I am wondering whether seller has the right to cancel a property deal after receiving the booking fee from the buyer. This may happen as seller found higher offer later on.
Generally speaking, the seller can’t do that. A booking fee is an offer to purchase. A booking fee of 1% is legally binding on seller and buyer, forming the contract. And, there is no cooling-off period unless it is in writing. The buyer can lodge a report to prohibit the seller from dealing with another party.
However, sometimes it’s depend on the certain agreement that seller have made with the buyer. For example, if the seller refuses to deal with the buyer, then you need to compensate the buyer a certain amount of money. So, make sure that the you as the buyer must keep the receipt as you can go back on your word once the seller confiscate the booking fee. Else, the seller has to double pay the booking fee to you.
There’s one case that happen to my previous neighbour who signed agreement between agent and owner and paid 1% deposit. But, the day after, another buyer came across and offer higher price, and agree to pay the owner 1%+1% deposit. Then, the owner asks him to offer higher price. If you face this kind of situation, then try to find back your agreement, which should state a clause, something that can protect buyer. If the seller refuse to sell, the buyer can actually sue the seller for the compensation 1%+1% deposit + time + effort you have spend to find your dream house + lawyer + bank loan that you search. If bring it to court, the owner will not have advantage. So, mostly the owner will sell to you at the end.