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Questions on Backup Offer

In real estate, a backup offer is an existing offer the seller did not accept. This unaccepted offer becomes a sort of secondary offer. Since the seller has already accepted one offer, he or she cannot accept another unless the primary contract becomes null and void. Backup offers are useful to the seller because they raise the chances of the property sale being completed and closed. These kinds of offers are common in locations that have a high desirability factor like in-town locations, country clubs or neighborhoods where buyers outnumber sellers.

Listed below are a few questions answered by lawyers on backup offers.

I am planning to buy a house and had a verbal agreement of sale with the homeowner yesterday. Today, I was suddenly told that there was another agreement so I pushed up my offer. Despite this, is the homeowner obliged to honor our verbal agreement?

Unfortunately, based on the Statute of Frauds, all real property sale contracts need to be in writing and both parties have to sign it. Therefore, a verbal agreement cannot be enforced. You could offer more than the newest bidder, but that’s all you can do. Your offer may be considered as a backup offer in the event the second contract falls through.

I bought a HUD home in Colorado and signed an agreement saying that it would be my primary residence. I am now planning to make it a rental property due to changed circumstances. However, if I change status, I will lose the property to a backup offer. Once a deal is closed, can HUD check into how the home is being used?

HUD does make random checks every now and then on these loans. They have even caught several innocent people whose situations changed after they received loans on what they thought would be their primary residence. The best thing would be to legally notify HUD of your changed circumstances and avoid the risk of them discovering the situation. If they discover it, you would be charged with a felony for fraud for not having reported the change of residence status. Also, your insurer will not pay on any claims if they find out the property is not your primary residence despite having stated it was.

Does a first offer get first right of refusal over a larger backup offer in a short sale in Kentucky?

In a short sale, if your offer is not accepted, and a backup offer is presented, you don’t have a right of first refusal unless such a condition is specifically mentioned in the contract for sale.

After I made an offer on a foreclosure property, I was told there was already an accepted offer on it. I asked my agent if I could present my offer as a "backup" offer. She told me today that the bank was not planning to take any backup offers. Can I ask for proof that my offer has been refused to even be considered by the bank?

You could try and ask for proof, but the bank may not give it to you. If you feel your agent had something to do with this, insist on the proof. If you still don’t get it, get in touch with the agent's managing broker and state your concerns and request for it again.

A backup offer can be used cleverly by a seller. For example, in the event an inspection of a property discloses problems that were not known to the seller and he/she has a backup offer, this can then be used to present a "take it as is or the secondary offer wins" case to push the original buyer to complete the sale. In general, backup offers pose no risk to a primary buyer if he/she carries out all his obligations in the right way. The property sale can be closed despite the existence of a backup offer.

Ask a Real Estate Lawyer

Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 5379
Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
4460311
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
characters left:
9 Real Estate Lawyers are Online Now

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    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
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    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Real Estate Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Tina
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4813
16 years of legal experience including real estate law.
Law Pro
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 6227
20 years extensive experience in real estate law, foreclosure, finance, and landlord tenant law.
Barrister
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4966
13 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 24+ years

Recent Backup Offer Questions

  • I bought a house 10 months ago. It was purchased VA, had a

    I bought a house 10 months ago. It was purchased VA, had a safety inspection and inspected by VA. We applied for the weatherization program for free upgrades with So. Cal Gas Co.They inspected the home and said the heating system is not safe and the furnace can not be lit. We have applied thru this program for new furnace. We are waiting to see if we qualify. If we don't we are looking at about $3000.00 to replace. Our agent says we can sue previous owner as he stated it absolutely worked. Is this true? Can we sue previous owner? It has been red tagged by gas co so it will not be lit. Shouldn't VA have inspected this?
  • My question is on property. I own 1/4 of a 58 acre farm in

    My question is on property. I own 1/4 of a 58 acre farm in south central PA. At this time there are 3 other owners each who own 1/4. Two of the owners are planning on selling to the third. When this happens there will be two owners-myself with 1/4 and the other with 3/4 ownership.
    Question:
    1) Does the owner with 3/4 have greater say on matters as structures on the property and land use?
    2) can the 3/4 owner force me to sell my share?
    3) Can the 3/4 owner stop me from using any part of the property?
    The final goal of the 3/4 owner is to have complete ownership of the property but I will refuse to sell so any other legal advice to make sure that I keep claim to my share with complete and total access to all structures and land use.
    Thank you.
    Steve
  • Condo owners rights, advise on how to proceed

    What do we do if a few owners in a condominium are concerned about misuse of funds either by the management company or the board? A large construction project (concrete restoration) was started without notifying the owners. There had been talk for over a year about the project starting. The board and management company were supposedly comparing bids and trying to secure financing for the project. The entire scope of work included, concrete restoration, new windows, a new roof and paint but we were not sure if the building could secure financing for the necessary amount. Each unit (60 total) was to be assessed approximately $15000 for the work. In the spring of 2014 the building was marked up all over with orange spray paint by one of the potential contractors for the job, supposedly as part of the estimate process. We lived in the building covered in these marks until December 2014, when work suddenly began. No one said anything, no notice was given. We do not know what the scope of work entails or how much it will cost. Our building has no reserves so the owners will be assessed for something for sure. The management company does not return phone calls (and never has). The board members hide in their units. No board meetings are scheduled until the elections in February 2015. How would you advise us concerned owners to proceed?

    Coral Ridge Condominium

    4501 NE 21 Ave

    Fort Lauderdale, FL  33308

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