When selling a home, am I under any legal obligation to sell to the highest bidder?

If there is a highest offer but a lower offer might be preferable if it is not complicated by loans or

contingencies, can the lower offer be a accepted over the higher offer?

Asked on July 4, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you are not. That is unless some form of legally actionable discrimination plays a role (i.e. you declind an offer due to a person's race, religion, disability, gender, national origin, etc.) Otherwise, there is no law requiring you to take the highest offer or sell to the highest bidder. the fact si that a lower dollar offer may for a nuber of reasons be the better one.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you absolutely may accept a lower offer: there is no law requiring you to take the highest offer or sell to the highest bidder, and often a lower dollar amount offer is the better one. We took the lesser of two offers when we sold our house, for example, because it had a larger deposit and the buyer had a more stable & lucrative job: we were worried that the higher offer was more likely to fail due to difficulties securing financing and wanted to avoid that potenital issue.
A seller can generally take any offer he/she wants, for any reason, with one limitation: you cannot turn down an offer due to a prospective buyer's race, religion, national origin, or disability.


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