Purchasing a new home is an incredibly exciting event, but it can also be very stressful. Finding a home that fits your needs and desires is not always easy, and it takes a lot to finally decide to put an offer in. Once you submit your offer, you have to just wait for the seller to respond. Time does not move slower than when you are waiting.
While there are general time periods and some state rules, there is no set time period. In this post, we will dive into the details of how long a home seller has to respond to an offer from a buyer.
Making an offer on a house is only the first step. As a buyer, you may have several prospective houses and be eager to move forward with one. Oftentimes, you will make your offer on your top prospect, but another home will not be far behind. Of course, you want to give your top option a chance before moving on to the next in line. But how long will it take to hear back from a seller?
The time frame greatly depends, but generally, sellers respond within 48 hours. 24 to 48 hours is the typical timeframe you can expect to hear back about your offer. However, there are cases where a seller may take longer than that.
Waiting for the seller to respond to your offer may seem like an eternity, but always remember to be patient. The seller is also making a big life decision and wants to make the best one. Allow the seller an adequate opportunity to review and respond to your offer. While you wait, review your offer to determine if you could better the offer in any way and what you may be willing to adjust if there is a counteroffer.
The offer itself, as well as the state you live in, will determine how long the seller has to respond to or accept the offer. Some states, like California, have set time limits for responding to the offer. However, many states do not have these regulations. Consider setting a time limit on your offer if you are concerned about how long the seller will take to respond.
As a buyer, you can determine how long the offer will be valid. Setting a timeframe will help ensure you receive a response in a reasonable amount of time, but make sure the time limit is fair and does not rush the seller. Keep in mind that the timeframe will likely be longer if a bank is the one selling the property. If you add a time limit to your offer, the offer is only valid until that date and time. Should the seller miss the deadline, the offer will expire.
If you do choose to add an offer expiration clause, you may wonder what the minimum amount of time you must give is. While you can decide how much time you would like to give, it is important to be reasonable. Rushing the seller will not make them more likely to accept or respond to your offer. It is recommended that you offer at least 48 to 72 hours for the seller to respond.
Counteroffers are a common part of the home buying process. Once a seller submits a counteroffer, the ball is in your court. Some counteroffers will include a time constraint. If it does not, the best practice is to respond within 24 to 48 hours (72 at the latest), just as you want the seller to.
One important thing to remember is that a seller does not have to respond to an offer. Ever. Sometimes, sellers will not respond to an offer they find too low or unreasonable. The seller is not required to send an official rejection letter. If you are really interested in the home and the seller never responded, it is best to resubmit a better offer with new terms.
Ultimately, there is no standard timeline for when sellers must respond to your offer. Typically, most sellers respond within 72 hours. You can include a time limit in your offer, but you should be reasonable as well. Check with your state to see if it has any rules regarding residential purchases as well. Successful negotiation is about finding a balance between patience and assertiveness.
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