Playing the Waiting Game

Made an offer on a property and have not heard back from the agent - don't panic!

In the past week I have had a lot of similar conversations with first home buyers, keen to get into the market and buy their first home, unsure of the process and how to go about it. One young (well, relatively young) couple in particular were very excited to find what they thought was the right home – good size block, open plan, freshly painted and room to grow – woohoo! They contacted the agent after their second inspection, sat down to prepare a contract, sent it off and ……….nothing (at least not that day). In a mild state of panic I had another call from them – “Tom, what do we do now?”

Well, if you find yourself in a similar situation of making your offer and not hearing back straight away, do as Arthur Dent would and “don’t panic!”. While we might be used to instant responses and seeing those three little dots bounce as we impatiently await a message to come through, real estate isn’t always instantaneous. We forget sometimes that while some live and breathe email, others might check it every second Tuesday and an offer made might not yet be an offer seen (here is where we as agents can occasionally feel a little painful “yes, I’ve sent it, can you please check your inbox again?”).

Once an offer has been received, equally there is no guarantee of a quick response. Depending on your seller, their circumstances and the strength of your offer it might not be an easy decision to make. Good terms but a little light on price? Your seller might need to re-assess their own next purchase and work out whether the budget lines up before they give a yes or no.

The timing of your offer can also affect the decision timeframes. 5pm on a Friday? You are unlikely to get a decision for at least 24 hours – particularly with open homes and advertising already locked in.

Just can’t wait and need a decision NOW? Well an unconditional contract at listed price tends to get the blood pumping quickly! But in all seriousness, just ask. Letting your agent (and the seller) know that you genuinely need an answer so you can assess other properties is perfectly reasonable and likely to help with response times. Just remember – if you want your offer to be taken seriously, submit it in a contractual format so a yes isn’t just a yes, it’s a sold!