March 13th, 2020 11:17 AM by Jackie A. Graves, President
worse than sitting around waiting—especially when you're waiting for a seller
to respond to your offer on the biggest financial decision of your life. Yeesh,
waiting comes with the territory when you're buying a house. But how long you
have to wait is the bigger question. While there’s no official rule on how long
a seller can take to get back to you, there is an industry standard that most
real estate agents and sellers tend to follow.
Whether you just
made an offer on a property or plan to in the near future, here’s everything
you need to know about how long it might take to hear back from the seller.
long can a seller take to respond to a buyer’s offer?
In theory, sellers can take as long as they want before
responding. But in practice? Most sellers (or their agents) will usually get
back to you within a few days.
“As a courtesy, the Realtor® will notify the buyer's agent when
the seller responds regarding an offer,” says Benjamin Ross, a Realtor
with Mission Real Estate Group. As the seller’s agent, "we like to respond
within 48 hours, but that also depends on when we get the seller’s response.”
Some agents have even stricter expectations when it comes to
courtesy dictates that a seller should respond within 24 hours or less,” says Karen
Parnes, broker and owner of NextHome Your Way. “This gives them the time
to think about your offer, sleep on it, and respond.”
to 48 hours is the standard observed by many professionals in the industry,
exceptions happen. Here are some of them.
quite a few reasons why a seller might take longer than usual to respond to
your offer. The first is if they received multiple offers.
response time increases if there is more than one offer on the table,” says
Ross. “Sellers may take their time to choose which offer is best for them.”
reason your offer might go unanswered is if it’s too low.
offer is far from what a seller expected to receive, many times they won’t
respond at all,” says Parnes.
you might not hear back for a completely unrelated reason—such as the seller is
out of town or on vacation.
concerned about how long a seller might take to respond to your offer, work
with your agent to find out if you can set a contractual time limit on it. In
some states these “offer time limits” are used by buyers and sellers to dictate
how long the other party can take to respond.
time limits are defined in the contract in the state of Georgia,” says Katina
Asbell, associate broker at Real Living Capital City Realty. “The ‘time
limit of offer’ is the period of time the offer is active and open for
response, and once it’s expired, the contract is void and a new offer must be
or not your local legislature allows buyers to set time limits, Asbell cautions
buyers to be strategic when using them.
limit can be a critical part of defining a buyer's success in negotiation,” she
says. “If it’s too short, the seller may feel rushed or annoyed and give a
harsh response. If it’s too long, then the buyer risks a multiple-offer
the process of getting an offer accepted is all about being a good
negotiator—and for this you’ll want to work with an experienced real estate
success I have found in gauging appropriate and amiable timelines is a very
open and honest conversation with the seller's agent,” says Asbell. “Buyers
have one chance
at a first impression and to set the stage for the remaining
negotiation process, and timeline matters greatly in conveying this tone.”
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