Submitting An Offer with A Deadline and How to Evaluate It As A Seller

offer deadlineIn the last 30 days in Arlington, 282 properties closed. 112 of them sold in under a week. With that stat, it shouldn’t be a surprise that 35% of those 282 sales sold at or above asking price. In the first week, that number was over 75%. So what do you do in a market that competitive?

Some people think submitting an offer with a deadline, forcing the seller to make a decision, is one way to go about it. I think this is a polarizing position – some sellers will be put off by it, some will encourage it. It totally depends on the seller and their situation and whether that tactic will work in your favor or not.

How it works: you go see the property ASAP and usually there’s an open house scheduled for Sunday that people this is the end all/be all for multiple offers, usually followed by a Monday or Tuesday offer submission deadline. Instead, you’re fed up with waiting for the weekend to be over for the seller to accrue 6 offers and you lose, yet again. So you decide to write an offer on Saturday morning with a 12-24 hour deadline for a response or the offer is D.O.A. Take it or leave it!

Why this could work and why it could backfire:

1. If the sellers are really bottom line driven and are hoping for multiple offers with waived contingencies and escalation clauses, they’re going to want to wait for the market to have the most time and exposure of their home. If you want it, their mentality is someone else will too. So if you walk away from the house, someone else will be there. They may call your bluff on whether you’ll actually pull your offer off the table.

2. If you have a nervous seller or anxious seller who just wants to be done with the process (think a listing that has been offered for sale in the past with no luck, someone with pets/kids/elderly or anyone who makes it hard to show the house and/or keep it clean, a divorce, a baby, any stressful selling situation!) you might get lucky and find someone who just wants to sign a contract and be done with it.

3. If you’re going to give a deadline, make it attractive enough that someone wouldn’t want to let it go. Don’t low ball, don’t make all sorts of crazy conditions, just make it really easy for a seller to want to take it.