Q: We made an offer on a property in an over-55 adult community.
We agreed to pay cash for the house, we have enough proven cash assets to buy, and we are the right age.
If we have met all of the seller’s conditions can the seller refuse to sell the new home to us?
A: A seller can refuse to sell to anyone. It’s not incumbent upon the seller to accept even a full-price cash offer. She can decline to accept your offer simply because she doesn’t like the color tie you’re wearing.
However, if her home is listed by a broker, and you make a full-price cash offer with no contingencies, she probably owes the broker some cash. Most listing agreements provide that if the broker brings the seller a full-price offer with no contingencies, the seller must pay the broker his or her commission — whether or not the deal closes. (I’m not sure in practice how often an agent would insist on this, but it has happened in the past.)
I do wonder why your offer was refused. Most likely, it doesn’t have anything to do with you. It could be that once you offered the full asking price, the seller got hit with a bad case of “seller’s remorse,” and figured she sold too cheaply.
Or, it’s possible that the seller’s own purchase fell apart, and she doesn’t have anywhere to go. Older homeowners get very nervous about selling without having another home to move into and perhaps this is the case.
I wouldn’t spend any more time worrying about it, however. Just move on and perhaps a different home in the community will open up.
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