When Should a Seller Set an Offer Deadline?

An offer deadline or offer review date on a listing means that all offers will be reviewed by the seller at one time, rather than individually as they come in. 

So, when should they be used? 

Our thinking on offer deadlines—as with most factors in a fast-moving market—is that it depends. In particular, it depends on how a seller chooses to have leverage. 

The Good Boston Living team finds that posting an offer review date following a weekend of open houses can help organize and mobilize interested buyers. They understand where and how quickly to direct their attention so they don’t lose an opportunity to step forward with an offer.

That said, if a listing is relatively overpriced or the timing is during a lull in buyer demand (say, August or December), a deadline can have the unintended effect of making potentially interested buyers hold off on stepping forward—because they aren’t prepared in that moment to compete fiercely at that price.

Our team tends to do the ultimate “it depends:” we list the property early enough in the week that we can gauge potential buyer interest before Friday, from showing requests and broker previews. If we’re getting the sense that we might receive offers before the weekend is over, we might then set an offer review date so that our seller has the leverage to compare multiple offers at once.

Whether you set an offer deadline also goes hand-in-hand with how you control access for buyer tours. If, for example, a seller isn’t going to grant private showings before the first open house, the seller can get away with waiting to set a deadline while channeling interested buyers to tour all in a condensed time frame.

(As buyer agents, my team eagerly pursues listings that don’t have an offer deadline, in case there’s an opportunity to present a compelling enough offer to engage the seller and have them accept an offer before allowing more buyers to tour or to compete.)

Considering how to sell your home? Get in touch! Our team is here to answer any questions.