‘good faith and fair dealing covenant’ Multiple offers on multiple properties at the same time.Is that legal?

I have a house for sale for 493,500. I received an offer for 488,000. I said I
would look at it and had other offers coming in and the people giving the offer
increased there offer the same day to 493,000. I accepted the offer but it said
there was multiple offers on multiple houses. The people then took a couple days
to make a decision and said they decided to purchase a different house. Based on
the ‘good faith and fair dealing covenant’ are there any legal ramifications I
could pursue?

Asked on December 27, 2017 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

People may offer on more than one home, BUT if an offer is accepted before it is withdrawn, the buyer is bound to it and must go through wit the sale. You indicate that you accepted the $493k offer (i.e. they did not withdraw it first, before you had the chance to accept). Therefore, they were in a contract with you to buy the home and you could sue them (them, not their agent) for breach of contract to for any provable losses you incur (e.g. if don't get any other offeres over $488k, you could take one and sue them for the extra $5k their refusal to buy cost you). On the other hand, if you don't suffer any actual loss--e.g. you sell the home for $493k or higher--there's no point in suing; the law only gives you compensation for actual costs or losses you suffer, and not just to punish the other side for acting improperly.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.