How Long Do Sellers Have to Respond to an Offer?

After placing an offer on a home, you’re likely anxious to hear a response back. These moments are no doubt excruciating considering a house is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. Knowing how long you can expect to wait for a response from the seller can ease some of your nerves. While there isn’t an official timeframe for when a seller will get back to a prospective buyer, real estate agents and sellers usually stick to an industry standard. Whether you recently placed an offer on a home or plan on doing so soon, The Jana Caudill Team provides what you should know. Talk to our realtors today for more advice. 

Ways a Seller Can Respond

Sellers have three main ways they can respond to an offer for their home:

  • Accept the Offer As-Is. Ideally, the seller will agree to the offer you provide, including all of its terms and conditions, without any changes. 
  • Provides a Counteroffer. When the seller agrees to some but not all contingencies of your offer, they may provide a counteroffer as a means to negotiate. 
  • Rejects Offer in Writing. The seller might reject your offer and provide the notification in the form of a letter. 

How quickly a seller provides one of these responses depends on a few factors. 

How Much Time Do Sellers Have to Respond to an Offer?

Theoretically, sellers have as much time as they want to respond since there are no legally-binding requirements that they are obligated to follow. In practice, however, the majority of sellers (or their real estate agents) will respond in a few days. Many realtors strive to respond to offers within 24 to 72 hours, although some situations are exceptions to this standard. 

There are a few instances in which a seller may take an extended amount of time to respond to your offer:

  • Multiple Offers. A seller’s response time tends to increase when they have many offers to sort through. They may wish to weigh their options carefully to select the best one. In fact, sellers may hold out for a cash offer or one that contains fewer contingencies. In a seller’s market, buyers may need to make a strong offer from the get-go. 
  • Your Offer Is Too Low. If your offer is far below what the seller expects, they may not respond at all. 
  • Unrelated Reasons. Sometimes, a seller may delay a response due to reasons unrelated to your offer. For example, the seller may be out of town or away on vacation.   

Call Our Real Estate Agents

In the end, you’ll need to be a good negotiator for your offer to be accepted, and that’s why you should work with a skilled real estate agent. A house is one of the largest purchases you’ll make in your entire life, and you want to feel confident in your decision. It all begins with a talented realtor who can negotiate on your behalf and ensure your best interests are upheld in the contract. Hire The Jana Caudill Team for experienced guidance. Call us today to begin.  


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