A question I hear often is: “Should we put a deadline on our Boston real estate offer?”

I’ve received this question many times from Boston buyers, so I thought it would be a good idea to cover this in a Boston Real Estate Blog post. Whenever I write up an offer for a Boston condo, there are dozens of questions that come up during the process before we even submit the paperwork to the listing agent. This particular question is one of the last ones to comes up, but a very important one.

My normal response is this: You certainly can and I think should restrict the timing for acceptance by forcing the seller to respond quickly (e.g. “Seller to respond by 5pm, January 30, 2018.”), but don’t limit the time too much, it may come across as pushy, since a typical seller is probably sufficiently motivated to respond within 24 hours regardless, unless they’re traveling or experiencing a crisis of some sort.

With that in mind, give some thought to the message it sends when you opt to place a deadline of less than 24hrs. notice on any Boston condo offer. It might set the wrong tone during negotiations and during the entire process, depending on the personality of the seller and sellers listing agent. It also could come across as a little desperate, or weaken the offer and your leverage. Remember, patience is your friend when it comes to real estate negotiating.

However, there are exceptions to the rule:
1. You’re pretty sure that there’s another offer on its way.
2. You have very limited time to choose a condo, and there’s a solid backup Boston condominium in mind that you don’t want to lose while you wait for a response.

The next question I hear often is, “When do you think we’ll hear something about the offer?”, I should probably address that here as well. As a guideline, if I send an offer in the morning, it’s possible to hear something the same day, if the agent is able to get in touch and present it quickly. If I present an offer to the listing agent during evening hours, we’ll probably hear back sometime the next day, either with a response or with clarification questions. If it’s a weekend, I typically tell my clients to expect to hear back by Monday.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you’re looking to buy or sell a condo or townhouse anywhere in the Boston metro area.

Updated:  Boston condo offer 1st Quarter 2018:

The underlying key to buying a Boston condo is knowing the values in the neighborhoods of choice, and being flexible in what you can live with. Yes, there are many cash sales happening, but most buyers are getting loans. In that case, there’s an element of compromise involved no matter what your budget may be, especially when you’re faced with low inventory and lots of buyer demand, as will be the case in 2018. Your only choice is to eleminate the less obvious Boston condo prospects and avoid crazy multiple-offer situations that will end up beating you down. So if you’re about to submit an offer you may want to refocus your energy and aim for more realistic possibilities as you continue your Boston condo hunt.

For more information please call Ford Realty at 617-720-5454.

Contact me to find to set up an appointment to start your Boston condo buying process.

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Updated: January 2018

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