Does a home seller have to accept a full-price offer?

As an investor, you’re always looking for good deals in the residential real estate market. That often means targeting people who have incentives to sell quickly — such as someone who just got a job in another state and needs to move or someone who bought another house and has to sell theirs to avoid having two mortgage payments. 

When a home comes on the market under what you think the value of the property should be, you may simply offer the full price for that house. That’s just the asking price, after all. You already think you’ll make money if you take your time and turn around and sell it later for the real value. You have the time that the seller doesn’t to make a better bargain.

If you make that offer, do they have to take it? The reality is that they usually don’t, even if you offer exactly what they wanted. This is not like going to the store and buying something with a set price. 

In fact, some people use low asking prices as a strategy to increase the number of bids they get. They know that the value is too low. They want people to get interested and start a bidding war. Their plan was never to sell at that asking price. They want the market to naturally drive the price up. As such, they don’t see your full-price offer as a sale, but just as one step in the road toward the price that they really want. 

Buying and selling homes can get complicated and you always need to know what steps to take. Working with an experienced real estate attorney here in the North Hills of Pittsburgh can make it easier.