Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Sellers - Are You Prepared to Respond When You Receive a Real Estate Offer?

Sellers - Are You Prepared to Respond When You Receive a Real Estate Offer?

As a Realtor, when I go on a Listing Appointment with a potential home seller, I go over the entire selling process.  I discuss the current market, how long properties have been staying on the market, how properties are priced, how properties are selling as a percentage to their asking price, how to show the house, what companies are relocating to the Austin TX area that would effect an influx of buyers to the market, etc... I try to cover everything I can possibly cover so my sellers are not blind-sided during the process.

That also means that we talk about what happens when an offer comes in.  We talk about how buyers will sometimes ask for closing costs to be paid. We talk about seller traditional expenses like the Owner's Title Policy for the buyer as well as a home warranty.  We talk about whether or not they have a survey to supply.  We talk about the inspection period and what it means for the buyer. 

real estate communicationMost importantly, we talk about potential scenarios and what we're going to do when we get an offer.  Why is this "most importantly"?  Because it's extremely important to know what to do once you have an offer in hand and how you should respond to it.  Do you nit-pick the tiny things or do you focus on the main, bottom-line.

Again, why is this important?  Because you don't want to scare off that buyer who just took the time to write an offer on your home, right?  Here's an example for you. I had a buyer a few weeks ago write an offer on a house.  The neighborhood had not had a single pre-owned sale for more than 6 months, as every single sale was a brand new home. 

It took the seller 3 days to respond to our offer!!  Yes, 3 days!!  Does that instill confidence in a buyer? Does that show a buyer that the seller really wants to sell?

From my perspective, it shows that the agent didn't prepare her sellers for an offer. She didn't prepare them with market data. She didn't prepare them with response expectations...  When the sellers finally responded, we were a little dumbfounded by their counter.  I did prepare my buyers for an unfavorable counter, and also prepared them to walk away if they didn't get the response they wanted, or could work with by countering back.  The way the counter was presented back, several days later, my buyers decided to walk away from the house.

Would the buyers have decided to walk during the inspection period? Maybe, maybe not. Would the buyers have changed their mind during their financing contingency? Maybe, maybe not.  Would the buyers have been more confident about buying the property if the sellers didn't take so long with their response, definitely!!

If the sellers had responded promptly, the buyers wouldn't have continued to check new listings.  If the sellers had responded promptly, the buyers would have been very excited about this property.  Instead, after no response the second day, the buyers looked on the MLS for new listings. They found others they liked and wanted to look at. The excitement of this other property had disappeared...

This property has now been on the market 249 days and counting... my buyers made their offer just about a month ago, so even at more than 200 days on the market, the sellers weren't prepared for an offer on their house... so sad...

If you're looking to sell in today's Austin TX real estate market, please contact me for the facts and arm yourself with the information you'll need to help yourself make an informed decision.


**Are You Packed Yet?**

donna harris Realtor Austin TX blog

Donna Harris, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Austin Skyline

Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, CedarPark, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. Whether you're buying or selling an Austin home, I'll be with you every step of the way. 

For real time Austin TX listings,click here.

** Multi-Million Dollar Producer Year after Year **

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Copyright© 2012 By Donna Harris, All Rights Reserved. You may re-blog with links back to this post.
Sellers - Are You Prepared to Respond When You Receive a Real Estate Offer? * was first published on

Comment balloon 20 commentsDonna Harris • April 12 2012 11:47AM


Donna, it sounds like the sellers don't really want to sell.  Frustrating, isn't it?!  I usually ask for a seller response within 24 hours.  They may or may not respond...but it doesn't hurt to ask.  Otherwise, the seller might be hoping to get in another offer, esp. on weekends.

Posted by Sonja Patterson, Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou (Keller Williams - BV) almost 9 years ago

"suggested" I think this is a great list for sellers and listing agents to think about. The very first step is the listing, not the last...and so many listing agents don't do this. Great post.

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) almost 9 years ago

Sonja, Oh, but they "do" want to sell, per their agent...

Karen, Thank you!! I feel it's very important to discuss everything early on.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 9 years ago


The listing agency should set the expectation in selling the home and there would be less issues.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) almost 9 years ago

Donna, I also prepare my sellers when accepting a listing. Taking too long to respond can cost them the sale.

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (Platinum Realty) almost 9 years ago

Donna, Waiting 3 days for a Seller's reply really helps take some of the sizzle and excitement out of the buying process. I agree sellers need to be well prepared and ready to deal with an offer as soon as it comes in. 

Posted by Adrian Willanger, Profit from my two decades of experience (206 909-7536 almost 9 years ago

Donna - I hate when sellers take forever to respond! Then the agent gets mad at me because I keep asking for an update and then hear "Well, it's only been 3 days!"  I tell my sellers to be ready and to counter quickly. We covered everything and they even have a net equity sheet so they have everything they need to make a decision!

Posted by LaNita Cates (REMAX of Joliet) almost 9 years ago

We put dates on our contracts - including a date the seller must respond by, if the choose not to respond the buyer can choose to move to another home.  It really helps.

Posted by Joy Daniels (Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.) almost 9 years ago

Yep, we have expiration dates on all our offers. You miss it, no contract without an amendment to that date or addressing it in the seller counter. But unless their's circumstances that require more than a simple 24 hrs, LA should put that in the agent remarks and explain. Then the buyer can decide if they want to wait, and I dont waste time writing an unanswered or expired offer. Be ready, and your gambling if you hold out, it can work both ways. Lock it up!

Posted by David W. Hughes, Designated Broker at Home Realtors of Idaho (Home Realtors 208-870-5133) almost 9 years ago

Donna, at times, sellers expect more than what they get - and takes for ever to respond.Not the best bargain...

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) almost 9 years ago

We have a "time of acceptance" deadline in our contracts.  When I am ready to make an offer, I alert the listing agent and also ask if there are any extenuating circumstances that will require a longer than normal (24 hours) period for the seller to respond.  This way, I know the circumstances prior to submitting an offer.  Thus, if the seller was granted 3 days to respond, you cannot blame them if they took that long. 

As for my sellers, they know at the time of the listing that "time is of the essence," and must be quick to respond to anything that comes up, including offers.  If I am given notice from the selling agent that an offer will be forthcoming, I immediately alert my sellers to be on standby for quick action.

Posted by Pat Mistretta, Atlanta Lofts and City Living (PalmerHouse Properties & Associates) almost 9 years ago
Sometimes there can be multiple offers coming in that can slow the selection or acceptance process down.
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge almost 9 years ago

Sounds like they aren't really sellers.  Frustrating situation.                                                                      

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) almost 9 years ago

Our offers have an expiration date and it's enforced.  And my sellers know... and respond.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 9 years ago

Thank you for all the responses.  The Texas residential contract does not have a spot for a time frame (the commercial contracts do), and writing one in is considered practicing law. A buyer can handwrite it in themselves, but not at the direction of their agent. It has to be their own idea. Because of that, time frames are not used. The buyer can always submit a Withdrawal of Offer form if they don't want to wait past a certain time.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 9 years ago

Good Morning Donna, congratulations on the feature. You have a very good layed out plan. I like to use a similar one during my listing appointments. After they sign hiring me as their listing agent I like to go through each step of the selling process so they know what to expect. It sure does help. Have a great day

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) almost 9 years ago

Donna, you're right on target with this post. Educating and preparing sellers is key so they won't be blind sided when an offer does come. I like your approach to taking a listing.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 9 years ago

Great topic.  My first assumption was of course a seller would be prepared, yet once again, the saying about "assume" shows its wisdom.


Posted by Jim Mushinsky (Centsable Inspection) almost 9 years ago

It is always best when you discuss early on and cover all the points that may occur, just to be prepared.

Posted by Sandy Acevedo, RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale (951-290-8588) almost 9 years ago

Donna - sorry I'm late to this inspiring post - love your 'checklist' - thank you for sharing.

Posted by Peter Michelbach, i Sell Real Estate over 8 years ago