Having a home seller miss the deadline to respond to your offer is extremely frustrating. In fact, most real estate agents discourage their buyer clients for putting in a deadline for a simple reason.
But you want to know, “why didn’t the seller respond to my offer?”
It is best to start from the beginning because negotiation techniques typically recommend that you add a drop-dead date so the seller can’t shop your offer or drag things out forever. In a textbook world this strategy makes sense, but real estate sales are far from a typical “business” negotiation simply because there, most often, is an emotional tie to the property. And a house sale is often the first time a person is a real seller of anything substantial.
Real Estate deadlines can feel like “the hard-sell”
The truth is that most people (including Realtors) are not good negotiators. The emotional attachment runs deep, and to be a good negotiator then you have to be ready to walk away from the deal at any moment. If you want to include deadlines in your offer then understand that the other party (buyer or seller) may perceive that as a hard-sell.
I’m sure all of the attorneys out there are rolling their eyes, but it is true that Ma and Pa, Aunt Judy, or you are the ultimate decision maker here in this real estate deal. And, if some guy insists that you respond by 5:00pm or he is declaring his offer void, then are you going to feel pressured to sign?
Maybe if you neeeeed the money, are facing foreclosure, or are 2,000 miles away and the house has been on the market for 93 days, well, then heck, you may sign by 3:35!
The Impact of a Seller’s Market
The real estate market where I work in Vienna, Virginia has been a seller’s market 90% of my last 22 years in the business. Yes, really. Although there have been slight blips along the way, demand has always outpaced the supply.
The 2013 real estate market has been a seller’s market since January 1, 2013 and does not appear to be slowing down. The result have been multiple offers, flash sales, escalation clauses and frustrated home buyers. Maybe you?
Have a self imposed deadline for responding to counter offers
Sellers have been setting deadlines as to when they will review any offers. (Sound familiar) A home going on the market on Thursday may state that “the Seller shall review offers, if any, after 3:00 on Monday”. Knowing this type of deadline is actually helpful because buyers can take a step back, see other homes, and put together a “best offer” before the deadline understanding the seller isn’t going to make a decision prior to Monday afternoon.
Remember, a Seller’s Market requires home buyers to respond quickly to any sort of counter offer. Speediness is the essential strategy here on both sides of the transaction, and tools like DocuSign, Smart Phones, email and texting can be critical.
A good Buyer’s Agent will have access to tools like these and explain the benefits to you when reviewing a strategy. From day one, a self imposed deadline for responding to counter offers is essential. From a negotiating stand point, a quick response show decisiveness and good will. There are plenty of scenarios that could be written here, but it is important to know that counter offers can be withdrawn if they aren’t agreed to in writing. Yes, time is of the essence.
My advice: understand the impact of your deadlines
My two cents here… if you want to put a hard deadline in your offer to buy a home then understand that the seller already owns the real estate, and really still has the upper hand.