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Real estate: Legally rejecting an offer to buy

A house is often much more than just four walls — it is a home. Because of this, people in New York who are selling their homes may feel very strongly about finding buyers who value the properties just as much as they do. While this is understandable, real estate law prevents sellers from refusing to sell a home for a number of reasons. Here are examples of both legitimate and illegal reasons for turning down an offer.

It is perfectly acceptable to refuse an offer for a number of different reasons. For example, a seller can reject a buyer’s offer if he or she believes it is too low. This is often done in hopes of getting a higher offer that the seller believes reflects the value of the house more accurately. A seller can also reject an offer if he or she suspects that the buyer may not be able to secure a loan. A homeowner can also reject an offer if he or she decides to keep the home instead of selling it.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits homeowners are prohibited from rejecting offers based on a number of factors. A buyer’s race, color, familial status, sex or national origin cannot be a factor when considering an offer. If a buyer suspects that his or her offer was rejected because of one of these reasons, he or she could pursue legal action.

Selling a home is difficult for a number of different reasons. From getting the house ready to show potential buyers to disclosing or fixing problems, the process can be time-consuming and confusing. Since real estate law is not always straightforward, it can be helpful to speak with an experienced New York attorney when selling property.