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Residential real estate: When can I turn down an offer?

A home is much more than just a bit of property. Homeowners pour their time, effort and money into creating a loving and welcoming environment for their families. So when it comes time to sell, people can easily get caught up in their emotions. However, residential real estate law does not allow someone to refuse to sell his or her home for just any reason.

The Fair Housing Act levels the playing field for people in Illinois who might otherwise not have a fair shot at buying a home. This means that a seller cannot consider a potential buyer’s race, national origin, sex or familial status when deciding if he or she wants to refuse an offer. Declining an offer because the person who made it practices a certain religion or is of a certain race can lead to a lawsuit.

Of course this does not mean that a seller has to accept the first offer he or she receives. In fact, there are many reasons in which it is perfectly legal to decline. A homeowner can simply decide that he or she is not interested in selling after all. It is also fine to decline an offer from someone who will probably have trouble securing a mortgage, or if the offer was too low.

It can be stressful to sell a home, especially when there is an emotional connection. But residential real estate law makes it clear when a seller can turn down an offer, and when doing so is illegal. Those who are unsure if they can safely turn down an offer or are already facing lawsuits should consider speaking with an experienced Illinois attorney.