How long to wait after making an offer on a house?

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My wife and I are new to buying a home in Germany, but are familiar with the process in the U.S. We have made an offer on a home, but have not yet heard a response. In the U.S. I would expect to hear an acceptance, refusal, or (at least) a counter offer within the first week. I do know things here in Germany don't move quite as fast as the U.S. 

 

How long is a reasonable time to hear back on an offer in Germany, and how should we interpret delays in hearing back?

 

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It depends very much on local demand. If you make an offer on an apartment in Berlin, for example, expect a bidding war and a proportionally long wait for a response.For a freestanding house in rural Thuringia, the situation might well be different. Where and on what have you made your offer?

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1 minute ago, skinnypuppy said:

It depends very much on local demand. If you make an offer on an apartment in Berlin, for example, expect a bidding war and a proportionally long wait for a response. For a freestanding house in rural Thuringia, the situation might well be different. Where and on what have you made your offer?

I single family house in Rhineland-Palatinate. If they were trying to create a bidding war, would they not contact us quickly with a counter offer, or at least with a "do better?" Or would they hold their tongue until they got a bunch of other offers? 

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my husband and I have bought houses in the US and in Germany - it all depends on the location, and on the market situation on both sides of the pond.

 

Our house in Germany is located in a very hot sellers' market with a high demand and very few offers. We went to a showing as soon as we became aware of the offer. The Makler let us know there had been an offer for slightly under the asking prize from an interested buyer already, and if we wanted to have a chance at the house we should act quickly.

 

We hadn't even talked to a lender yet - but were confident that we would  be able to get financed.

 

So we made an offer for what the asking prize was. The Makler called us two days later, saying that our offer had been accepted - and asked, if we needed help finding a lender. 

 

My advice for you (being novices in the German real estate business) would be to rely on reputable real estate agencies. I don't know, if this sale is being managed by a Makler. If so, you should keep in constant contact with that person throughout the entire process. Ask the agent, what the next step will be. If there is a "bidding war" going on, or what the seller thinks about your offer. Communication is key.

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48 minutes ago, burningkrome said:

I do know things here in Germany don't move quite as fast as the U.S. 

 

How long is a reasonable time to hear back on an offer in Germany, and how should we interpret delays in hearing back?

 

 

I've seen slow people in the US, and I've seen fast people in Germany. 

 

If you want something to move forward, you have to stay on top of it. As for your offer, if you made the offer on a  Sunday through Thursday, call about 24 hours later and ask what they think about it. If you made your offer any Friday through Saturday, call on the following Monday (unless that would happen to be a holiday).

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You'd normally get a response pretty quickly (a day or two) unless the house is being sold as part of an estate requiring approval from all beneficiaries, then it can take a week or more.

Two issues: 1) it's a sellers' market at present (I live near the RLP border), and 2) the price negotiations aren't as common a practice as they are in the UK/US. Taking those points in turn:

1) The houses I've seen for sale over the past 6 months have all gone for at least the asking price. Most have gone for more.

2) Even when it is not a sellers' market, from my experience there are plenty of Germans who put their home for sale at a price without really considering the possibility that someone might make a lower offer. If their house doesn't sell at a particular price, they might lower the advertised price at a later date. If you make a lower offer, many of these folk would assume you cannot afford more.

 

So, as @karin_brenig has suggested, if you are genuinely interested in the house, call the seller (or agent, if one is involved), let them know that you remain interested, and ask for their view on your offer. Don't get your hopes up though - my guess is that they have sold it to someone else.

 

 

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You can add a time limit to your offer to focus the seller's attention and limit your waiting period.

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On the day of my mothers funeral, just getting changed, there was a knock on the door. I open a guy who I don´t recognize is outside. "Sorry for your loss" he says. "What are you doing with the house?" 

Church service over...

"Hi, excuse me, can I ask about the house?"

Even the neighbour came round a few days earlier and asserted her claim that mum had promised something called "first refusal" whatever that is.

Talk about disgusted with it all...

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Exactly the reason we chose to wait for a week before approaching a neighbour.

 

But the local Makler didn't have such scruples. He made his offer during the Leichenschmaus (wake / coffee & cake). 

 

Can't fathom these Germans sometimes.

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If you are dealing with a Makler, feel free to call him after a day or two. Or even better: ask if the seller has a timeline and when you can expect to hear back from him. 

If it is a private seller, I would call after at most a week and ask them if they know yet when they will make a decision. 

I know people where it took ages but that was because the sellers (children of the inhabitant) were living abroad and it was a private sale. 

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