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The Geezer
The Geezer, Successful careers
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 1387
Experience:  Retired Civil Engineer, USC Professor & Realtor, financier
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I am wondering if I can be forced to sell my house - it is

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I am wondering if I can be forced to sell my house - it is listed and the offer I received was too low for my budget and so I wondered is there any circumstance (in real estate I mean) where I could be forced to sell my house if I do not sign an acceptance of an offer?
Thank you -
Thanks for requesting me.

I was once - in the 1980's - an agent for Century 21 here in Southern California.

By signing the listing agreement to sell your house, you have committed to your Realtor that you will sell your house AT THE LISTING PRICE if a qualified buyer comes along and offers you the full listing price, cash.

If an offer is made that requires you to carry the financing at the listing price, you are under no obligation to accept it.

If a cash offer is made for less than the listing price, you are under no obligation to accept it.

If a cash offer is made AT THE LISTING PRICE and you do not accept it, the Realtor could, in theory, successfully claim that you owe them a commission for finding a buyer as they agreed to do under the listing agreement, but EVEN THEN you would owe the commission, but could not be forced to sell your house.

If your Realtor is so hungry for a commission that they are pressuring you to accept an offer that isn't satisfactory, and are somehow allowing you to think that you might be forced into selling your house, you need a new realtor.

If your realtor is pressuring you this way, go into their office and speak to the responsible broker in charge of all the agents. If it is the responsible broker who is making you feel this way, a call from your attorney should set them straight.

So much for the legalities of real estate listings. Now for the realities of sun belt housing prices. You are entirely within your rights, and it would probably be in your best interests, to submit a counter offer, more than the offer "on the table" but less than the listing price. Why? Housing prices in the sun belt areas, like everywhere else, are quite likely to continue trending down for the next 12-18 months. The underlying cause of this is in the lending arena and in the increase in foreclosures on houses that the original buyers couldn't really afford in the first place.

If this continues for a few months, today's "low ball" offer might look a little more reasonable when your house is still unsold next year. So being flexible now - but not TOO flexible - might get your house sold. Being inflexible might prevent you from selling.

Good luck!
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to The Geezer's Post: sorry for my ignorance but I am not sure what is meant by full listing price cash versus I carry the financing.

Yes when I did not accept a lower offer because of feeling a financial concern I was given the cold shoulder by my realtor and he wanted to consult with me and the realtor for the people making the offer to adjust my thinking - so I have been dodging him unless necessary - his style is uncomfortable and many other examples that don't work for my personality.
Your listing agreement specifies the price at which you have agreed in advance to sell. That's "full price" or "full listing price".

Cash means you will be paid in full for the price of the house - except for your selling costs like title, escrow and commission. "You carry the financing" means that you would take the buyer's IOU for part of the purchase price.

Tomorrow you should go visit your Realtor's boss - the broker who is responsible for the actions of all of the agents in the office - and tell him how you feel. Ask to cancel the listing or to have a different agent handle you from now on, as you are not comfortable with your current agent. See what he says.

Good luck!
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