How Long Is an Offer on A House Good For?

Written by Banks Editorial Team
4 min. read
Written by Banks Editorial Team
4 min. read

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After extensive searching, you feel great about a home and make an offer. However, the seller may not immediately respond to your offer. Sellers want to set the highest possible asking price on their homes, and they usually wait for other buyers to emerge. Sellers would love to see bidding wars, but that doesn’t always happen. After thinking about it for a while, the seller may revisit your offer and see if you want to continue. In these situations, buyers and sellers wonder how long the offer remains valid. Buyers want to know how long they should wait before pursuing another home, and sellers want to know how long they can stretch the process. We’ll share the details.

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How Long Is An Offer Good For?

Buyers may never hear back from sellers about their offers. The seller is not legally obligated to inform a buyer about their decision. Most responsive sellers reach out within 48 hours of receiving an offer. If the seller works with a real estate agent, that listing agent will respond to buyers. Sellers will let you know if your offer has any weight or if it’s too low. Some states have specific rules about an offer’s duration. California makes offers void within three days of the seller receiving the offer unless it moves forward.

Buyers can add an expiration date to their offer. This expiration date allows buyers to bid on another home without worrying about the seller approving your offer. Buyers can also request to withdraw your offer before making an offer home. Some sellers will advance the negotiations knowing a potential buyer may walk away. You can modify offer deadlines, but each type of offer has different rules.

Offer Accepted As-is

Some states let the offer stand for a few days before it becomes void. Buyers can also impose their own expiration date on the offer or withdraw. Other states don’t have a deadline. In these settings, the seller can accept an offer at any point. This rule explains why some buyers reach out to withdraw their offer before reaching out to other homeowners. 

Counteroffer Made

Sellers can submit a counteroffer to raise the purchase price or extend the offer’s deadline. Sellers may establish a deadline for the counteroffer to force the buyer into action. Counteroffers can extend negotiations and have no end until one party takes affirmative action. The parties may walk away from each other or reach an agreement. The counteroffer process only ends after reaching one of those scenarios.

Offer Rejected In Writing

If a seller rejects a buyer’s offer, that buyer can submit another offer with more favorable terms. You can sweeten the deal with a higher price, a bigger down payment, or fewer contingencies.

Some Factors That Can Impact the Length Of Time The Offer Is Good For

  • Strength Of Offer: A stronger offer has more durability. The seller may strongly consider the offer but wait for other buyers to provide better offers. A great offer will end up on the shortlist, but buyers may not appreciate the delay. The buyer may quickly withdraw a strong offer if a seller does not respond.
  • Personal Circumstances: Some people need to buy a new home quickly. These people search for a new home while selling their current home and have less patience for unresponsive sellers. These buyers may set closer expiration dates or withdraw their offers sooner.
  • Type Of Home: Some sellers don’t have as much time to wait. These sellers may have a pre-foreclosure, short sale, or REO property. They may need a quick home offer and resolution
  • Counteroffers: Responding with a counteroffer can establish a new deadline. Buyers and sellers can continue proposing counteroffers and extending a deadline until both groups agree or walk away without a deal.
  • Other Offers On The Table: Some sellers will consider multiple offers and issue counteroffers for each buyer. The seller can make significant requests in a seller’s market and wait for one buyer who agrees to the new terms.

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Some Tips For A Successful House Sale

Putting your house on the market opens the door to offers. You may get a few offers or too many to keep up with, depending on the market. Approaching your house sale with a plan will help you fulfill your objectives.

Take Offers Only During Certain Times

You can match your home listing with optimal times of the year. The housing market performs better in the summer months, making a late spring listing ideal. School comes to an end, giving families more free time to explore new properties. You may want to hold off on yearend offers since the housing market is slower during these months. Families do their holiday shopping and can get extra busy towards the end of the year. You may still get offers in November and December, but fewer offers give more leverage to the buyers.

Focus On Key Deal Points

Both sides have to make compromises during negotiations. Depending on the market, one party will have more leverage than the other, but you’ll have to engage in some give-and-take. Go into negotiations knowing your non-negotiable items. Some sellers need a one month leaseback for their home. If this is non-negotiable, keep that in mind during the negotiations. You can negotiate other items to make the buyer feel happier about their end of the deal. 

Keep Marketing The Property

Promoting your listing puts you in front of potential buyers. You can work with a real estate agent, but their commissions reduce your profits. Instead, you can list your property on popular websites, promote your listing on social media, and run ads. Getting in front of more potential buyers can trigger a bidding war for your property. Learning how to promote your property also gives you valuable skills to promote other properties in the future. Some people learn from selling a home and decide to pursue real estate investing or become agents.

Manage Multiple Offers Properly

There are instances where you may receive multiple offers for your property. Look through the offers and see which one is the most favorable. You can then tell the other buyers that they will have to match or surpass the current best offer. This strategy can result in a bidding war that adds more money to your pocket. However, some buyers may withdraw, feeling as if they have already made their best offer. You’ll have to assess your risk tolerance and the current real estate market before making a decision. 

Expect Something In Return

You only get to sell your house once, and it’s a significant time investment. Sellers should establish an expected return to avoid getting a lowball offer. You can also quickly submit counteroffers and know when a buyer makes a great offer.

Get An Offer from an iBuyer Like Offerpad

Listing your real estate property takes a lot of work. You’ll either have to promote the listing yourself or team up with a real estate agent. These approaches cost time and money, and some sellers are urgently looking for a buyer. An iBuyer like Offerpad can make a cash offer on your home within 24 hours. You’re not obligated to accept their offer, but you’ll see how much you can make from your home.

Offerpad lets you skip real estate agent commissions and other expenses. You won’t have to worry about the buyer’s financing falling through before the closing, and Offerpad will help you with the process. The company offers Extended Stay and Free Local Move. You can receive a zero obligation cash offer from Offerpad today.


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