What happens if a seller doesn’t respond to our offer by our deadline?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Richard Weisser Realty

What happens if a seller doesn't respond to our offer by our deadline by Richard WeisserBuyers often want sellers to respond quickly to their offers. Many want to allow as little time as possible for a seller to accept their offer.

But in Georgia and in many other jurisdictions there is NO obligation for a seller to respond within the given time frame. As a matter of fact, there is no obligation incumbent upon the seller to respond at all!

If a seller does not respond, the offer simply expires. It no longer exists.

If a seller counteroffers, regardless of when, the original offer is extinguished and the counteroffer becomes the offer from seller to buyer. A counteroffer may incorporate some or most of the terms in the now extinguished offer or it may be a new agreement that does not reference the original instrument.

Either way a new expiration time for acceptance will either be indicated on the new offer or it may default to statutory limits. In any case, ANY offer may be withdrawn prior to acceptance.

So if a buyer insists on too short of an acceptance deadline, the result might be detrimental to the buyer if the buyer wants serious consideration of their offer.

Strategy needs to be tempered with practicality. If the terms of the offer are crafted with careful consideration, the seller will be more likely to accept!


And the offer deadline will be of much less importance!


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lenn Harley 04/22/2014 11:04 PM
  2. Michael Dagner 04/27/2014 04:21 PM
Home Buying
Coweta County Real Estate
Diary of a Realtor
offer expiration
offer deadlines

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Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Well, that's interesting info for your area. I guess it's just a matter of what you're used to like Dana explains above.

Apr 23, 2014 02:52 AM #30
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

It is so frustrating when sellers don't respond by the expiration date.  It doesn't create a warm and fuzzy for the buyers and just this lack of action by the seller certainly doesn't start things off well.

Apr 23, 2014 03:19 AM #31
Vanessa Saunders
Global Property Systems Real Estate - White Plains, NY
From Manhattan to the Catskills of New York

In New York, there is no set time for an initial offer to be responded to; but professional courtesy should always rule the day!

Apr 23, 2014 03:20 AM #32
Christi Hacker
Realty ONE Group Sterling - Omaha, NE
Your Omaha Area Real Estate Specialist
It's interesting to see how offer deadlines are treated in your area. We have a respond by date/time in our contracts, and I preface buyers that this is the time we request a response by the sellers.
Apr 23, 2014 03:47 AM #33
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

In PA a Seller has no obligation to the Buyer's deadline , UNLESS it's the Sellers intention to accept the Agreement EXACTLY as the Buyer 's Agent wrote it !

Apr 23, 2014 03:55 AM #34
Dwight Puntigan
DRP Realty, LLC - Saint Peters, MO
Dwight Puntigan

If a seller is holding an offer hoping for multiple offers to create a blind auction a good offer with an expiration date and time should create a quicker decision.

Apr 23, 2014 04:02 AM #35
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Georgia liooks to be the same as Oklahoma in its rules, but it is prudent for a selling side REALTOR® to check in before a deadline hits to insure his client is getting fair consideration.

Apr 23, 2014 04:45 AM #36
Linda Metallo DiBenardo
RE/MAX Impact, Lockport, Illinois - Lockport, IL

It's fine if a buyer wants to leave an offer on the table while a seller thinks.   But if a buyer decides to move on to another property, the seller's agent should be notified that the buyer is withdrawing the offer.

Apr 23, 2014 06:14 AM #37
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

We hardly ever give less than 48 hours for a seller response.  

Apr 23, 2014 06:31 AM #38
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Time is of the essence. I don't believe most understand the offer, counteroffer thingy either!

Apr 23, 2014 10:04 AM #39
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I just had a situation today in which we sent the buyer a counter offer on Monday morning and gave the buyer the normal 3 days to respond, not wanting to apply pressure or seem over-bearing. But then the buyer sat on it for 2 days, so we ended up removing the counter and re-issuing a multiple counter while we sent multiple counters to other buyers. 3 days doesn't mean wait the whole days, LOL.

Apr 23, 2014 11:21 AM #40
Bill Reddington
Re/max Southern Realty - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Market conditions are definitely a factor. I usually allow 48 hours for a response. If something comes in in the meantime then a counter maybe pulled if there has been no response.

Apr 23, 2014 02:34 PM #41
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Good communication between listing and selling agent can help mitigate misunderstandings. Buyers serious about buying a particular home should make a strong offer and not play the counter offer game unnecessarily.

Apr 23, 2014 02:47 PM #42
Diana White-Pettis
Presenting a strong offer and getting no response can be quite frustrating. I agree that it is key for the listing and selling agent to communicate with one another. However, it makes sense that a reasonable deadline - not less than 48 hours - should be included with the offer. This gives the buyer an opportunity to continue his or her search. I have recently been encountering multiple offer situations and unfortunately have had to find out, in many cases, that the seller has accepted another offer only by checking the status in MLS. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that the buyer's agent be notified when another offer has been accepted.
Apr 23, 2014 03:27 PM #43
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Donna #43:  I agree that the very minimum response from a listing agent should be to inform the buyers' agent that another offer had been accepted.  To totally ignore an unaccepted offer would be rude.

Apr 23, 2014 10:33 PM #44
Gerhard Ade
RSVP Real Estate - Seattle, WA
What sets me apart, will set you apart.

"Time is of the esscence" is at the heart of contract law. Whether to push a seller to respond quickly or give time to respond depends on the circumstances. In any case, calling the listing agent and telling them that you just emailed an offer is always a good thing.   

Apr 24, 2014 12:51 AM #45
Pat Champion
Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty - Mount Dora, FL
Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs

Communication is the key I try to touch base with the Agent before writing an offer I try to make things run smoothly in the beginning. Thanks for sharing have a great weekend.

Apr 25, 2014 02:24 AM #46
Brian Olsen
Portland, Lake Oswego, West Linn & Dunthorpe Neighborhoods, Waterfront, Luxury & Floating Homes - Lake Oswego, OR
Cooper Jacobs Real Estate Group | Keller Williams

Great BLOG Richard. It seems that sellers can take awhile to follow timelines on the paperwork and maybe they're intimidated by the contractual obligation.

Have a good week.

Apr 28, 2014 07:20 AM #47
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Many sellers don't like to be pressured to reply by a 24-48 hour deadline, and many times the seller is out of town for weekend or just not available to review the offers when they first arrive. I had that scenario twice recently where offers had a 24 hour deadline. The buyers agent didn't even bother to call and ask if seller was available. They just sent them, and they expired in 24 hours. I agree, being practical and submitting a solid offer makes the most sense, and sellers will see that buyers are serious.

Apr 29, 2014 09:52 PM #48
Chandler Real Estate Liz Harris, MBA
Liz Harris Realty - Chandler, AZ

Great post today.  Always look forward to your fantastic insights on the real estate world.  Have a wonderful day.. Liz Harris. 

May 05, 2014 08:35 AM #49
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