It Is a Seller's Market!

Feb 02, 2017

Q. My buyer's offer was accepted by the seller, he paid for a home inspector, and now the seller is taking another offer. The listing agent said once the buyer tried to renegotiate the price because of the problems found by the inspector, the seller was no longer obligated to him and could accept an offer from another buyer. Shouldn't the seller at least pay for the inspection? I also believe I am due a commission!

A. The listing agent is correct. The buyer had tried to lower his offer because of the report by the inspector. The seller had agreed to accept a higher price. Once the buyer tried to renegotiate his price, he was no longer ready and willing to take the house at the terms and conditions agreed to originally. The seller was free to go on to the next buyer. The risk of having to pay for the inspection is incurred by the buyer and the seller is not liable to assume that cost. Once the buyer is no longer prepared to proceed at the price accepted by the seller, the courts may well find the seller is not responsible for paying you a commission.

Q. The listing agent refuses to protect my deal and is creating a bidding war. Is this fair?

A. To whom? The only party to whom the listing agent has a fiduciary duty is the seller, in whose best interest this bidding war will play out.

Q. My buyer is in contract and the bank is very slow in getting him a commitment. His attorney has asked the seller's attorney for an extension of time in order to obtain the mortgage. The seller's attorney refuses to give the extension because he says there are other, better offers and he will return the buyer's down payment. The buyer still wants the house. Wasn't the listing agent supposed to hold other offers as back-ups and not tell the seller about them? Now they want to go with another buyer! 

A. The listing agent is supposed to present all offers to the seller until closing! The seller's attorney has no duty to give your buyer more time than that called for in the contract to get the mortgage commitment. Since the buyer has failed to perform in a timely manner, the seller has every right to accept another offer.

Q. Can a seller refuse to sell to a buyer who wants to get an FHA loan?

A. Yes.

Q Can a seller decide to take an offer because there is no mortgage contingency? 

A. Absolutely.

Q. Can a seller sell a house without Certificates of Occupancy?

A. Certainly.

Q. Can the seller refuse to give a buyer a seller's concession even though he will still get the price he agreed to take in his pocket?

A. Of course he can!

Q. It seems as if the buyer has no rights at all.

A. He has the right to make the strongest and highest offer in order to convince the seller to sell to him.