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Old 05-16-2019, 11:47 AM
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Less than 24 hrs. to respond to purchase offer-is this usual in selling property?


1st off, which we declined out of hand, got it at 5pm, they needed to know by 2 the next day.
New offer, I got the offer at 9p last nite in my mail, I was asleep, saw it at 4a this morning, they want an answer by 1 tomorrow. Is this how this is done? I am new at this.
ETA- ok, maybe a bit more than 24 hours, but still.

Last edited by DummyGladHands; 05-16-2019 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:10 PM
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Did they say why?
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:16 PM
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Nope, and they won't be even viewing the property (inside) until about 3 tomorrow.

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Old 05-16-2019, 12:29 PM
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this is not terribly unusual


I've bought and sold 3 or 4 properties over the last 5 years and every offer and counter offer made generally needs an answer in 24 hours.

I use the "needs" a little loosely, though. I'm sure you can tell your agent you need a few more hours or half a day to make a decision....but....

They basically, don't want you sitting on the offer wasting their time. You have an idea of what you really want to sell it for, if it isn't the right number you want, just tell them. They don't want you keeping this offer in your back pocket waiting for a better offer to come along. That would be construed as a little rude.

Really, I'm not sure why you can't make a decision on the offer more rapidly. I can understand if you need some time to confer with your agent or craft a counter offer or talk to a spouse. But essentially, did they offer what you want? If yes, accept....If no; then counter offer or outright decline.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:30 PM
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They may be about to sign the property over to a bank if they can't show proof of a reasonable offer. But it sounds like a recipe for disaster if not some kind of outright scam.

ETA: Looking at Sigene's response I'm thinking the OP meant the offer is good for only 24 hours, otherwise the price may change.

Last edited by TriPolar; 05-16-2019 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:34 PM
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(Realtor here) It is not unusual for a short timetable to be included with an offer. Remember, the longer the time allowed by the buyer, the more likely some other buyer will show up with a better offer and shoot the first guy down.

It is unethical for a seller's agent to reveal the offer details to anyone else, but it is not unethical for the agent to, upon receiving a bonafide offer, call up any other interested buyers and inform them of the offer, encouraging them to hurry up and present another. After all, the seller's agent is working for the seller, and anything he can legally and ethically do to get a better deal for his client is desirable.

Which is why all sellers, if they have a property on the market, should remain in close touch with their agent. I have had sellers who, after listing a property, immediately embarked on a long camping trip in the wilderness where there are no cellphone towers. Bad idea; don't do this. Your camping trip could be quite costly.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:35 PM
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They may be about to sign the property over to a bank if they can't show proof of a reasonable offer. But it sounds like a recipe for disaster if not some kind of outright scam.

ETA: Looking at Sigene's response I'm thinking the OP meant the offer is good for only 24 hours, otherwise the price may change.
Pretty sure that OP is talking about offers to purchase not sell.

Generally when you list property, you put forth a listing or asking price. Buyers then put in offers.

Depending on the market conditions, if it is a buyer's market, a 24 hour response time is not unusual. The buyer wants to know the sellers level of interest to negotiate, otherwise they want to move on to their next best option.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:45 PM
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Do I have to say yes or can I counter or request changes to one of the parameters of the offer by that time? They want me to pay for a home warranty.

ETA, my agent is a bit of a neophyte.

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Old 05-16-2019, 12:49 PM
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If your realtor can't answer that question then they shouldn't have a license, istm.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:53 PM
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Do I have to say yes or can I counter or request changes to one of the parameters of the offer by that time?
You can do whatever you want to do, the offer restrictions are not binding on you. The buyers may walk but if you don't want to accept the deal at the price offered, feel free to respond with a counter offer.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:57 PM
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Pretty sure that OP is talking about offers to purchase not sell.
.
Should have been obvious.
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:05 PM
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They are bound by the terms of their offer until you decline or counter, or the time expires (or they rescind). So you have freedom to act during this time, but they don't. You can entertain other offers, but they can't make other offers (assuming they only want to make one purchase). If you accept, you have a deal. If you decline, there's no deal. If you counter, then that is you declining (so they are not the ones on the hook anymore) and making a new offer. So, if you counter, you'll become the one who can't make another deal while your counter offer is pending. (So a deadline might be important.)
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:11 PM
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Do I have to say yes or can I counter or request changes to one of the parameters of the offer by that time? They want me to pay for a home warranty.
That's a non-monetary way to get you to reduce the price, the same as if they asked you to replace the (shag) carpet.

See how much a home warranty costs, if (offer price - cost of home warranty) acceptable amount to you then accept their deal. Maybe you counter with a credit for 50% of the cost of the warranty.
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:16 PM
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Do I have to say yes or can I counter or request changes to one of the parameters of the offer by that time? They want me to pay for a home warranty.

ETA, my agent is a bit of a neophyte.
You can say yes, and you then are under contract at their terms.
You can do nothing and their offer will expire at the end of the 24 hours.
You can counter with your own offer, which is the same as rejecting their offer, which is then no longer available to you.

As far as paying for a home warranty, that is very typical. Premiums for 1 year, will typically range from a $200-600 depending on the sales price of your home. Sometimes you can get the realtors to pay for this our their commissions.
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:43 PM
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If your realtor can't answer that question then they shouldn't have a license, istm.
I agree with this.

It's all well and good to ask questions on message boards, but you're paying a professional potentially a lot of money to know this stuff. If they don't know this kind of obvious stuff, what else don't they know?
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Old 05-16-2019, 01:46 PM
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I'm going through this on the buyers side.

Basically everyone is correct, this is pretty normal if the offer is over a time where it might be hard to make a decision it'll get a delayed a bit. I put in a late Friday night offer with an acceptance deadline of early Monday morning and that 60 hours is the most I've given.

One thing to note that the deadline is only for acceptance. If you're going to counter then it's meaningless. So like I said above I gave them until say Monday morning at 10 am to accept, they could wait and counter at 5 pm Monday night and aside from me moving on to another property there is no consequence.
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Old 05-17-2019, 03:09 PM
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That is indeed how it's done. Out of curiosity, why would it take you longer than 24 hours to respond to an offer to buy?
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Old 05-17-2019, 03:29 PM
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That is indeed how it's done. Out of curiosity, why would it take you longer than 24 hours to respond to an offer to buy?
The obvious reason would be that you're hoping for a higher price but don't want to decline the current offer in case that doesn't happen. I can also imagine conditions on an offer, like the timing of the handover, that may or may not require changes to the seller's plans that need to be investigated.
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Old 05-17-2019, 03:32 PM
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That is indeed how it's done. Out of curiosity, why would it take you longer than 24 hours to respond to an offer to buy?
It's below your asking price; want to see if something better comes in; especially if you know there are more people coming to check it out &/or an open house soon.
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:44 PM
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As far as paying for a home warranty, that is very typical. Premiums for 1 year, will typically range from a $200-600 depending on the sales price of your home. Sometimes you can get the realtors to pay for this our their commissions.
Assuming you meant "out of" rather than "our", don't count on it if it wasn't offered in the first place.
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Old 05-17-2019, 08:09 PM
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Let me give my recent experience, from about 6 weeks ago. My house was put on the MLS on a Sunday evening. We had insisted on a 24 hour notice for visits, so our agent scheduled something 8 for Tuesday, starting around 1 PM. We went over to a friend's house since the agent didn't want us around. She called us and told us an offer would be presented at 4:30 (call that #1). Then a second offer (#2) came in. She had previously gotten our consent to inform #1 that a second offer came in (although not what it was--she couldn't know in any case). When she did that, #1 asked to revise their offer and changed their time to 5:00. So we came home before 5:00 and discovered there was a #3, which was presented immediately. It was a lowball offer and we didn't seriously consider it. Then came the presentation of #4. The original offer was for our asking price! Their revised offer was $16,000 higher. I was ready to accept on the spot. But, and this relates to the OP, this was 5:30 and we had only till 7:00 to react. So only an hour and a half. So we signed out acceptance at 6:55 and our agent called the other agent who called the client. But note that all this was verbal and our acceptance was not binding until our agent had scanned our acceptance to the buyer's agent. At 7:30, yet another agent appeared with #4, which was $$45,000 above our asking price! We could have reneged on the acceptance, but there were certain details that inclined us to stick to the original acceptance, which I won't go into. All the offers came with less than 24 hours to respond.

I asked the agent if we should have asked more. She had originally wanted to list it for less, but her husband and partner convince her to go higher (the two of them spent 4 hours talking about the condition of the house and all hidden things we knew about--had there ever been a suicide in the house, for example). She said that a higher listing would have put us into a different demographic.

Bottom line: around here very short limits to respond seem to be perfectly normal. Of course, it we had responded with a counter-offer, we would have put a 24 hour limit on their reply.
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Old 05-18-2019, 03:19 AM
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Out of curiosity, why would it take you longer than 24 hours to respond to an offer to buy?
There could be many reasons, such as needing to contact multiple members of a family; wanting to consult with legal or accounting assistance; desire not to be rushed for such an important decision, and of course hoping (or expecting) to receive another, better offer.
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:36 AM
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There could be many reasons, such as needing to contact multiple members of a family; wanting to consult with legal or accounting assistance; desire not to be rushed for such an important decision, and of course hoping (or expecting) to receive another, better offer.
Yes and you have just put your finger on the main reason for the time limitation. It was obvious in our case that they didn't want us to delay in hopes of a better offer. And they were right. That's in a seller's market. In a buyer's market, they want to be free ASAP to make other offers.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:20 AM
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The obvious reason would be that you're hoping for a higher price but don't want to decline the current offer in case that doesn't happen. I can also imagine conditions on an offer, like the timing of the handover, that may or may not require changes to the seller's plans that need to be investigated.
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It's below your asking price; want to see if something better comes in; especially if you know there are more people coming to check it out &/or an open house soon.
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There could be many reasons, such as needing to contact multiple members of a family; wanting to consult with legal or accounting assistance; desire not to be rushed for such an important decision, and of course hoping (or expecting) to receive another, better offer.
Then one should either answer "No" or not put the property on the market until they are indeed ready to sell. In no case should a buyer offer be left hanging. The buyer puts a time limit on the offer not so much to put pressure on the seller but to protect themselves from being held hostage by an seller who can't (or won't) be arsed to respond. The seller can't have their cake and eat it, too. Either reject the offer and hope for something higher or accept and move on. Minimum acceptable price should be discussed among and agreed to all owners before listing the property.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:03 AM
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Then one should either answer "No" or not put the property on the market until they are indeed ready to sell. In no case should a buyer offer be left hanging. The buyer puts a time limit on the offer not so much to put pressure on the seller but to protect themselves from being held hostage by an seller who can't (or won't) be arsed to respond. The seller can't have their cake and eat it, too. Either reject the offer and hope for something higher or accept and move on. Minimum acceptable price should be discussed among and agreed to all owners before listing the property.
If your response refers to my quoted comment, consider that some properties are owned by several owners. Typically, the original owner dies and the property passes to the children, who may be scattered over the Earth. Getting sigs can be a nightmare, even with today's electronic communications. And not all siblings instantly agree on the buyer's price or terms. Negotiating this can take time and be quite frustrating to an agent and a buyer.

If I know the property is in a trust or has multiple owners, I caution the buyer to consider the extra time necessary to handle the logistics.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:43 AM
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If your response refers to my quoted comment, consider that some properties are owned by several owners. Typically, the original owner dies and the property passes to the children, who may be scattered over the Earth. Getting sigs can be a nightmare, even with today's electronic communications. And not all siblings instantly agree on the buyer's price or terms. Negotiating this can take time and be quite frustrating to an agent and a buyer.

If I know the property is in a trust or has multiple owners, I caution the buyer to consider the extra time necessary to handle the logistics.
That may all be true- however, it still doesn't mean the seller needs more than 24 hours to reply. More than 24 hours may be needed to accept , but I can see no reason why it can't be rejected within 24 hours. It may mean the seller(s) reject the offer at 24 hours when it would have been accepted at 72 after all 5 siblings have conferred.If nearly all buyers want an answer within 24 hours , it may mean the sellers have difficulty selling it but it doesn't mean they can't reply within 24 hours.

And what is that about signatures - obviously , all of the owners have to sign various documents at some point, but in my experience , offers are made and accepted through the real estate agent and then within a couple of days a binder is signed. Although now I wonder if what you are calling the offer is what I am calling the binder. When I am talking about the decision being made within 24 hours, I am not talking about signing a binder or putting the down payment into escrow within 24 hours. I'm talking about the process of phone calls/texts/emails that communicates the buyer's willingness to pay $X and communicates back whether the seller is willing to accept X.

Last edited by doreen; 05-20-2019 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:47 AM
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If your response refers to my quoted comment, consider that some properties are owned by several owners. Typically, the original owner dies and the property passes to the children, who may be scattered over the Earth. Getting sigs can be a nightmare, even with today's electronic communications. And not all siblings instantly agree on the buyer's price or terms. Negotiating this can take time and be quite frustrating to an agent and a buyer.

If I know the property is in a trust or has multiple owners, I caution the buyer to consider the extra time necessary to handle the logistics.
I think the comment, is that all of the work you allude to should be worked out and agreed to prior to the property going on the market. All the negotiations internally with all of the children and 'scattered' owners should be done ahead of time and agreed to before the property is listed. all of the owners should be aware that if the place is listed an offer will possibly be forthcoming...if they aren't aware of that possibility the place shouldn't be on the market yet. I also think that a single point of contact can also be designated as the primary person to represent the family in this unusual case.

If the scenario you suggest occurs, that its probably not a big deal to require more that 24 hours. But it really is rude for a seller to try to sit on an offer for days and days 'waiting for someone better' to come along. If you aren't ready to sell the house for a particular price when an offer comes in, than you should probably not be having it placed on the market yet.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:54 AM
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deleting repeated post

Last edited by Sigene; 05-20-2019 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:20 AM
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That may all be true- however, it still doesn't mean the seller needs more than 24 hours to reply. More than 24 hours may be needed to accept , but I can see no reason why it can't be rejected within 24 hours. It may mean the seller(s) reject the offer at 24 hours when it would have been accepted at 72 after all 5 siblings have conferred.If nearly all buyers want an answer within 24 hours , it may mean the sellers have difficulty selling it but it doesn't mean they can't reply within 24 hours.
If a seller doesn't want to be rushed, why rush him? There's nothing wrong with a seller wanting to see an additional offer or get better terms and is willing to take some chances to get one. Conversely, there's nothing wrong with a buyer wanting to get a quick decision. It's all part of negotiation.
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And what is that about signatures - obviously , all of the owners have to sign various documents at some point, but in my experience , offers are made and accepted through the real estate agent and then within a couple of days a binder is signed. Although now I wonder if what you are calling the offer is what I am calling the binder. When I am talking about the decision being made within 24 hours, I am not talking about signing a binder or putting the down payment into escrow within 24 hours. I'm talking about the process of phone calls/texts/emails that communicates the buyer's willingness to pay $X and communicates back whether the seller is willing to accept X.
YMMV, but in my state (Wisconsin), the term "binder" isn't used, although we do say, "binding acceptance," which only occurs when all parties have signed an agreement and delivered back to the buyer.* Certainly there may be a verbal acceptance and negotiation, but no reputable agent would treat such as a written one. An agent, unless given a power of attorney, doesn't have the authority to accept an offer on behalf of a seller or buyer, and would be foolish to do so.

Note: By itself, putting earnest money into an escrow account does not confer any privileges upon either buyer or seller and is not equivalent to a signed & delivered offer.

* The exact wording on the WB-11 Residential Offer to Purchase, line 27, is
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BINDING ACCEPTANCE: This Offer is binding upon both Parties only if a copy of the accepted Offer is delivered to Buyer on or before (insert date/time)
As much as you might like to "work things out before putting it on the market," not all transactions are that clean. Things come up during the time it takes to close the transaction that were not anticipated in advance. Perhaps a flaw is discovered in the title or the foundation, financing, plumbing, or wiring. Whether major or minor, these things need to be addressed and the purchase contract will undoubtedly be modified or even cancelled.
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:02 AM
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Assuming you meant "out of" rather than "our", don't count on it if it wasn't offered in the first place.
Yes, "out of".

I guess having the realtors pay it out of their commission has worked for me on the last two houses I have bought and sold. It depends on the selling price of the house and the resulting size of their respective commissions. Many realtors would be happy to part with $200-300 if that means that they are going to collect a $5,000-$10,000 commission much sooner than they thought otherwise.
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:04 AM
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If a seller doesn't want to be rushed, why rush him? There's nothing wrong with a seller wanting to see an additional offer or get better terms and is willing to take some chances to get one. Conversely, there's nothing wrong with a buyer wanting to get a quick decision. It's all part of negotiation.
There's nothing wrong with a seller wanting to wait, but it can bite them in the ass. The last time I bought a house, I looked at a place a few days before their first open house. I put an offer in for full asking price. It was a definite sellers market at the time, but their house had some serious issues that I'd have to spend a bunch of money on so I thought that was fair. I put the offer in on Thursday morning, it expired Friday afternoon, the open house was Saturday. They didn't reply at all. On Monday, they tried to accept the offer, so clearly the open house didn't go as well as they hoped. I briefly considered just walking away, but wound up saying the original offer was off the table but placed a new offer for $2k less. They accepted it.

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Old 05-20-2019, 11:12 AM
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Then one should either answer "No" or not put the property on the market until they are indeed ready to sell. In no case should a buyer offer be left hanging. The buyer puts a time limit on the offer not so much to put pressure on the seller but to protect themselves from being held hostage by an seller who can't (or won't) be arsed to respond. The seller can't have their cake and eat it, too. Either reject the offer and hope for something higher or accept and move on. Minimum acceptable price should be discussed among and agreed to all owners before listing the property.
Well that's just silly. Of course it's reasonable to put a time limit on a bid but it's not some moral failing for a seller to dither a bit about an offer.
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:34 AM
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Certainly there may be a verbal acceptance and negotiation, but no reputable agent would treat such as a written one. An agent, unless given a power of attorney, doesn't have the authority to accept an offer on behalf of a seller or buyer, and would be foolish to do so.
Yeah, it seems that you and I mean something different by "offer"- in my experience the very short 24 hourish deadline is for a verbal decision whether to accept/reject/make a counteroffer. The written agreement that would be comparable to WB-11 Residential Offer to Purchase comes at least a couple of days later.
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Old 05-20-2019, 12:07 PM
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Yeah, it seems that you and I mean something different by "offer"- in my experience the very short 24 hourish deadline is for a verbal decision whether to accept/reject/make a counteroffer. The written agreement that would be comparable to WB-11 Residential Offer to Purchase comes at least a couple of days later.
That seems like a recipe for disaster. IME the forms are all transmitted and signed electronically. Not sure why anyone would need a couple of days to take care of the paperwork.
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Old 05-20-2019, 12:12 PM
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There's nothing wrong with a seller wanting to wait, but it can bite them in the ass. The last time I bought a house, I looked at a place a few days before their first open house. I put an offer in for full asking price. It was a definite sellers market at the time, but their house had some serious issues that I'd have to spend a bunch of money on so I thought that was fair. I put the offer in on Thursday morning, it expired Friday afternoon, the open house was Saturday. They didn't reply at all. On Monday, they tried to accept the offer, so clearly the open house didn't go as well as they hoped. I briefly considered just walking away, but wound up saying the original offer was off the table but placed a new offer for $2k less. They accepted it.
Heh heh, I'll skip the boring details but when we bought our house in 2002, we went through a rather similar situation, except we ended up getting the place for $50k less than our original offer. The seller was difficult to work with so I think it served her right that she ended up taking $50k less than she would have gotten if she'd just accepted our first offer and not dicked us around.

Speaking to the more general topic of accepting a buyer's offer immediately, I'd be interested in knowledgeable commentary about this situation:

Right now, I'm sorta kinda house hunting but not in a position to move quickly (waiting for divorce settlement details to finalize; not sure if I'm keeping the house I'm in or ex will get it. I'm happy either way; whether or not ex wants it depends on the appraised value, which we haven't received yet).

I saw my dream house for sale and looked up the MLS; it is listed as "contingent" and has been for at least 10 days or so now, maybe longer. The info available explicitly says that the sellers have an offer but are still taking other offers.

My assumption is that a couple of things might be going on. First, the current owners are trying to sell two adjacent properties, one with a house (that's what I want) and a pasture next door. They would love it if someone would buy both together. I would imagine that selling the house alone is easier than selling the pasture alone and that they are disappointed but not surprised to have an offer on the house only.

Second, I suspect someone has made an offer and is waiting for the bank to approve the mortgage they want. So while the bank decides whether or not to give the loan to the prospective buyer, the seller is open to better offers, "better" most likely defined as "a reasonable price for the two properties together."

Would be interested to hear if my theories make sense. In any case, I'm unlikely to get the property - regardless of what happens chances are it will be off the market before I'm in a position to make an offer. Oh well. I'll just have to find a new dream home when the time comes.
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  #36  
Old 05-20-2019, 12:56 PM
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I saw my dream house for sale and looked up the MLS; it is listed as "contingent" and has been for at least 10 days or so now, maybe longer. The info available explicitly says that the sellers have an offer but are still taking other offers.

My assumption is that a couple of things might be going on. First, the current owners are trying to sell two adjacent properties, one with a house (that's what I want) and a pasture next door. They would love it if someone would buy both together. I would imagine that selling the house alone is easier than selling the pasture alone and that they are disappointed but not surprised to have an offer on the house only.

Second, I suspect someone has made an offer and is waiting for the bank to approve the mortgage they want. So while the bank decides whether or not to give the loan to the prospective buyer, the seller is open to better offers, "better" most likely defined as "a reasonable price for the two properties together."
There are a lot of common contingencies in real estate offers, including the buyer getting a loan (financing contingency) like you describe; the house "passing" inspection whether for defects, radon, lead, foundation, termites, water intrusion or what have you (inspection contingency); the house being worth enough to an independent third-party (appraisal contingency), or the buyer being able to sell his or her current home (home sale contingency). These types of contingencies generally allow the buyer to back out of the contract but not the seller. So, the seller can continue to field new offers from other buyers but, if all the buyer's contingencies are resolved, the seller will have an enforceable contract to sell the property to the buyer. The seller can't just decide to take a better offer that comes in later. The seller will accept one of those later offers only if the primary contract falls through.

If the house goes back on the market, it's most likely because one of the contingencies didn't occur. If it was an inspection or appraisal problem, the house is most likely going to drop in price after the failed contract to account for the new information. If it was a buyer problem, the price still might drop. The seller accepted the best available offer which probably meant the highest price. Since the buyer willing to pay the highest price has now dropped out of the market, the other potential buyers are probably making lower priced offers. Furthermore, if the seller was under some time pressure, that pressure is even more acute with the time lost on the first contract. The seller may be more willing to deal for a buyer who is better positioned to close quickly.
  #37  
Old 05-20-2019, 01:51 PM
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There are a lot of common contingencies in real estate offers, including the buyer getting a loan (financing contingency) like you describe; the house "passing" inspection whether for defects, radon, lead, foundation, termites, water intrusion or what have you (inspection contingency); the house being worth enough to an independent third-party (appraisal contingency), or the buyer being able to sell his or her current home (home sale contingency). These types of contingencies generally allow the buyer to back out of the contract but not the seller. So, the seller can continue to field new offers from other buyers but, if all the buyer's contingencies are resolved, the seller will have an enforceable contract to sell the property to the buyer. The seller can't just decide to take a better offer that comes in later. The seller will accept one of those later offers only if the primary contract falls through.
Not entirely true. Upon receipt of offer 2, seller can go back to Buyer 1 & ask them to lift the contingency or lose their bid. I've been Buyer 2 before. Buyer 1 either sold their house that day, or more than likely accepted the fact that they'd be on the hook for two mortgages for some period of time.
  #38  
Old 05-20-2019, 02:11 PM
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That seems like a recipe for disaster. IME the forms are all transmitted and signed electronically. Not sure why anyone would need a couple of days to take care of the paperwork.
That WB-11 Residential Offer to Purchase apparently becomes a binding contract when it's signed. In my area, it's standard for the buyer, seller and the mortgage company or bank to each have their own lawyer, and I'm not signing a contract without my lawyer reviewing it. So let's say I see the house Monday afternoon and call the agent /broker with an offer Monday evening. I might want an reply to my offer by Tuesday evening, but I am certainly not expecting a binding contract to be prepared and signed by Tuesday evening - and even if the sellers electronically sent me a signed contract Tuesday evening , there's no way my lawyer is reviewing it Tuesday evening. ( Some states allow X days after signing before the contract becomes binding to allow for attorney review- as far as I know, any review in my state must occur before signing)


The binder I signed when I bought my house was not nearly as detailed as that WB 11 and was certainly not an actual binding contract. I believe it only remained in effect for a maximum of 10 days, long enough to draw up the contract , and arrange for attorney review and signing. That I think we signed the day after the offer was accepted.
  #39  
Old 05-20-2019, 02:16 PM
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Yeah, it seems that you and I mean something different by "offer"- in my experience the very short 24 hourish deadline is for a verbal decision whether to accept/reject/make a counteroffer. The written agreement that would be comparable to WB-11 Residential Offer to Purchase comes at least a couple of days later.
An agent would be a fool to rely upon a verbal offer or acceptance. While it's common for an agent to phone another to say, "we're sending you an offer," there is no legal agreement until the written offer is delivered.

The reason an agent might make that phone call is to verify that the property is still on the market. MLS data isn't always up-to-the-minute accurate*, and no one wants to waste the time writing an offer that can't be accepted.

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That seems like a recipe for disaster. IME the forms are all transmitted and signed electronically. Not sure why anyone would need a couple of days to take care of the paperwork.
Hard to believe, isn't it? But there are actual, live people -- some of which I have to deal with -- that don't have a computer or smartphone. If they aren't physically close to our office, sometimes snail mail or Fedex is the best we can do.

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Speaking to the more general topic of accepting a buyer's offer immediately, I'd be interested in knowledgeable commentary about this situation:

Right now, I'm sorta kinda house hunting but not in a position to move quickly (waiting for divorce settlement details to finalize; not sure if I'm keeping the house I'm in or ex will get it. I'm happy either way; whether or not ex wants it depends on the appraised value, which we haven't received yet).

I saw my dream house for sale and looked up the MLS; it is listed as "contingent" and has been for at least 10 days or so now, maybe longer. The info available explicitly says that the sellers have an offer but are still taking other offers.

My assumption is that a couple of things might be going on. First, the current owners are trying to sell two adjacent properties, one with a house (that's what I want) and a pasture next door. They would love it if someone would buy both together. I would imagine that selling the house alone is easier than selling the pasture alone and that they are disappointed but not surprised to have an offer on the house only.

Second, I suspect someone has made an offer and is waiting for the bank to approve the mortgage they want. So while the bank decides whether or not to give the loan to the prospective buyer, the seller is open to better offers, "better" most likely defined as "a reasonable price for the two properties together."

Would be interested to hear if my theories make sense. In any case, I'm unlikely to get the property - regardless of what happens chances are it will be off the market before I'm in a position to make an offer. Oh well. I'll just have to find a new dream home when the time comes.
Your guesses could be right. Just because the MLS lists "contingent" doesn't mean the seller won't look at another offer (see below), so have your agent contact the seller's agent to find out if it matters to you. The seller's agent cannot legally reveal the details of any pending offer except to say "some contingency exists," but they will be able to tell you if a bump clause exists.

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Originally Posted by Spiderman View Post
Not entirely true. Upon receipt of offer 2, seller can go back to Buyer 1 & ask them to lift the contingency or lose their bid. I've been Buyer 2 before. Buyer 1 either sold their house that day, or more than likely accepted the fact that they'd be on the hook for two mortgages for some period of time.
What you are talking about is the activation of a "bump clause," not present in all contracts. Remember, the contract specifies what will happen under certain conditions. It's entirely possible that a condition will trigger the cancellation of the contract or other conditions.

A Bump Clause allows a seller to conditionally accept an offer, with the buyer's understanding that should a better one come by, the seller will give the buyer the option of removing the contingency and the contract will remain in effect.

This happens most often if the buyer needs to sell another property to pay for his new purchase. This means the seller could get hung up on this for years, but he doesn't want to let the offer go until/unless another one comes along. He wants the best of both worlds, so to speak.
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* And some agents don't enter the correct status of a property to the MLS even if pending, thinking this will discourage other potential buyers from contacting them if it is under contract. In our MLS, that status is deliberately hidden from the public (but not other agents) anyway, for this reason.
  #40  
Old 05-20-2019, 02:23 PM
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Not entirely true. Upon receipt of offer 2, seller can go back to Buyer 1 & ask them to lift the contingency or lose their bid. I've been Buyer 2 before. Buyer 1 either sold their house that day, or more than likely accepted the fact that they'd be on the hook for two mortgages for some period of time.
Contracts come in infinite varieties. You are correct that the parties could agree to such a term. As a buyer, I wouldn't do so but I recognize that some people have.
  #41  
Old 05-20-2019, 02:33 PM
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An agent would be a fool to rely upon a verbal offer or acceptance. While it's common for an agent to phone another to say, "we're sending you an offer," there is no legal agreement until the written offer is delivered.

The reason an agent might make that phone call is to verify that the property is still on the market. MLS data isn't always up-to-the-minute accurate*, and no one wants to waste the time writing an offer that can't be accepted.
I'm not sure what you mean by "relying on a verbal offer or acceptance" because I never said one word about relying on a verbal acceptance. Look, you said nobody wants to waste time writing an offer than can't be accepted - maybe the best way to describe my experience is to say that in my area nobody want to waste time writing an offer that won't be accepted. If the asking price is $400K and I'm offering $390 - and the seller won't budge, there's no need to go any further with my $390 offer . And around here, that's the answer people want in 24 hours- the one that says whether or not it's worthwhile to prepare a written offer.

Last edited by doreen; 05-20-2019 at 02:34 PM.
  #42  
Old 05-20-2019, 02:45 PM
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That WB-11 Residential Offer to Purchase apparently becomes a binding contract when it's signed...
No, when it is signed and delivered (to the seller) by the specified date and time. Note that the offer can be withdrawn before delivery, even if signed.

Unfortunately, just to complicate matters, "delivered," in real estate-speak, does not mean what you think it does, which is probably "received." An offer is delivered if it is deposited in a mailbox or given to a delivery service like UPS or Fedex even if it hasn't yet arrived at its ultimate destination.

These terms may have different meanings in other states, so don't take my word for it.
  #43  
Old 05-20-2019, 02:51 PM
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I'm not sure what you mean by "relying on a verbal offer or acceptance" because I never said one word about relying on a verbal acceptance...
It sounds like you are:
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Originally Posted by doreen View Post
..I'm talking about the process of phone calls/texts/emails that communicates the buyer's willingness to pay $X and communicates back whether the seller is willing to accept X.
What you are talking about has no legal validity. If you are not relying on it, fine. If you are, it could be a mistake.
  #44  
Old 05-20-2019, 03:07 PM
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It sounds like you are:What you are talking about has no legal validity. If you are not relying on it, fine. If you are, it could be a mistake.
I think perhaps you are understanding "real estate-speak" when I'm not speaking it. What I have been talking about the whole time is what I said in my last post
Quote:
maybe the best way to describe my experience is to say that in my area nobody want to waste time writing an offer that won't be accepted. If the asking price is $400K and I'm offering $390 - and the seller won't budge, there's no need to go any further with my $390 offer
- there's no reliance on the verbal acceptance or rejection to do anything more than decide whether continue the process which will result in a written agreement.
  #45  
Old 05-20-2019, 03:21 PM
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Doreen, perhaps some definition of terms would be useful here. From Barron's Dictionary of Real Estate Terms, Fourth Edition (a universal dictionary, not limited to one state):
Quote:
OFFER: An expression of willingness to purchase a property at a specified price.
Quote:
BINDER: An agreement, accompanied by a DEPOSIT, for the purchase of real estate, to evidence GOOD FAITH on the part of the purchaser. [caps in original]
So, in my state at least, an accepted offer would equate to a binder in yours. Do you agree?
  #46  
Old 05-20-2019, 04:13 PM
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Doreen, perhaps some definition of terms would be useful here. From Barron's Dictionary of Real Estate Terms, Fourth Edition (a universal dictionary, not limited to one state):So, in my state at least, an accepted offer would equate to a binder in yours. Do you agree?
Yes- that's actually where this started. I suspected that back in post 26.
  #47  
Old 05-20-2019, 09:24 PM
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I'm going through this on the buyers side.

Basically everyone is correct, this is pretty normal if the offer is over a time where it might be hard to make a decision it'll get a delayed a bit. I put in a late Friday night offer with an acceptance deadline of early Monday morning and that 60 hours is the most I've given.
You're nice. Last time I bought a house, my agent was on both ends of the house I sold, and on the buy side of the house I purchased for more than twice as much. She's a good friend, and I realize her agency was taking half of the commissions, but she still netted roughly $250/hour for the business I generated.

I ended up in a haggling situation with the seller of the new house, who was a bit of a flake and obviously hiding some major structural flaws that resulted in significant concessions on their end after the inspection. Every time the seller would counter, I would counter-counter, and exponentially decrease the deadline by 50%. My final offer had a 3 hour limit and was sent at 9PM on a Friday night.
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