Is Time of the Essence? You Bet Your House it is.
It happens all the time. A property has been on the market for a while. The buyer is interested, but thinks there's all the time in the world to make an offer. Maybe they're waiting and watching, hoping for a price reduction.
You advise the buyer someone else may make an offer or the seller's circumstances may change, so if they're truly interested in the property, they should move on it now. If a trust relationship hasn't yet been established with the buyer(s), they understandably could think you're trying to push them into making an offer.
I had a situation recently where the buyers were not at all hesitant to make an offer on a property. In fact, they were prepared to make an offer the day after they saw it. I called the agent to ask the regular things such as the seller's desired escrow period, etc.
The agent informed me that the seller decided on that very day to take the property off the market. The seller had planned to move out of state due to a job relocation, but found local employment and decided not to sell.
It can happen just like that. The property the buyer wanted is gone.
The property had been on the market for 55 days. There was no reason to think there wasn't time to make an offer. Seller circumstances change and with that, so does the opportunity to purchase the property the nice client pictured as their new home.
Will there always be another property the buyer will like just as much or more? Of course. How long it'll take to find it is unknown. If a buyer likes a property, they should have their agent write the offer sooner than later.