If I Receive an Offer on My Home That Doesn’t Meet My Expectations, Am I Obligated to Accept It?

by Team Broady on Tuesday, October 26, 2021
The simple answer is, NO, you are not!

The housing market has been red hot for the past couple of years, and multiple-offer situations are increasingly common. Many homes are selling above the asking price and for many sellers, this has become an expectation. We’re often asked: “If I receive an offer that is in line with, or even slightly above, my asking price, am I obligated to accept it?” The simple answer is, NO, you are not! 

On a Centris listing sheet, the fine print states that “This is not an offer or promise to sell that could bind the seller to the buyer, but an invitation to submit such offers or promises.” In fact, as a seller, you can even counter a full-price offer and ask for more money. That’s part of the advantage of being in a seller’s market. You can position yourself, negotiate, and even bluff if you need to... in order to attract the highest possible sale price that the market will bear.

When you are represented by a professional real estate broker, you benefit from the protections offered under the Rea Estate Brokerage Act, and the OACIQ, both of which govern and regulate residential real estate transactions in Québec. Real estate transactions, and the brokers involved in them, must also respect certain guidelines and ethical standards of practice. In this sense, the consumer is well protected.  

One of the most important decisions to make as a seller is what price tag to put on your home. A brokerage contract determines, among other things, a realistic asking price for your property, set with the help and guidance of your real estate broker.  

Sometimes, we see sellers and their brokers purposely listing properties well below market value to try to encourage a bidding war. Although some real estate professionals find this practice unethical, others might argue that you can list your home for whatever price you want, but in the end, the market will determine its value. 

At Team Broady, we always perform a thorough Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to help our sellers determine the optimal listing price. We want our seller’s price to be attractive enough to potential buyers that it will maximize traffic and interest in the property when it first hits the market. We also need to balance that strategy with trying to help our sellers earn top dollar for their homes. We don’t want to set the price too low, because then it might attract buyers who aren’t financially qualified. If the price is too high, on the other hand, we risk diminishing the level of interest and possibly missing out on a key pool of buyers. When we find that sweet spot, however, it often results in high levels of traffic and multiple offers that drive the price well above asking.  

Although price is usually the most important aspect of any offer, it’s essential to pay close attention to the other conditions as well. Some other details to consider include:

- Profile of the buyer (young family or home flipper?)

- Pre-qualification and financial strength 

- Closing and moving dates

Condition of a building inspection

- Sale with or without legal warranty of quality

- Inclusions and exclusions 

One tactic we’ve seen buyers use is to submit an offer well over the asking price to win in a multiple-offer situation, only to then try and negotiate a significant price reduction after the building inspection. This is why we always encourage our sellers to conduct their own pre-listing building inspection before putting their homes up for sale – to avoid these types of unpleasant surprises. 

Overall, selling a home is a complex process with many moving parts. Pricing a home for sale can be a delicate balancing act, but it’s important to remember that it’s not the only thing that matters. Working with a real estate professional is the best way to earn top dollar for your home while navigating this challenging seller’s market and potentially fielding multiple offers. If you have any questions about pricing or selling your home, please feel free to contact Team Broady today at 514-613-2988 or by email at info@teambroady.ca.