Offer Deadlines: When and How?

An offer deadline can create urgency for buyers not to wait on submitting, which can be useful if you expect multiple offers quickly. (Let your realtor advise you on that likelihood.)

This approach can establish order for the seller, as you can compare all offers at once and, if you choose, give them (or a subset) an opportunity to make improvements in a second round. Streamlining the competition this way can certainly lead to a higher price and stronger terms.

That said, there may be good reasons not to establish an up-front deadline for offers:

  • You don’t want to discourage buyers from checking it out your listing, concluding up front that they wouldn’t be able to compete for it. As buyers feel increasingly battered, and even intimidated, by the competition out in the market, you want them to feel relaxed and welcome to approach your listing.
  • And of course, you don’t want to set a deadline and then not end up with multiple offers by that deadline—right?

So rather than announcing a deadline up front, you would wait and see if you receive multiple in hand within a short period of time. At that point, you could go back to those who’ve submitted as well as announce to others that you have multiple offers in hand and will be setting a time to review them all at once.