Can a seller refuse a bid on a house that is the asking price?

The seller listed the home and a bid was submitted 48 hours ago. Today, the
seller increased the price. Is that legally possible?

Asked on October 2, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Alaska


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, a seller does not have to accept a full price offer. The fact is that a buyer may offer full price but the offer could be full of other conditions that the seller finds unacceptable. That having been said, check the listing agreement because it may contain language that says the seller cannot reject a full-price offer. Further, the multiple listing service (MLS) where the listing is published might have its own rules for offers as well. Forexample, some MLS services have rules that say if a seller receives a full-price offer and rejects that offer, then the agent must either raise the sales price in the MLS or make a note in the confidential agent remarks that a full orice offer was rejected. Such a note would probably stop other agents from recommending the home to their buyers.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a seller may refuse any bid on their house, even a full--or even an over--asking price bid. Private persons selling their homes have complete discretion or freedom in what offers to accept or not; it's not like a consumer sale (e.g. a store) where they have to take any full price offer.

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