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So, when are offers really due?

Thinking about home buying and when to make an offer

Dear home buyer,

The saying ‘time is of the essence’ gets thrown often around among real estate agents and sometimes their clients. Today, the buying and selling of real estate has a very 24/7 nature to it. Buyers can make offers at any time, and sellers can accept offers at any time. No typical store hours exist in this industry. If you are a buyer in this currently extremely tight market, that means timing is indeed ‘of the essence.’ You never know when another interested buyer may come along and decide that’s the home for them and proceed to make a super compelling offer. They may see what you see in the home or maybe even more.

You may ask, “But the listing says offers are due on Monday at 5:00 pm. How come the seller accepted an offer early?”

In truth, a seller reserves the right to accept an offer at any time or well before a noted offer deadline. If a home comes on the market on a Tuesday or Wednesday and offers are due at 5:00 pm on the following Monday, as a buyer, you can make an offer early or by the deadline. It is up to the seller to decide to accept or wait, to receive more offers to review.

As a buyer if offers can be accepted any time, you may now think, "Well, I need to rush to make an offer today!" A word of caution; if the seller is going through the full process of having regular showings and open houses throughout that week and is paying a seller agent to conduct all of this, they are likely looking for a return on this investment. Rushing to make an offer before a noted offer deadline should only be practiced if you know your offer is going to be emphatically stronger than others. The seller would be taking an early chance on what you offer and effectively passing up on potential other offers submitted through Monday evening. However, even with a compelling offer in front of the seller, they may decide to wait to review other offers (if any). Seller agents may advise their seller to wait until the offer deadline so they can look at all (if any) offers side-by-side and make a prudent decision. The ultimate decision is up to the seller. Each seller is different and may have different needs.

You may ask, “So, when are offers really due then?”

In our opinion, since offers can be accepted any time-- on a rolling basis, before or by the deadline (if a deadline is in fact noted), as a buyer, it is really up to you to make an offer when you feel confident and embody the conviction to do so. Once you have done your homework on the property and know it is a fit for you, you should decide to proceed. You can request a pricing analysis or start an offer right away. Many buyers try to make adjustments to their offer based on whether other offers are submitted or what they can learn about the seller, but these tactics often delay the inevitable of making the offer itself and don't provide concrete value.

While this is a problem, and many buyers have been caught in the middle of it, it’s important to step back. Think about what's important to consider as a buyer--

Do you love the home?
Does it fit your needs?
Are you able to afford it?

If the above are all YES, then you should make an offer. Notice how none of the above questions have anything to do with the seller? As a buyer, the decision to make an offer is entirely yours and so is the decision of when to do so. After reviewing a pricing analysis, you should price an offer balanced with any contingencies in such a way that you feel is fair and portrays your true willingness to purchase the home.

If competition in the home is in clear sight, you should price it in a way where you feel you’ve given it your best. If you are not successful, the benefit is the buyer’s remorse will be kept to a minimum. If you are successful, you know you have priced the home in a way that is fair vs. the market. At the end of the day regardless of when you submit your offer, the seller will choose only one.


  1. You can make an offer at anytime and a seller can accept one at anytime

  2. Do your homework and if the home is a great fit, you should make an offer

  3. If you truly want the home, make a fair and compelling offer

When you're ready to buy, start an offer online. We'll guide you through every step and negotiate with the seller to get your offer accepted.


About Nuhom

Nuhom is a Boston based full-service real estate tech company making home buying convenient, fast, and rewarding. We have dismantled the traditional home buying process and replaced it with innovative technology, far fewer hurdles, and more savings for the modern home buyer. Learn more at


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