I’ve seen a strange increase lately in strange behavior by sellers. It’s happened a handful of times recently where the seller receives an offer (or a bunch of offers) and just fails to respond or takes their sweet time responding. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, normal response times should be 24-48 hours from receiving an offer. Taking 3, 4 or 5 days to respond is just unacceptable.
First and foremost, remember that most buyers aren’t making an offer just for fun. They want to buy your house! They need a place to live, and they need to know while their emotions are still invested. The longer you wait to respond, the less traction you have with them. The shine wears off of the house when they’re tainted by the transaction. The faster you reply, the more you can capitalize on their emotions.
Secondly, all that pertinent information that goes into contract negotiations should be figured out before you even get an offer. What’s the net price you’re looking for? What about a close date/move date? That way, you can easily evaluate any offers you receive against what you’re looking for.
Can you actually afford to sell? This is huge. Don’t use a contract as a guinea pig. Don’t waste anybody’s time. Have your agent do a net sheet for you with the costs to sell your house at the worst case scenario. Can you afford that? If not, don’t list your house.
Remember, the smoother the transaction, the happier the parties, the more likely that buyers and sellers are willing to accommodate for things that may come up. Buyers are less likely to bend over backwards for you when you’ve made them wait an eternity.