Last updated on November 18th, 2023 at 07:31 am

Quick Answer

  • In the US, the median time to respond to an offer is 36 hours. 
  • In the US, 40% of sellers respond to an offer within 24 hours.

Are you planning to buy or sell a property? One thing that often causes anxiety in the real estate process is waiting for the seller’s response to an offer. 

Lets discuss everything you need to know about seller response time and what to expect during this phase.

From understanding the standard way to make an offer to knowing how long sellers typically have to respond, we’ve got you covered. 

We’ll also provide tips on setting your sale up for maximum return and navigating counter offers.

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, having clarity on the timeline for offers can help reduce stress and allow you to make informed decisions during this important transaction. 

What is an offer in Real Estate

When it comes to real estate transactions, an offer is a buyer’s formal proposal to purchase a property. 

It signifies their interest in acquiring a particular listing, house or home. Following the submission of an offer, the seller response time becomes significant.

This refers to the duration it takes for sellers to provide a response.

The length of this timeframe can vary based on multiple factors, including market conditions and negotiation strategies employed by both parties. 

Buyers must remain patient during this waiting period and avoid rushing into any decisions.

Purchasing a house can be an emotional decision, and with that comes ups and downs.

Sellers may require additional time to review multiple offers or seek advice from their real estate agent or attorney before responding.

What is the standard way to make an offer

An offer in the real estate industry refers to a formal proposal made by a buyer to purchase a property. 

It is typically prepared by the buyer’s agent and presented to the seller through a written contract.

This contract includes important details such as the purchase price, desired closing date, and any contingencies or conditions specified by the buyer.

Upon receiving the offer, the seller can choose to accept, reject, or counteroffer.

If the seller accepts the offer and returns the signed contract, then the buyer will put their deposit their down payment in escrow and the sales process begins.

The timeframe for the seller’s response may vary depending on market conditions, the urgency of the buyer’s offer, and a range of other factors.

There is no industry standard here.

While some sellers may respond within 24-48 hours, others may take several days or even weeks to provide a reply.

How long do sellers have to respond 

In general, sellers are not bound by any law in terms of a timeframe in which they must respond.

However, response times can differ depending on various factors such as the seller’s situation and the market conditions. 

In fact there are many reasons why sellers take their time to respond. 

Maybe they want to host an open house and generate as many offers as possible.

It is recommended for buyers to establish a deadline for the seller’s response in their offer.

 If the seller doesn’t respond within the specified time frame, the buyer can choose to withdraw the offer or wait for a response at their discretion.

In a seller’s market where you have multiple bidders, the seller’s agent will usually let everyone know the time that allow offers must be submitted. 

They will let the winning bidder know pretty fast. 

If you are a buyer and are ever in this situation, and you haven’t received a call within an hour of the deadline, you probably lost. 

Setting Your Sale Up For Maximum Return

When it comes to selling a property in the real estate industry, sellers often want to maximize their return. 

Ensuring that you set your sale up for maximum return involves careful planning and consideration, including responding to offers. 

This timeline can vary greatly depending on market conditions, contingencies, and the specific circumstances surrounding the sale of the property. 

It’s important for sellers to be proactive and well-informed during this phase of the process.

In some cases, sellers may have a few days to consider an offer and make a decision.

This provides them with ample time to carefully review all the details of the offer, including the purchase price, proposed closing date, and any contingencies or conditions.

Plus, other offers may come in that they want to consider. 

It also allows them the opportunity to negotiate with the potential buyer, should they wish to do so. 

However, if the property is in a seller’s market or if the seller is motivated to sell quickly, they may choose to respond more promptly to capitalize on the current demand for their property.

Setting your sale up for maximum return is about understanding the dynamics of the market, and also respecting the courtesy and common courtesy between buyers and sellers.

Sellers should aim to respond to offers in a timely manner, not only to keep the negotiation process moving but also to show respect to potential buyers.

It is a good idea for sellers to be proactive in setting a specific date or time frame for their response in order to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings. 

This clear communication can also help to maintain the buyer’s interest and minimize the risk of them moving on to another property.

The Rules of Responding 

In the real estate industry, there are no fixed rules or specific time frames that sellers must follow when it comes to responding to offers.

The time it takes for sellers to respond can vary depending on factors such as contingencies and the seller’s personal circumstances.

Although there is usually a set period of 24-48 hours for sellers to reply, it is not uncommon for them to take longer or request an extension.

Sellers may require additional time to carefully consider the offer, seek advice from their real estate agent or attorney, or evaluate other potential offers. 

The seller may also choose to negotiate the terms of the offer with the buyer.

During this stage of negotiation and decision-making, it is important for buyers and their agents to be patient and understanding.

How to deal with seller’s response time

While it can be frustrating for buyers to wait for a response, it is important to exercise patience during this timeframe. 

Buyers may want to set a deadline for the sellers to respond, respecting the sellers’ privacy policy and allowing them ample time to make a decision.

In some cases, sellers may request an extension to review all the details thoroughly or negotiate terms.

If the sellers do not respond within a reasonable timeframe, buyers should consider reaching out to their real estate agent for guidance on the next steps.

People often wonder what realtors do for their commission. They are middlemen that help with all aspects of the sale. 

This includes relaying offers and communication.

How Long Do Buyers Have When a Counter Offer is Given

The timeframe for buyers to respond to a counter offer can vary, it should take hours, not days.

However, the specific deadline should be clearly stated in the counter offer. 

Sellers should communicate this deadline to ensure timely responses from buyers.

What If The Seller Doesn’t Respond 

If the seller doesn’t respond to an offer, do follow up and allow them a reasonable amount of time to reply. 

If you haven’t received a response, reach out through a different channel.

This might include a phone call, text message, or even an email.

You might consider adjusting your offer if you’re still interested. 

However, if the seller remains unresponsive or disinterested, it may be wise to explore other options.

Follow The Rules For Your Area

Timelines can vary depending on various factors such as local rules, regulations, and market conditions.

Typically, there may be designated timeframes outlined in real estate laws or contracts that dictate the seller’s response time.

 It is important for buyers and their agents to be well-informed about these timelines and ensure that offers are submitted in accordance with the rules of their area.

How long is the escrow period

The escrow period, also known as the closing process, is the time between when your offer is accepted and when the sale is finalized.

During this time, several key steps need to be taken, including conducting inspections, appraisals, and securing financing.

On average, the escrow period can range anywhere from 30 to 45 days.

However, it’s important to note that this timeframe is just an estimate and can be influenced by factors such as the complexity of the transaction and any contingencies involved.

Do i have to work with an agent to make an offer

When making an offer on a property in the real estate industry, you may be wondering if it’s necessary to work with a real estate agent.

 While it’s not mandatory, the assistance of a real estate agent can be highly beneficial.

They can provide guidance throughout the process, help you navigate contingencies and negotiations, and ensure that you’re making a competitive offer.

That being said, there are pros and cons to consider. 

Some buyers opt to make an offer without a real estate agent in order to save on commission fees. 

Ultimately, the decision is yours and should be based on what you feel most comfortable with.

Can i go around the realtor and talk with the seller

When deciding if it’s possible to bypass the realtor and communicate directly with the seller, grasp the significance of a realtor’s role in the home buying process.

A realtor acts as a mediator between buyers and sellers, offering valuable insights, guidance, and seamless transaction facilitation. 

Engaging with the seller without involving the realtor potentially disregards the expertise and skill set that a realtor brings to the equation.

Moreover, it’s important to bear in mind that the seller’s agent has distinct duties towards the seller and might not prioritize your interests.

Final Thoughts

The response time for offers in real estate can vary depending on various factors.

Understand that sellers have the right to take their time and carefully consider offers before making a decision.

As a buyer and seller, set your sales process up for maximum return by following the rules of responding to real estate offers and being patient during the waiting period. 

If you are unsure about any aspect of the process, it is advisable to work with a real estate agent who can guide you through the offer process and ensure a smooth transaction.

Remember, it is not recommended to go around the realtor and directly approach the seller as it can lead to complications and misunderstandings. 

Home buying can be hard, for more information on navigating the offer process in real estate, consult our expert agents who are ready to assist you.