You can write your contract with a deadline... (ie: offer expires Friday at 5:00), or you can put no deadline in the contract, and verbally withdraw the offer, when you desire.
If you've given them no deadline for a counter, a call is in order, to the listing agent... to find out when you can reasonably expect a counter... or to verbally install a deadline (ie: If we don't hear back by 5:00 tonight, we're withdrawing the offer).
I like to make the offer until 5pm the next day, whether it's a weekend or not. When my buyers want to purchase a home, I show that they are serious and committed, ready to go. Why wouldn't a seller be able to answer us within 24 hours? If I make the offer early in the day, I'll make sure it expires by 7p that same day.
Short sales, foreclosures and bank-owned properties do not fall into this category.
Time is of the essence in real estate. Keep your time requirements short and concise.
Scott Miller, RealtorÂ®