To Add or Not to Add…that is the Question

In a recent conversation with one of our buyers, I was asked, “Why didn’t we add in a response time to our offer”?  This is a curious question many of us have been faced with when helping buyers and sellers make the right decisions when buying or selling homes.  The clause should be implemented or not depending upon the scenario you are faced with when writing an offer. 

Here is what needs to be considered prior to adding it to your offer: 

1.  The first area to consider is the communication level between you and the listing agent or selling agent.  Are the lines of communication open and responsive, or is it difficult to track the agent down to get an answer to the most basic question.  Does the “other” agent have a reputation of being quick to respond and get answers to you quickly or is there a lack of communication and responsiveness.  If it is the latter, then in these situations, add the clause.

2.  The length of time the house has been on the market… has it been on for a long time without any offers or has it received a lot of interest?  The shorter the time frame and the greater the interest, then more than likely you should implement the clause.  For a home that sits on the market for a longer time with little interest, then I would typically not implement the clause.

3.  The strength of the offer presented.  Is the offer close to list price or at list price with all the terms that the seller is willing to accept?  Or, is the offer low, with multiple contingencies? Are your buyers willing to be “flexible” on their terms in order to buy the home and come to an agreement with the sellers?  If the case relates to the first scenario, then definitely add the clause.

4.  Are the buyers from out of town and on a tight time frame that requires a quick response?  If yes, then add the clause.

5.  What is the tone do you want to set with regards to the negotiations?  Do you want to set an urgent tone and one of little flexibility or do you want the lines of communication to be open and flexible and willing to come to an agreement?  If yours relates to the first scenario, then again, add the clause.

6.  Are your clients truly interested in the house or are they trying to get a deal? And have the attitude of “if they get it, they get it, if they don’t, they will move on”?  If this is the case, then you would definitely want to add the clause.

Finally, each contract has its own particular situation, as does each buyer and Realtor involved in the transaction, so carefully consider what you are encountering prior to adding a “respond by clause” to your offer.  It isn’t always in the client’s best interest to add – “sellers/buyers to respond within 24, 48, or 72 hours or the contract is null and void”.  Ask questions, analyze the parties involved and what is the right decision to get your clients the sale!  Get it?  Got it? Good!

One thought on “To Add or Not to Add…that is the Question

  1. very well written and good advice as always! We recently had buyer client who wanted to put in a time deadline on an offer that was $40k below the last sold comp in a tight fast market on a listing that had only been on 3 days. We advised against it but were told to do it…so we did. The listing agent did not even bother to respond formally. Just fired off an email saying “are you kidding? Do not waste our time” but she said it more nicely. That offer was a waste of time for all concerned.

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