How Long Does It Take For a Seller to Respond to an Offer?


When looking to purchase a property, waiting for the seller’s response to your offer can be a nerve-wracking experience.  Not only can delays put you in an uncomfortable position, but they may also jeopardize your chances of getting another property.  It is crucial to reach out to real estate agents who can guide you on the typical response time from sellers.  If you’re interested in Rutland, VT real estate, you can find a comprehensive list of available real estate agents here. These professionals can also provide essential insights into effective bidding strategies that both buyers and sellers should consider. 

How long does it take for the seller to respond?

The most desirable outcome for the buyer is when the offer is accepted as is. This means all the conditions and obligations of the sales contract are accepted by the seller without changes. If the seller has modifications to the buyer’s offer, a seller can counteroffer.  In this situation, the seller does not accept the offer but does provide an alternative.  Often the sellers will dispute the purchase price, deposit amount, and closing time.  While the seller may choose a formal written agreement, oftentimes, the offer and counteroffer are worked out verbally with the respective real estate agents.  

Other key factors affecting seller response time

Apart from the offer itself, various factors can influence the seller’s response time.  While some factors cannot be controlled, working with top real estate companies in Vermont can help to facilitate a smooth transaction.  

Yet, it can be difficult to move from a home with memories.  Oftentimes sellers will feel dissatisfied with the offer or are uncertain about how to proceed.  Or they might require additional time for contemplation and may be waiting for competing offers to emerge. 

This may sound like bad business practices, but the truth is that the seller is under no obligation to respond promptly.  Several factors, including the appropriateness of the offer and its alignment with the seller’s interests, can contribute to a delayed response.  

Market conditions also play a role, especially in a buyer’s market where sales tend to be sluggish, leading to relatively prompt responses from sellers. 

Additionally, personal circumstances such as divorce can significantly impact the speed of their response. As a buyer, you have limited control over these situations. However, by tactfully inquiring about the delay, either personally or through your real estate agent in Vermont, you can gauge whether the seller is genuinely considering your offer or treating it as a mere formality. Understanding these dynamics can help inform your negotiation strategy and guide you through the process more effectively.

The seller wants to see all offers at once

In another scenario, sellers may deliberately delay their response to a buyer’s offer so that they can compare several offers simultaneously.  Then the seller can choose the best offer for them. By waiting, one potential benefit for sellers is that they can receive more offers. While this approach can result in more offers, it can also leave other interested buyers uncertain and consider alternative options.   

The seller’s agent may advise the seller not to consider the offer until the first open house.  If this is the case, the agent is typically upfront about when offers will be considered.   T

Foreclosure, Short Term or REO

In the case of an emergency sale, the response time might extend to a week or more before receiving a reply to your offer.  Emergency sales require approval from both the lender and the seller, resulting in potential delays.  

Similarly, dealing with REOs (bank-owned real estate) can take some time to respond. Most lenders have REO departments and specialists handling such sales.  However, you are still dealing with large companies, not individual sellers, and communication may be slow. 

Strategies for buyers 

In real estate, time is of the essence, and as a buyer, employing effective bidding strategies can give you an advantage and prompt sellers to respond.  However, it’s also vital to plan your course of action.  If you’re in a seller’s market and intend to negotiate and compete with multiple offers from other buyers, a well-crafted initial offer is crucial to establish yourself as a credible candidate to purchase the property. Reducing the number of contingencies in your offer will also make it more appealing to sellers.

To show your commitment to buying the property, consider making a sizeable escrow payment to demonstrate your seriousness and financial capability.  

If you also receive a counteroffer from the seller, consider that as a positive sign and encourage action to work out closing dates, contingency plans, and other closing costs. Submitting an offer with “conditions” such as affiliate approval gives you time to proceed with the purchase while the seller evaluates your offer. This tactic allows the seller to counter the offer on a specific date and time so that the affiliate will accept the offer.

Recommending response strategies can put you in the seller’s shoes when negotiating real estate deals.  It’s helpful to understand how sellers typically respond to offers, and it can enable you to prepare thoroughly and make informed decisions during your property purchase.

The following strategies for responding to seller offers can help you get the best possible offer for your market and investment goals. 

  • Check offers at specific times of the day, such as during regular business hours rather than on weekends; you will have more time to evaluate offers without having to respond quickly. 
  • When making a counteroffer, always focus on the main points of the deal and avoid exchanges that could lead to mutual resistance. 
  • Continue to market your property while negotiating an offer, let buyers know you are doing so, and encourage them to make the best offer for you. 
  • Properly manage multiple offers, notify all buyers of the status of bulk offers, and finalize counter offers in writing after the buyer accepts the counter offer. 

If the seller doesn’t respond to your offer after a few days, you have three options: wait, improve the offer early, or cancel the offer and continue calling for other available options. The choice you make will depend on local market conditions, the price you want for the property, and whether you have other options that you are confident about. Always remember that real estate investing is a business, and stay calm and collected. This will help you avoid many significant mistakes when conducting real estate transactions.

Find an appreciating property

When searching for properties, consider focusing on homes in up-and-coming areas that require minimal renovations.  This can be an even more profitable solution if you wait to rent a property until the value of the house increases. Keep in mind that an area you think is booming may slow down, and it may be difficult to recoup your investment.

For many new investors, real estate investing is the pinnacle of ROI. Unlike stocks and bonds, real estate is tangible and can weather market fluctuations.  This aspect of security sets real estate investing apart, even from seemingly more glamorous forms of investment backed by established companies. However, it is essential to be cautious when investing in real estate because there is significant risk and large amounts of money involved.  

Real estate investors are most profitable in an environment of increased interest. If home prices lower due to the higher interest rate, then cash buyers have the advantage. 

The key ways to start investing in real estate are different. Each has its risks and benefits, but for the most part, it’s a unique investment experience. Real estate speculation occurs when real estate is bought in whole or in part to resell it in the future profitably. Land speculation is usually a short-term investment in real estate, but it is a smart investment that understands the needs of target industries, construction companies, and commercial developers. It is important to buy the optimal property at the right price and at the right time. Land speculation is very easy, but it can be dangerous. You must fully understand the current value of this market and its current potential. You should also hire an expert to document it all. Land speculation often involves the work of an intermediary between land sellers and developers. So there are significant risks, especially if interest in real estate in your area is falling, it’s important to consider.

Consult with a real estate agent before making any move or purchase, and rely on their knowledge to guide you.