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Can Homeowner Refuse Full-Price Offer?

Thursday, June 13, 2013 - Article by: Lender411 Member

"My whole family fell in love with this house so we offered the asking price. Seller rejected our offer. Can homeowner refuse full-price offer?

"We have been looking for months. When we found this house we all knew we wanted to live in this house in this neighborhood. Can he legally say no? We're giving sellers what they said they wanted." Short answer: Sometimes.

The listed price is not legally binding [exceptions later]. The purpose is to attract potential buyers. Once the potential buyer makes a formal offer to buy, the legally binding part begins. The seller can reject, accept or counter any offer received. This even applies to offers in excess of asking price.

[Note: Does seller have to pay the real estate agent that brought an offer for the asking price? That's a separate issue. Keep in mind that seller does have a contract with the agent.]

To the question "Can homeowner refuse full-price offer?" we say that the homeowner can refuse any offer. Exceptions exist and vary by state, but generally the only exceptions to this rule are...

1. Discrimination: Reasons for refusal cannot be discriminatory.

2. Clean Offers: Certain states require seller to accept clean offers.

A clean offer has no contingencies. It can't be conditional on something else (i.e. financing, home inspection, etc.). Clean offers can be classified as 'rare.'

So far, our discussion has been focused and narrow. Let's expand it. Let's say you feel that one of the exceptions applies to you. What next? How do you force the owner to sell you the house?

Enforcement requires entering the legal system. A process that may be worse than entering The Twilight Zone and meeting Rod Serling's ghost. In short, you may be better off accepting a 'yes' to your question "Can homeowner refuse full-price offer?"

Source: Nolo

I'm known for helping people finance their dream Call me if you're from North Carolina (919) 789-9888 Where people, not computer robots, answer the phone

Kathy Godin, Branch Manager & Award-Winning Loan Officer Originally published:

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