Are bidding wars legal?

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Are bidding wars legal?

I have agreed to pay the full asking price on a house. Can the agent offer a higher
bid from another person and request another bid from me?

Asked on November 13, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Until and unless the other side (the seller) accepts an offer, the seller (e.g. through their agent) is free to accept, or even actively solicit, offers from other people, to encourage bidding wars, and to ask an offeror to come back with a higher offer. Home sales are not like most sales, such as buying a computer from a store or online: the seller is NOT required to take a full price offer, but can hold out for more, decide to not sell, or even accept a lower-price offer if they deem it better in other ways (e.g. no contingencies). So if the seller did not yet accept your offer, they can do this.
On the other hand, if they did accept your offer, in accepting it, they entered into a contract to sell you the property at that price and must sell it to you so long as you comply with your obligations (e.g. pay the deposit when required). if a seller refuses to sell to you after accepting the offer, you could sue them for breach of contract.


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