Selling a Home in Silicon Valley: How to Respond to Purchase Offers

Selling a Home in Silicon Valley: How to Respond to Purchase Offers

Selling a home in Silicon Valley can be an exciting but challenging endeavor. As a seller, you may receive multiple purchase offers from potential buyers, each with its own terms and conditions. It’s essential to understand how to respond to these offers in a timely and professional manner. In this guide, we will explore the industry standards for responding to purchase offers, the different ways you can respond, and some tips to help you make an informed decision.

The Industry Standard for Responding to Purchase Offers in Silicon Valley

In Silicon Valley, there is no official rule or time frame for how quickly a seller must respond to purchase offers. However, it is considered a common courtesy to get back to interested buyers within 24 to 72 hours. This timeframe allows buyers to move forward with their home buying process and prevents unnecessary delays. While this is the industry standard, it’s important to note that specific states may have different rules regarding offer response times.

California, for example, has a stipulation where an offer will be considered expired if it’s not signed by the seller and delivered back to the buyer by 5 P.M. on the third day after the buyer signs it. Buyers in California can enter a specific date into the agreement or keep the default of the third day. If the offer is not responded to within this timeframe, all money paid by the buyer, such as earnest money, must be promptly refunded. In states without specific rules and guidelines, sellers usually respond within one to three business days.

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Three Ways to Respond to Purchase Offers

When you receive a purchase offer from a qualified buyer, you generally have three main options for responding: accepting the offer as-is, sending a counteroffer, or rejecting the offer in writing. Each option has its own considerations and implications. Let’s explore each of these options in more detail.

1. Accept the Offer as-Is

The best-case scenario for any seller is receiving an offer that aligns with their expectations and requirements. If you receive a spectacular offer where you agree to all the terms, conditions, and contingencies in the purchase contract, it may be worth accepting the offer as-is. By accepting the offer without any changes, the buyer can proceed to the home inspection and move forward with the purchase process.

2. Send a Counteroffer

In some cases, an offer may be close to what you were looking for but still contain a few deal breakers on your end. Sending a counteroffer allows you to come back with a proposed price or change of terms to meet your needs and keep the conversation going. Here are some common elements that can be included in a counteroffer:

  • A higher or lower price
  • Changes to included appliances or furniture
  • A different split of closing costs
  • Different contingencies or conditions to complete the deal
  • A change in the closing date

Once you send a counteroffer, the buyer will have a deadline to respond. They can either accept or deny the offer, and further negotiations may take place if necessary.

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3. Reject the Buyer’s Offer in Writing

In a seller’s market, it’s not uncommon to receive multiple offers on your property. While you are not obligated to send a written rejection to every offer, it is considered polite to do so. By rejecting an offer in writing, you signal to the buyer that it’s time for them to move on to another property. However, it’s important to note that once you have rejected an offer in writing, it can be difficult to extend a counteroffer to that buyer if your original accepted offer falls through.

Reasons for Delayed Response or Non-Response to Offers

There may be instances where you choose not to respond to a purchase offer or delay your response. Here are some possible reasons for delayed or non-response:

1. Offer is Too High or Too Low

Sometimes, an offer may be too high or too low compared to your expectations or the market value of your property. A lowball offer that is significantly below the asking price may be considered insulting and may suggest that the buyer is not serious. Conversely, an offer that is too high may not be realistic, especially if the buyer requires financing. Lenders typically approve loans based on appraisals that align with the home’s market value.

2. Waiting to Review All Offers at Once

If you are expecting multiple offers on your property, you may choose to review all offers at once before responding to any of them. This approach allows you to compare and evaluate each offer thoroughly. However, one potential downside is that qualified buyers who are seeking a quick response may withdraw their offers if they do not receive timely communication.

3. Holding a Public Open House

If you have a scheduled public open house, it may be advantageous to hold off on reviewing offers until after the event. This strategy increases your chances of receiving the best offer from potential buyers who have visited the property and had the opportunity to envision themselves living there.

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Working with a Top Real Estate Agent in Silicon Valley

Navigating the process of reviewing and responding to purchase offers can be overwhelming, especially in a competitive market like Silicon Valley. Working with a top and experienced real estate agent can alleviate much of the stress and ensure that you make informed decisions. A skilled agent will help you evaluate offers, negotiate terms, and guide you through the entire selling process.

Creating a Pros and Cons List

When faced with multiple purchase offers, it can be helpful to create a pros and cons list with the assistance of your real estate agent. This list will allow you to compare and analyze the benefits and drawbacks of each offer. Consider factors such as offer price, closing period, flexibility in closing dates, contingencies, and other terms that may be important to you. By carefully weighing the pros and cons, you can make a well-informed decision that aligns with your current situation and goals.


Responding to purchase offers is a crucial step in selling your home in Silicon Valley. While there is no official time frame for responding, it is generally recommended to get back to interested buyers within 24 to 72 hours. Whether you choose to accept an offer as-is, send a counteroffer, or reject an offer in writing, it’s essential to communicate professionally and efficiently. Consider the unique characteristics of your property, the local market conditions, and your own goals when evaluating and responding to purchase offers. With the guidance of a top real estate agent and a careful evaluation of each offer, you can navigate the selling process successfully in Silicon Valley.

Additional Information:

  • Silicon Valley is known for its booming tech industry and high demand for housing.
  • The real estate market in Silicon Valley can be highly competitive, with limited inventory and high buyer demand.
  • It’s crucial for sellers to respond to purchase offers promptly to maintain buyer interest and ensure a smooth transaction.
  • Working with a real estate agent who specializes in the Silicon Valley market can provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the selling process.

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About the Author
Seb Frey helps long-time Bay Area homeowners make their next move easily the next one yet. If you're looking for a minimum of hassle, maximum net cash on sale, and certain results, contact Seb today.