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Real Estate Offer timelines

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Dear Phyllis,

For nearly ½ of last year we have been looking at homes and made offers on several. Every time I think I know the drill, something is different. In the summer we made offers on a couple of homes but those sellers were not looking at offers for ten days. We quickly learned there was no need to take off from work to look at a home.

Recently we looked at a home we really liked, and were going to bring my dad to take a look. It was listed on a Monday and sold by Thursday. No one gave us any indication that the seller would be making a decision that quickly. Are there any rules or guidelines as far as how long a home should be available before an offer is accepted? Can you explain real estate offer timelines?

Dear Bill,

What are typical real estate offer timelines? There are no rules as far as how long a home will be on the market before an offer is accepted. Each home seller is unique and has their own needs. I recently listed a home which had a sale (foreclosure auction) in less than a month. My clients needed to sell their home fast and preferably for cash. When a cash buyer appeared with a 7 day non-contingent offer, we decided there was too much on the line to risk waiting for something better.

real estate offer timelines

I and most experienced real estate agents attempt to learn the following before writing an offer for a client:

1) Do you have any offers? (If so how many? any over asking price? if so how many?)
2) When will you be reviewing offers with the seller?
3) Does the seller have any special circumstances or needs that I should be aware of? Perhaps they need a one month rent back after closing.  This might not work for my clients and we should know upfront.

Be patient, the perfect home and situation is out there – it’s just a matter of time before you find it.

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