reality only one person sets the market price of a home and that's a ready willing and able buyer. If the seller doesn't like the price being offered they have the option to either refuse the offer outright or counter with another number.

I would suggest you read the link I've attached below.
0 votes
Martha Lucia…, Agent, Union, NJ
Mon Nov 4, 2013
From my understanding of the REAL ESTATE LAW.... If you get asking price, with NO CONTINGENCIES, ALL CASH, NO INSPECTIONS then you technically should be required to sell. per the RElaw. (Ready, willing and ready buyer) BUT......NJ uses Attorneys for all REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS (Unlike Florida and many other states) The attorneys change the language immediately in the contract protecting the clients right to cancel on either side. Also protecting the seller from paying commission if it dies. So, the legal language is 1 thing, but the attorneys changes it all to be what is in the clients best interest.

Besides you have the right to accept another offer while in attorney review, so you can always cancel and go for another offer especially if its higher.

As realtors we learn 1 thing in school and the day to day experience is where you start to understand the process.
0 votes
Ready, Willing and Able........BUYER
Flag Mon Nov 4, 2013
Linda S. Cef…, Agent, Franklin, WI
Sun Jun 28, 2009
I agree with Keith. Your question is very vague. More information would be helpful.

0 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Sun Jun 28, 2009
You should re-phrase your question.
It is too vague to offer you advice.

Give it another shot and we'll try again.
0 votes
Kenneth Verb…, Agent, PRINCETON, NJ
Sun Jun 28, 2009
considering the years up to about 2 years ago, no (bidding wars drove prices well above list prices)
While Realtors may have the right to a commission if they bring a ready willing and able buyer to the seller I have never heard of a broker suing for this (unless buyer and seller conspired in order to breach the listing agreement) I have seen agents raise prices on listed homes if initial feedback was that they had greatly underpriced home but this is also rare and typically just results in a bidding war which drives the final price up any way.
0 votes
Yelena Tsula…, Agent, Morris Plains, NJ
Sun Jun 28, 2009
Realtor cannot change listing price without your written permission (there is a special form for this).
If you want the asking price remain the same , Realtor cannot do anything, but explain you why he/she thinks that asking price should be reduced (or increased).
0 votes
Dana Schuster, Agent, Slidell, LA
Sun Jun 28, 2009
my understanding of the MLS,according to a local real estate attorney and at least on our MLS is that nothing on the MLS is binding except the amount of commission to the selling agent.
0 votes
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