Home Buying in 91710>Question Details

Johnny, Home Buyer in Chino, CA

Is it normal in current market conditions for sellers to take a long time answering offers?

Asked by Johnny, Chino, CA Wed Nov 3, 2010

On 10/23 (Sat) I looked at a couple of properties with my agent. I fell in love with the last one the moment we walked in so I had my agent submit an offer that same day. Since the listing was only out 3 days ago and with no business cards left by agents yet I assumed we may have been the first offer. We get an automated confirmation that they received the offer on Mon and will reply to everyone in 3-7 days whether or not your offer was accepted. It's already the 8th business day and still nothing. I asked my agent this past Fri if he's heard anything. He said he'll try contacting the seller on Mon but still no reply. When my agent first contacted them they replied within a few hours. I'd hate to have to move on and just get into another waiting game.

Help the community by answering this question:


It depends. If this is a foreclosure, short sale or a regular sale? If is a foreclosure, normally it could take up to two weeks to get an answer. Banks normally wait for a cash offer to be submitted.

If is a short sale, depends on the listing agent and how many offers did he get for that property? Normally, it could be three to four days.

And, finally if is a regular sale, you could have an answer in 48 hours if you stipulate that in the sales contract.

Best of Luck,

Maria Cipollone

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 16, 2012
From what I have experience I would usually get a response in 2-3 days in a standard sale. It does depend on the type of sale (short sale, foreclosure, Etc.) sometimes moving on is difficult to do but it sounds like working with the sellers agent is gonna be difficult and your escrow experience may not be fun.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 29, 2014

...if you are still waiting since 2010......keep waiting
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2014
What ever happened with your potential purchase, Johnny? Hope you were successful, but my sense is that the seller did not end up selling to you...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2014
Johnny...it appears they didn't accept your offer. Most offers automatically expire in 3 days after you sign them (P. 8 of the Residential Purchase Agreement) so if your offer did expire, you're free to make offers on other properties. Sometimes sellers wait and just don't reply hoping to get higher offers in the future but keep you still interested. I always make a point to tell the listing agent that my offer expires in 3 days to let them now we expect an answer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2014
Johnny, if it's a standard sale the seller response to an offer usually occurs in a few days as most offers expire 3 days after they're signed (see page 8 of your purchase agreement, at the top where you sign). If it's a bank owned sale, it can take a little longer, and if it's a short sale, it can take much longer. I hope this helps.
Larry Hodel, Realtor (909) 210-6355
First Team SnS Real Estate
DRE 01442093
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 16, 2012
Johnny, if this is a short sale, sometimes an agent can wait to receive an offer very close to asking price - providing its been listed at market value. These are lengthly transactions. Your agent is doing the right thing by contacting the listing agent for a status. I would not recommend waiting around and not looking elsewhere, there is no guarantee they will call you. Keep your options open. I hope you receive a call soon with great news.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 5, 2012
Short sales can require some a lot of patience, keep in mind you are working with the bank not the homeowner.

David Hood | 909 972-5569
DRE# 01423432

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 5, 2012
I feel for your situation, but you didn't mention what type of sale this was (ie. homeowner, short sale or foreclosure). The time frame you can expect to hear back on your offer is greatly different with each type of seller.

As typical a seller can take as long as needed to come to a decision, unless there was a time frame submitted with the offer. Homeowners typically take the least amount of time to respond. Foreclosure properties usually take up to 10 days or longer and short sales can take up to 8 weeks and beyond.

Good luck, and work with your agent to see what type of time frame you are looking at.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 21, 2012
Yes, it can happen that way. My philosophy is that this is where your agent needs to fight for you. Communication with the listing agent prior to submitting an offer is key. I am able to get the pertinent and correct information in order to complete and submit an offer that has little or no chance of being rejected. During that conversation, I am able to find out how many other offers we are up against as well. I have been extremely successful in my never having to make that dreadful call to tell a client that our offer was not accepted. I truly feel that we must work very hard for our clients.

If you have any other questions or need any other advice, please feel free to contact me at Love2listyou@yahoo.com or at the telephone number below.

Jamie Hennessey
Re/Max Champions
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 20, 2012
Short sales can require some patience on everyone's side. My advice is to submit your highest and best offer and hopefully it is where it needs to be so the seller will accept it. Outstanding homes go quick and obtain great offers, usually you hear quickly if it will be accepted.
Web Reference: http://homessoldbynancy.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 27, 2012
Sometimes they think they can wait for a higher or better offer, you can consider putting an expiration date on your offer say 36 or 48 hours that way you don't have to wait.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 10, 2012
Yes it does take longer in this market. The agent has to find the best offer that they think the bank will accept with minimal counters. I always have my clients continue to look even after their offer has been accepted because Short Sales can take on a life of their own and in some cases don't close. I always try to contract the agent making any offer on my listing to let them know I got it and where they fall in "pecking" order. But that isn't done by a lot of agents.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 14, 2011
Hi Johnny:

Unfortunately, if this is a Short Sale offer, it usually take longer to get a response. Being the 1st one to submit an offer is not a major factor to increase your chance on being accepted. It is more about the price, term, completeness and legiblity of the offer. This will increase your chance on offers being accepted. However, I know the frustration because many Short Sale listing agents don't respond back. I would suggest that you do not put all of your hopes in any one short sale because altimately, it is up to the investors holding the note. If you have other questions, you can reach me at (626) 715-0992
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
This is completely normal in today's market and can actually take up to 2 weeks to get a final offer. Many sellers and banks want to hold out for as many offers as possible before picking one. Another thing is with banks you have to wait for approvals and signatures which can also be a lengthy wait.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 5, 2010
I know it's difficult but this is the world in some areas. Certain homes garner more attention and therefore more Offers. It's difficult to wait but as an Agent that's been on the Listing side of a popular property, it's very difficult to review the Offers with the Seller to make sure you're choosing the Best of the multiple offers. Best of luck and let me know if you have any further questions!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
Unfortunately this is the case many times when dealing with short sales and/or foreclosure properties. In today's market some of the traditions and customer service aspects are getting lost in the 'chase' for the scarce deal. It's a tough situation but as someone else mentioned, it's best not to fall in love with a home, you're better off falling in love with 3 or 4 which increases your odds of landing a home you'll enjoy for years to come.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
Welcome to the crazy world of real estate today. To put it simply, there are no rules, no one is personal any more, and agents have to be annoyingly aggressive to make sure your offer looked at. You can't get be in a hurry or fall in love with any property in this market. Buyer have to be practical and forgiving.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
Typically no but if the home is priced well and in excellent condition and in a very desirable location the seller wants to sometimes wait to see if more than one offer can be generated. Unfortunately, this can backfire for the seller as well !
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
Unfortunately not uncommon if you made an offer on a bank repo. The listing agent is at the mercy of the lender. But keep persistent, pro-active and don't put your heart on the first house you like. With these prices and interest rates it is well worth the extra effort you put in buying a home. You'll realize that a few years down the road.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
In my local market (middle GA), twice in the last year it has taken me more than 3 days to get an answer on an offer. Both times the seller was holding out waiting for another offer to gain leverage. Once my buyer waited and bought the property and the other time the buyers moved on and found something they ended up liking more.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
Is this a bank owned property or a short sale? It is unusual for an ordinary seller to take that long to respond.
A short sale situation would make the offer contingent on the bank approving the sale price. The seller has the right to accept or reject the offer but the bank still has to have the final yes or no.
If this is a bank owned property sometimes a little patience can pay off with a big return.
Good Luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
Yes, there is no "normal" anymore. If this was an REO property the bank is dictating to the listing agent how long they must market the property before choosing a highest & best offer to accept.

If this is Mr. Seller with equity, if you were in his shoes, you probably wouldn't take the first offer either & would want to give it a good week min. of marketing to try to procure THE highest & Best Net for yourself.

562-430-3053 cell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
Sorry, but this is very common. Unless they get an unbelievably wonderful offer right away, sellers often want their properties on the market for a minimum period of time to "let the marketing hit" (circulate among many potential buyers). Brokers who sell multi-family properties and high-end homes will often put a property on the market and then not accept offers until a specific date. That could be the case with your offer, or it could be that either the listing broker or the seller wants to wait until they receive several offers before looking at any.
Has your offer expired? Regardless, not returning phone calls with the status of your offer is an all-to-common problem. Before I became a broker I used to ALWAYS call the seller directly when his agent wouldn't respond to my calls.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
I think that in this current market there is no such thing as "normal", so it is hard to give a definitive answer. It sounds as though this is a bank owned property due to the "automated" nature of the one response you got. It this is the case, then as a buyer, you need to have no expectations other than that you will need to be patient and be prepared for almost anything. There is no unifomity whatsoever to the way in the which the various banks handle offers. I hope this helps a bit, and good luck to you.
Web Reference: http://www.OhnstadHomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
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