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Should You Accept a Sight Unseen Offer?

A few weeks ago, my daughter and son in-law decided to list their townhome out of state. They contacted their real estate agent to discuss their listing plan and within a few weeks, the house was ready to hit the market. A few days before the first showing, the townhome hit their multiple listing service in a “Coming Soon” status, which made the property available for agents and the general public to feast their eyes on a new listing in a market starving for properties.

As one would guess, within a few hours they received a very strong “sight unseen” offer from a potential buyer. Obviously, my daughter and son in-law didn’t want this good offer to go away and were willing to accept.

Should you accept a sight unseen offer?

Like with everything else in real estate, it depends. Here are some things to consider:

Is Anyone Else Interested…At That Price?

In this low inventory market there is a pretty good chance that if one person is interested in your home, chances are very good that there will be others. According to a recent report published by the National Association of Realtors, the average number of offers for each listing is approximately five offers for every home.

Chances are if your home shows well both online and in-person with great photos, a video tour, and a floor plan that the property will generate significant interest. In addition, if the home is marketed not only in the local Multiple Listing Service but on the various social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube there should be a high degree of interest. We recently listed property just south of Raleigh and had over 1,000 views on Facebook and over 1,500 views on YouTube in the first 24 hours.

How Long Has Your Home Been On The Market?

In our market, we are allowed to post listings as “Coming Soon”, which makes the listing available to both agents and the general public. Ideally, we try to post the listing a couple of days as a “Coming Soon” listing before it becomes “Active” and available for showings.

You will likely have the greatest amount of activity and the greatest number of showing requests in the first 24 to 48 hours of posting the listing in the MLS and social media. When I first started in real estate, it was seven days! Ah, the old days. If your home comes on the market on Friday morning and you get an offer sight unseen before anyone else has had a showing it may be too soon to accept that offer. If someone is willing to place an offer that soon, are there others?

How Much Due Diligence Money And Earnest Money Will You Get?

Obviously, there is more to an offer than just the offer price. In North Carolina, we have two types of deposits 1) due diligence money and 2) earnest money. Without getting into too much detail, the due diligence money is non-refundable while the earnest money is refundable, as long as the buyer backs out during their due diligence period. In the past few months, we have seen absurd offers of both due diligence and earnest money, ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. As a seller, you want to be assured that your buyer has significant of “skin in the game” if you are thinking of accepting a sight-unseen offer.

Other Considerations

  • Is there an expiration attached to the offer?
  • Type of financing or cash offer
  • Have other homes in your area sold sight unseen? Is the offer comparable to other recent sales?

Our advice

Whether a buyer has seen your home or is making an offer sight unseen there are many aspects of the contract you should consider before accepting, rejecting or making a counteroffer. Today, the number of sight unseen offers we are receiving makes the real estate business more challenging than ever.

If you’re in a price range that’s getting a ton of attention from buyers right now, then you may end up in a multiple offer situation. If that’s the case, you have options, including passing over a sight-unseen offer. If you’re in a range that’s taking a little longer to sell, it’s a conversation to have with your agent, because every home (and situation) is unique.

Other Posts from Our Blog

Why “Testing the Market” is a Bad Idea: Link

Patience is the Key to Buying a Home this Year: Link

New Years Resolutions Home Sellers: Link

2020 Year in Review: Link

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Contact us  919.589.3576 |

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