You Never Have To Sell to a Any Particular Offer

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Must you sell if you list at a specific price and the broker comes up with a qualified buyer?

in the US in general, no you do not have to sell, but you could still be liable to the broker for their commission. You might also need to justify why your decision was non-discriminatory (assuming that it wasn't), but if (for instance) your broker brings you someone you have had business dealings with in the past, and they have tried every maneuver possible to scam you after reaching agreement in those past dealings, you are (usually) quite justified in refusing to do business with them.

Talk to a lawyer, but generally speaking, if you do not have complete and perfect agreement between the parties on the contract, you do not have a valid purchase contract. If you didn't want to do business with (say) Bill Clinton or George W. Bush, such is your right as long as you refuse to do so on the basis of them being a particular individual, not based upon them being members of a class protected under anti-discrimination law.

In general, nobody can force you to sell unless you've agreed to a fully executed purchase contract. But I'm talking about legal force here, not economic. It can be expensive not to take a particular offer. I am not familiar with any cases where a real estate agent, listing or buyer's, was awarded a commission even though there was no transaction consummated, but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen. And lest the general tone of this article be mis-interpreted, refusing to sell on the basis of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, lifestyle or any other legally protected reason is setting yourself up for a lawsuit.

List price is a representation that you would be willing to accept that price, but there are other proposed terms of the contract to consider. As I have said before, if you're still arguing about who replaces a given light bulb, you don't have a valid contract any more than you do if you're $100,000 apart on the price. I can't imagine stressing about a light bulb like that, but the point is just because someone offers you full list price does not mean you have to accept their offer. If the other terms proposed are onerous, if it comes attached with conditions you don't care to accept, or if it is merely from an individual who you have done business with in the past and are unwilling to be involved with again, you are usually within your rights to refuse the offer.

Or instead of an outright refusal, you can return a counter-offer back to them, which is usually the smarter thing to do.

Caveat Emptor

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on August 28, 2014 7:00 AM.

Definition of Purchase Money, Cash Out, and Rate /Term Mortgages was the previous entry in this blog.

The History of Suburban Housing is the next entry in this blog.

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