In the Toronto world of selling real estate, some salespeople hold back offers in a healthy seller's market to help boost the price, and give the public time for buyers to see the house. I've used this strategy myself. It basically says don't bother giving me an offer until a certain date, usually around a week after the listing. At this point the seller will view all offers. Of course the buyer's agent can come in with a bully offer at any time, but usually every one gets in line, and if there are any offers that come in, they come in on that date. It's fair and straight forward. We're not seeing any offers until such and such a date.
Another tactic that seems to gaining some momentum is the 24 or 48 irrevocable used by the seller. With this, the seller will accept the offer any time but would like to have either 24 or 48 hours to be contacted, and then make up their mind about the offer. During this time, the seller's agent will likely call every one that went through the property to see if they would like to put an offer. The 24 or 48 hours allows the seller agent enough time to drum up a multiple offer situation.
The bottom line though, the buyer's agent doesn't have to give the seller agent this time frame. So often there is a popular excuse given as to why a seller can't respond to an offer on the most important sale of their life. That is: They're traveling. And that's what drive me a little crazy. It's like every one who is selling their home has suddenly left for a remote part of the world where their is no internet, cell access or faxes. I'm sure some people are traveling and do need time. But let's be serious. One look at the mls you would think that a good chunk of people who want to sell a house had decided to do that lion safari in remote Kenya or climb mountains in Nepal at about the time they were selling their house.
I can certainly see when you're selling a home how this strategy can be helpful. I used it myself when my client was up north at a cottage with no cell access. Honestly! But if I am working for the buyer, it's best to call up the seller agent and see just how accessible the traveling seller really is.