Is it legal to approach the buyer or seller of a house in a pending contract.

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Is it legal to approach the buyer or seller of a house in a pending contract.

A house we made an offer on went into contract about 4 hours previous to our offer. Would it be legal to approach the other buyer, seller or agent and offer money to the buyer to back out,
or to the seller to back out and accept our offer?

Asked on October 31, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It is legal to make the approach and ask, but bear in mind that if there is a contract in place, as you indicate, neither side may be able to legally back out of it. If one side does, the other side can likely sue them to enforce the contract. So while you can discuss this, do not be surprised if neither side takes you up on it, since taking you up on it would likely be breach of contract and subject them to liability. The best you may be able to do is to get the seller to have you as a back-up buyer in case the first one falls through (e.g. cannot get financing).


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