Real Estate 101: The Dynamics of Reviewing Offers

Reviewing Offers - The Front Porch RWC

When I’m working with clients, whether they are first time home-buyers or ready to sell their home, it’s helpful to know how the market currently works and the process by which a home typically sells in Redwood City these days. In most cases, sellers will accept offers in one of three ways: a set offer deadline, offers as they come, or off-market.

Offer deadlines

If you’ve been searching for a home in Redwood City or the Bay Area, you might already be familiar with offer deadlines.  Properties that are expected to attract competitive offers — that show well and are priced well — will often have a deadline for offers within a week or two after they hit the market.

Offer deadlines are not  typically made public and you'll likely need to inquire with an agent or have an appointment to see a property before the deadline. Offer deadlines often fall on weekdays, so to really have a shot at a property of interest, you may need to get in before the weekend open house.

Just because a property has an offer deadline, doesn’t always mean there will be several offers though — it could receive no offers, just one offer, or over ten. And if there aren’t many offers when the deadline hits, sometimes people will jump in at the last moment to get one in, hoping to avoid some of the competition.

Offers as they come

In some cases, sellers will review and consider offers as they come in. So if an offer rolls in just a day or two after a house comes  on the market, the seller may accept it then. If a buyer sees a home that is a perfect fit and they make a strong offer, it’s possible to have it accepted then and there.

On the flip side, just because a week or two has gone by and there haven't been any offers doesn't mean it can't happen. The house could have hit a holiday weekend or a lull in the market. This isn't something that always happens, but it’s possible for a property in Redwood City to receive multiple offers and sell over asking 2-3 weeks after it initially comes on the market.

Off market

Some sellers in Redwood City will sell their home before the public has an opportunity to check it out and make an offer, which means the property may never make it to the MLS, Zillow, Redfin, etc. Some common reasons sellers will choose to sell off market are: they need to sell quickly,  they want privacy (they do not want masses of people coming into their home and etc.), or they receive an offer that's just too good to refuse.

Sellers who are successful in selling their home off market and buyers who are successful in buying a home off market will align themselves with a top realtor with a pulse on the market, a strong network of agents in the area, access to highly qualified buyers, and knowledge of inventory of properties not on the open market.

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Redwood City or the surrounding area, I would love to help. Feel free to drop me a line or give me a ring at (650) 704-8883 with any questions you might have or if you’d like to grab a coffee and chat.


Cliff Whearley has been a resident of Redwood City for 23 years and was named Realtor of the Year 2016 at Dwell Realtors, Inc. If you have any real estate questions, he would love to help!