Seller accept lower bid

Can a seller accept a lower bid that is offered on a home… I recently put a $183,000 and no closing with 10 down bid on a home going for $179,500 and just found out that an offer of $179,500 was accepted? How can this happen?

Asked on September 28, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If they had entered into a contract with you, they could not: once they sign the contract, they are obligated or bound to it, and if they won't comply with the contract, you could sue for breach of contract.
However, if they had not actually accepted your offer and signed the contract, they are free to take a lower offer: there is no law requiring the seller to take the higher offer or the earlier offer. Rather, sellers have considerable freedom as to which offer they will take. I took the lower offer for my own home, for example; while it was around 4 or 5% less, it came from people with a much more stable income (a regular salary, and not commissions), had a larger deposit, and was a conventional, not FHA loan, all of which made the deal look more "solid" and likely to go through; that was worth giving up some money for. So sellers can look beyond the sale price to decide what offer to take.


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