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Best time to make an offer on a house?

Let's start by stating the corollary: If there is an absolute best time to write an offer, then there is also an absolute worst time. What's the worst time to make an offer on a house? Friday or Saturday evening -- precisely when most offers are written.

It's baked in the cake: Home buyers are often so passionately in love with their home-to-be that every practical purpose is forgotten.

If you offer less than full price, the sellers will counter, hoping to keep you on the hook while they see what the weekend brings. Even if you make a full-price offer, they may delay all weekend, hoping that an even better offer will come in.

So what is the absolute strategic best time to write a purchase offer? Early in the day on the first Tuesday of the month.

We want the first of the month because the seller just wrote another mortgage check and wants to know when the pain is going to stop. We want Tuesday morning because, by then, the seller will know that no more offers are coming in from the weekend's showings. We are catching the sellers at the exact moment their resistance is at its weakest.

Expressed this baldly, this may sound cold -- but this is strategy, not passion. You can't do this at all unless you can abide not getting the home.

But by making the right offer at the right time, you can save yourself thousands of dollars.

By Diane Tuman


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  • Last edited October 12 2012
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