Does my seller have to accept that full-price offer?

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12/31/2015 | Author: Editorial Staff

My seller’s property was listed in the MLS for $150,000. A buyer made a full-price offer, but my client decided not to sell. Now the buyer’s broker says my client has to accept the full-price offer. Is she correct?

No. A seller is not bound to accept any offer, even at full price. However, your seller could be in breach of your listing agreement by refusing to accept the full-price offer.

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Categories: Legal
Tags: legal faq, sellers, full price offer


Bob Micklos on 01/13/2016

If you sell a home below market, you (or your broker) may have some legal liability, ESPECIALLY if it sells quickly.

I have spoken with several brokers who told me they were being sued, on ordinary, run-of-the-mill, transactions, by sellers.  The sellers were alleging poor representation, or breach of fiduciary responsibility, because their homes (allegedly) sold for too little.

Part of the “evidence” against these brokers, is the short marketing time.

Be CAREFUL.  Make sure the SELLER, not the listing agent, is picking the listing price.  I believe there is a form you can have them sign, which says that THEY picked the listing price, not you.  And, if there isn’t, you can make one up, and make them sign it.

Better for the listing to not sell, at all, than for you to have to attend a disciplinary hearing, and/or pay a judgement.

Stuart Scholer on 01/08/2016

In 2013 thru mid 2015 in Houston’s Market it was not a bit unusual to see listings go for 5% or more above the Listing Price.  Sellers who were not patient and /or had pushy Listing Agents got lower prices. Sometimes those deals were intermediary. I showed one in Bellaire that went for at least $50K too cheap. It was a cash deal. Two or three days on the market. It went back on the market within 2 months after closing and sold very quickly. No work was performed on the property.  It sold for about $75K more than the previous close. I felt bad for the Seller.

Doris Snipp on 01/08/2016

You did what you were contracted to do. Seller owes the commission. You may want to sue.  Your broker is the only one who can sue and he may well refuse to do so. You need to check the fine print when selecting a Broker.

Mikey Barnard on 01/08/2016

Regardless of the terms of the offer and qualifications of the buyer…If the seller doesn’t want to accept a full price offer, then they really didn’t want to sell their house in first place.

But I would never attempt to sue my client for something like that. My reputation is far more valuable than my paycheck.

Stuart Scholer on 01/08/2016

Re: Tim Sweeney “I got paid by my Seller…”

I would not ever try to strong arm my Client into doing something that they did not want to do. Not only would that Client be bad-mouthing me for the rest of his life, he would also never send me a referral. And yes…. I have gotten referrals from Clients like that. My rep and my conscience are too valuable for any commission. “If the Client wants a divorce… give it to them… but with a hug and a kiss”.  This was some of the best advice I receive 14 years ago when I first started practicing.

Jim McCauley on 01/07/2016

I can’t imagine suing my seller for not excepting full Price and demanding to be paid my commission .  But I have to believe the brokers that did have very good reason .  Let’s hope so!

Tim Sweeney on 01/07/2016

I got paid by my seller when this happened to me. I submitted an offer, that was $1,000 less than full price that my seller rejected. I told him, in writing, that I would cut my listing fee by $1,000 which would essentially make my offer a full price offer, and if he still would not take it, I would sue him. He ignored me so I called my pre-paid legal attorney, they sent him a certified letter saying we were going to sue him for the commission, plus legal fees, he sent me a cashiers check by Fedex for my listing fee of 3%, minus the $1,000.00   My local real estate attorney Kim Brown, once told me if I ever sued a seller for my commission, those are really dificult cases to win. But I did finally get paid on that listing.

Herb Martinez on 01/01/2016

I submitted an offer on a Listing for a buyer Client. Offer was $5k over List Price,  Cash,  Closing by a specified date. Sellers could not agree on Price.  Obviously since Offer was over List Price , Sellers sought an even higher amount than my Buyer’s offer.  Seller’s did not accept, Closing did not take place by our previosly specified date, their Listing Broker sued them for the Listing Agreement’s commission. I assume that the Listing. Agent’s pursuit by legal recourse prompted the Seller and their attorney to want to move forward with our offer.  However since they did not accept or Close by our original specified date, we came back with another offer reducing our original offer by $35,000 and Closed. My Client was super happy.

THERESA AKIN on 01/01/2016

I have had one buyer who submitted a full price offer.  He paid for his own closing costs and some of the sellers. He insisted on a different title closing office and didn’t want to accept the survey as it was. He did compare the survey he had done to the one that was provided. The old survey was 15-20 years old. He wanted to be sure and also wanted a different surveyor. They balked a bit but finally agreed. He just wanted another opinion. He also wanted to close earlier than they wanted. He wanted 30 and they wanted 45 days.  It was a partial financing but they ended up agreeing. They hadn’t found a house yet and were upset they would have to move out. He said no to lease back since they couldn’t agree on those terms.

Mark McNitt on 12/31/2015

There are many other details besides the price a Buyer is offering.  Sure, what Seller would pass on a full price offer?  Actually plenty would!  Can you verify the Buyer is approved for this amount?  What about closing date?  Are their other demands the Seller can’t agree to?  So many details and the sale price, be it a big one, is just one of many the Seller has to think about before proceeding.  We are working for our client and all matters in the contract must be agreed to before going forward.

Danny L Michie on 12/31/2015

I’ve seen this happen several times lately and although I’ve told sellers that they could be held responsible for paying for my commission it never happens because nobody wants to upset them or get a bad rep.  Has anyone really received a commission after this happens to them?

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on Any legal or other information found here, on, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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