You need to work with a buyer's agent to make sure that you make the right offer with all the right contingencies to protect yourself. "Timely" depends on the property type and location. Condos that are correctly priced in a hot neighborhood will get offers fast. Be prepared to move fast. Have your preapproval letter in place. Put your offer in fast. Multi-family properties, priced for an owner-occupier are not moving that fast in many neighborhoods, so you can probably take your time. If it's a short sale, think long and hard and work with an experienced agent (s/he should be CDPE certified). As always, FurChin is "your real estate solution". You can reach us at email@example.com or 617-620-0669 or firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-645-3254.