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Why “Accepted Offer In Less Than 24 Hours” Is Not Necessarily A Good Thing

No question, it is currently a sellers market in the metro Milwaukee area. And as a result, we are seeing a lot of homes go under contract very quickly. In fact, of late I have seen a lot of posts on social media advertising the fact that the sellers got an “Accepted Offer in less than 24 hours”. I personally do not think this is something to brag about, and in fact, I think those agents may be doing a disservice to their clients.

I have sold real estate here for almost 26 years, and have been based out of the Wauwatosa Shorewest office since 1997, so I have seen many, many hot markets. Almost every year we see a lack of inventory in Wauwatosa in January, February, March, and April, and as a result, many multiple offer situations. In these hot sellers markets, Buyers are under a tremendous amount of pressure, and they often need to make a decision about whether or not to make an offer almost immediately upon viewing a home. In fact is not unusual for a new listing to hit the market in the morning, and multiple offers to be received by late afternoon/early evening that same day.

Unfortunately, the way we tend to do business in this area puts both buyers and sellers under a tremendous amount of pressure. The buyers have to make a quick decision on one of the biggest purchases they will ever make, and because they are fearful of losing the home to another buyer, they then put pressure on the sellers to make a quick decision by putting a short timeline on their offer for acceptance. These deadlines can be as short as a few hours(!), with twenty-four hours or less the norm.

Agents in other parts of the country cannot believe that we operate this way, as they most certainly do not. In many parts of the country, it is actually quite common for there to be a 2 to 4 day period for new listings to be shown, with no offers accepted during that time. I think this is really something we as a local industry need to consider.

In my opinion, normally not accepting any offers for 48 hours or longer after a new listing hits the market is better for both the sellers AND the buyers. Buyers have an opportunity to actually think about the home, and if it is truly the right fit for them. They can sleep on it, take a second look, bring someone trusted to see it, or simply be able to see the home if they were unavailable to look the first day the home hit the market. And of course, most people think it is better for sellers because more time allows more offers to come in, which normally will drive up the price, and can sweeten the terms. But this also can benefit the sellers as it allows them to take some time to consider any offers that are received, really think about the terms offered to them, and to decide what is the best way for them to proceed. They can then accept an offer knowing that all interested buyers have had a chance to see the home and make an offer if they wanted to and that they did not miss a better offer by accepting the first one that came in.

In this overheated seller’s market, we also see many more offers than normal fall through, due to “buyer’s remorse”, which is often caused by the pressure of making an on the spot decision. Delaying acceptance of any offers for 48 hours or a few days will lessen this fall through rate also. Because of this, I have been discussing the pros and cons of imposing a 48 hour or 2 business day review period for all offers with every seller I have worked with this year, and all have chosen this option. All my clients have also been most thankful for this option also. Agents and buyers have thanked me too, so I see that there is a definite desire for this type of policy.

This is why “Accepted Offer in Less Than 24 Hours” is something you will never see me advertise. If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you maximize your proceeds, and take as much pressure as possible off of you when selling, please let me know. I would love to help!