Your Question Answered: Can A Seller Change His/Her Mind?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Q: If you make an offer on a house and the owner comes back with a counter offer and you agree to it, can the owner still change his mind and sell to someone else?

A: In Colorado, if a buyer agrees to a counter proposal, signs the counter and delivers it to the seller or the seller’s Realtor, then generally speaking the owner can not change his mind and sell to someone else. I say “generally” because sometimes short sale scenarios can change the game on this (that’s a whole other topic.) Also, occasionally a seller will withdraw the counter before it has been accepted by the buyer.

If you’re not talking about a short sale or some other issue involving a bank, or some other unique situation, then the seller has to honor the counter offer accepted by the buyer and proceed to closing.

However, after the counter is accepted by both parties, the seller can accept a back-up offer (to be in full force and effect if the first contract terminates for any reason). In this case, if the first buyer wants to ask the seller to fix an inspection item, the seller can refuse to fix the item and the buyer can terminate because of this, and then the seller is free to work with the next contract, which is in back up position.

If you are still confused, give us a call and we can talk about it in more detail. Thank you!

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