So, you’ve found the house that you have your heart set on and… it has an offer date.

Now what?!

The good news is that it means you have time to prepare yourself. In most cases, an offer night is scheduled for about a week after the property first hits the market. This means that you have this time to speak with your lender, discuss pricing with your real estate agent and determine if you’re going to move forward with an offer.

The bad news? Well, let’s just say that you’re going to want to prepare for higher than usual stress levels and the likelihood of a bidding war. Either way, the best way to prepare yourself for offer night is to have an idea as to how the night will unfold.

The Quality of Your Offer

 When a seller is “holding back” offers and hosting an offer night, there are certain things that you need to know when preparing your offer. Remember, an offer night typically means that the seller underpriced the property and they’re looking for offers significantly higher than asking. In these events, it’s not uncommon for a house listed at $999K to sell well over $1.3M.

It’s also important to consider that you’re going to be competing against a number of other buyers. Not only does this mean that your offer must contain an impressive purchase price, but it also means that your offer must be as “clean” as possible.

This means that your possession date must be exactly what the sellers outlined in the listing, your offer won’t have conditions and that you’re not asking for anything over-the-top from the sellers. In this event, the name of the game is to make your offer the most enticing and simple offer possible for the sellers.

Presenting in Person

When it comes to an offer night, the sellers are either going to be accepting offers in person or accepting offers through email.

Whilst in person, yourself and your real estate agent will have the opportunity to present your offer in person to the sellers. This may serve as an advantage for some as it allows you the opportunity to develop a personal connection with the sellers.

Before presenting, you can expect to sit in a waiting room at the listing brokerage or in your car if the offers are being presented at home. When it’s your turn, you will go inside to present your offer to the seller. All in all, the presentation itself typically lasts only a few minutes and your real estate agent is going to do the vast majority of the talking. Once this is over, you’ll go back to your waiting area until you receive an update.

Offers Through Email

 However, the sellers may instead decide to review offers through email. This means that your agent is going to forward your offer to the sellers and get back to you when there is an update. While this method doesn’t allow for personal connection, it’s often the more efficient method.

If you need to make changes to your offer, you will do this over the computer and your real estate agent will resend the offer.


Determining the timeline for an offer night is complex. This is because every offer night is different and dependent on how many offers are registered in total. All in all, an offer night can be as timely as half an hour or it could last into the night.


For presenting offers in person, you’re going to want to come with your deposit readily available. While this isn’t an absolute necessity, most sellers are going to favor applicants that attach their deposit to their offer.

For offers being presented through email, having the deposit readily attached to the email isn’t always as necessary. However, you will need to be prepared to have the deposit to the listing brokerage within 24-hours of acceptance.

If you’re really looking to make your offer as appealing as possible, have your agent document that your deposit is ready on standby. You can even take a photo of your deposit and attach it to your offer as proof. This goes to show the seller that you’re a serious buyer and that the deal will have no problem firming up upon acceptance.

It’s time for offer night!

Come offer night, remember to breathe and try to keep your stress levels to a minimum. Your real estate agent is going to walk you through the process and be available for any questions along the way. It’s time to win a bidding war!

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