The short answer to the question is no, unless they intend to buy both!
Two situations are prompting homebuyers to want to make simultaneous offers on multiple properties: 1) a hot market with multiple offers, and 2) a short sale where it may take a bank a long time to respond to an offer.
Buyers need to be aware that if they persuade some real estate agent to write simultaneous offers on multiple properties with the intent to cancel one of them during a contingency period, they may be subject to damages in favor of the seller, because of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. That’s why I will not engage in such practice as a Realtor on behalf of my home buyer clients and I will try to screen out such buyers when I represent home sellers.
If an offer to purchase real estate has a time limit for seller to respond and that time has expired, then a buyer may* have an out. If a buyer’s offer has expired, in order for a signed and delivered purchase contract to be valid, it should also have a counter signed by seller and buyer, acknowledging an extension of date of acceptance.
* A good real estate resource for legal matters is the California Association of Realtors legal website. This blog post is not intended to give specific legal advice, just general information to alert you to issues of importance; if you have an accepted contract and you find yourself as a buyer or seller in such a situation, you should contact an attorney.
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Rick Bonetti | Alain Pinel Realtors | 408-857-8800 | DRE #01237009