How Long Should Sellers Wait To Sign a Purchase Offer?

Sellers Wait on Purchase OfferLike Christopher Guest’s Waiting for Guffman, I find humor in some situations that others don’t find amusing at all. One of my favorites is when sellers feel offended because they are asked to make a decision to sell within a specified time period. Some sellers think that when they receive a purchase offer, they should be able to table it, to wait a few weeks or so before responding. Where do they get this?

Knowing that home sellers can be like this, when I write an offer for a Sacramento home buyer, I generally give the sellers ample time to respond. I don’t want them to feel pressured or rushed. Back in the old days, like in the 1970s, I used to write my purchase offers to expire “upon presentation.” But sellers are more finicky these days.

Imagine how a guy feels when he asks his girlfriend to marry him and she says, “Let me think about it.” If I were a guy, I’d be crushed. Of course, if I were a guy, I wouldn’t ask my girlfriend to marry me unless I knew she would agree. The secret to winning a bet is to make sure you’re right in the first place. Eliminate the odds.

Like the time I was lying on the beach in Orange County with one of my ex-husbands and a plane flew overhead. I said, “Hey, there goes a 737.” He disagreed. He said it was 747. We argued — see, there’s a reason he is one of my ex-husbands. Finally, we made a bet. If he was wrong, he had to bathe my cat, Ashli. That was my terms, and I don’t remember his because I won the bet.

But it’s kind of silly to wait more than a few hours before responding to an offer. If a seller doesn’t like the terms of the offer, then make a counter offer. Do something. Don’t just sit on it. An offer is not just a piece of paper. It represents buyers who are in agony.

While Elizabeth is on vacation, we are revisiting her favorite blogs from previous years.

Subscribe to Elizabeth Weintraub\'s Blog via email

Sorry we are experiencing system issues. Please try again.