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Making an offer on a house.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by tolkien28, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. tolkien28

    tolkien28 Occasional commenter

    This is aimed at anyone who has more experience than me at knowing what level to come in with an offer. Saw a house at the weekend and loved it, nothing to do but move in........offers over £290K. Went to the agent and asked exactly what did that mean. He said the vendors wanted £295K. So in my naievety never having made an offer in the last thirty years I offered £290K, thinking with the sale of my own house plus cash I might be lucky. Got a phone call yesterday to say I was up against another bidder, obviously I had no idea what their bid was and found out today that they'd secured it with an offer of £293K. So anyone who has more experience than me, I would welcome any feedback or questions/tactics I could put to the agent to stand a better chance next time. Many thanks in anticipation.
  2. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    I never enter a bidding war. We are in the process of listing our house with an estate agent. It was difficult trying to set a price. Different agents suggested different prices.
    Sorry don't know any tactics/questions.
    tolkien28 likes this.
  3. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Agree with post #2. In England (different laws in Scotland) I'd make an offer near, but not at the asking price* depending upon the local housing market - in many places it is stagnant or even declining. Of course it is a bit different for new build houses.

    *FYI we accepted an offer 20K below our asking price of just under 600K. And are happy with it.
    Lara mfl 05 and tolkien28 like this.
  4. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    When you say the other bidder secured the sale, you won't actually know this until the bidder moves in. Lots of things can happen before contracts are exchanged. The bidder might be a BS merchant who can't raise the funds, might go bankrupt or lose his job before completion, might find his partner has intentions for divorce, or more commonly in this day and age, is reliant on a benefactor to help the sale go through, but dies before it's all done and dusted.

    If I were you, I'd let the estate agent know you're still interested in the property if the sale doesn't go through, and if the estate agent comes back to ask if you're still in the market, offer a lower bid, on the basis that you've found somewhere else with no chain at the same price, but might delay going ahead if the vendor of the property in question is prepared to consider a lower offer.
  5. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Basically what @Duke of York said.

    Call the agent and emphasise the fact that you are still interested. If it's a house you really want then be prepared to see if the sale goes through with the "successful" bidder.

    I'm afraid it's part and parcel of house-buying. I'd never offer the asking price. But you always have to accept someone might come in higher than you. I don't think this is a great time to be making a big offer. With Brexit and the possibility of market-volatility I'd be very reluctant to bid high.

    But it depends on what you can afford and how near the limit you are, how much you like the house. So many factors. I don't think there are many hard-and-fast rules. Ask the agent? They are always going to try to up the price. I wouldn't take the slightest notice of them.

    It's also possible there is no other buyer. They could have hoped you'd instantly counter with £295K. Many people might do so. How badly d'you want it? You can offer £294K if you want.
    Jamvic, Lara mfl 05 and tolkien28 like this.
  6. tolkien28

    tolkien28 Occasional commenter

    Great advice everyone, thanks for all your replies. Loved the house, but I'm really not that in love with it to start outbidding the person who offered £293K, it just gets ridiculous and wasn't meant to be, so I'm happy to move on.
    FrankWolley, Lara mfl 05 and install like this.
  7. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    I dislike those ‘offers above’ directives. I wouldn’t enter a bidding war either, but I would ensure the agent knows I’m interested if the sale doesn’t go ahead.

    In the meantime, keep looking. There’ll be another house you like.
  8. install

    install Star commenter

    Not worth it if the seller wants to play games. Sometimes they come back begging. Then you lower your offer :cool:
  9. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Great attitude.
  10. ajs12345

    ajs12345 New commenter

    290k seems like a perfectly sensible offer to me on the face of it. Might just be one that 'got away'.

    Some general 'rules of thumb' for establishing where to pitch an offer:

    1) Time the house has been on the market. Usually the longer it's been on the market, the lower below the asking price you can offer.

    2) Buyer/Seller positioning. If you are a cash/first time buyer you can usually achieve a bigger discount on asking price. Similarly, if the seller is desperate to sell then the same rules apply. Usually a careful conversation with the seller or estate agent will help you establish the seller's position (probate estates/the home of a divorced couple etc are likely to be more receptive to low offers)

    3) State of the house. Usually a mint condition showroom house is being sold by someone who wants the asking price. They've invested heavily in it and regardless of what it's actually worth, will want top dollar for it based on whatever an estate agent has told them. On the other hand 'fixer uppers' usually come with a bit of wiggle room in terms of asking prices vs selling prices. Often buyers will look to establish discounts here to offset the cost of making a house liveable.

    Hope this is useful and happy hunting!
  11. Brunel

    Brunel Lead commenter

    I think it depends which part of the country you are in and how much demand there is for housing. What you did is perfectly sensible in most parts of the country I would think, but there are property hotspots where you’ve got to bite the bullet and bid against other buyers to get the house you want. Someone I know was outbid several times before finally getting a house they wanted - not the south-east but Sheffield. The message is to do your research and find out the state of your local market (under-supply is driving prices up in Sheffield - or was a few months ago but it’s more difficult to shift houses in surrounding towns).
    I’m not clear from your post whether you’ve sold your own house - if you have that gives you a big advantage over other bidders who haven’t.
    tolkien28 likes this.
  12. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    How badly do you want it? We moved house a year ago, and there wasn't much on the market. Someone had offered the full price and was coming back again 2 days later - but he hadn't sold his!! Two more viewers were lined up after us, as well. We offered 5k under and had the cash sitting in the bank. Our offer was accepted the same day we viewed.

    My son recently bought a house and managed to get 3k off the price. It needs updating etc but it was the best he could get in a decent area for what he could afford. There were other viewers coming for a second viewing, so he couldn't risk haggling too much.
    tolkien28 likes this.
  13. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    What Dunty and Duke of York said. When we bought our current house we offeed the asking price because it was under-valued and we really wanted it. Our previous house had been empty for ages when we bought it so we got some money off it. I think you have to do as you did, that us, decide how much you want to pay and don't go above it. The current buyer may have a house to sell or a million other things might happen, so keep your interest on the books, but keep looking elsewhere.

    We're considering a big move and are thinking of buying a small cheap house in our chosen area before committing properly, to see if we like it. It's a weird position to be in, to be a cash buyer (it's a VERY cheap area) and have all the time in the world to wait for the right house. It makes you incredibly picky and is actually quite tough! Nothing has been right so far, though I was tempted by a very cheap four bedroom house until it turned out to have only three of its four walls standing!
    tolkien28 and Dunteachin like this.
  14. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Do what you can to work out what a house is going to go for. Our house was “worth” 375 in my opinion. It had been on originally at409 - v greedy. He refused 375 - we offered 380. He refused saying he wanted nearer 390. We offered 381 and in the end he accepted. The agent told him we were good buyers I think. 381 was too much but we did really need to move and it was worth it - no regrets.
    Lara mfl 05 and tolkien28 like this.
  15. tolkien28

    tolkien28 Occasional commenter

    Great advice, thanks for your post. Yes I've learnt a lot from this experience and it will arm me well for my next viewing. It really is a world of smoke and mirrors. When you're involved in the honourable world of education, it comes as a bit of a shock when you have to throw yourself into a whole new world of offers/best offers and final offers. Honestly, it's not my cup of tea.
    ajs12345 likes this.
  16. tolkien28

    tolkien28 Occasional commenter

  17. tolkien28

    tolkien28 Occasional commenter

    Yes I sold my house on Sept 5th and with my lump sum from my teachers pension, I'm a cash buyer too, so I'm ticking lots of boxes. I'll just keep viewing properties and hopefully find the one I want to live in.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  18. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    We recently made an offer on a house that we kind of wanted, although the plot is very small for the price. The vendors had a price bracket on their house, £335k-£350k. They said, when we saw them when we viewed, they wanted to sell quickly due to splitting up. We offered the lower price in the bracket and were refused very quickly, with no counter offer and just the info that they wanted the higher end of the price bracket. We didn't bother to up our offer as the plot really is small compared with houses with identical floor plans in the area and we weren't in love with the place.

    This week I got an estate agent email - they've lowered the price to £325k-£335k! Should have accepted our offer! (I'm glad they didn't though, there are others that are very similar with larger gardens, this one was so small!) As Mr Sillow says, if you want to sell quickly you have to be prepared to accept you might not get what you think it's worth.

    Sorry, no help but I sympathise. We've only been looking since about April and I'm already frustrated by it all. I just want to move already!
    tolkien28 likes this.
  19. tolkien28

    tolkien28 Occasional commenter

    Thanks again to everyone who has replied to my original post. I've really enjoyed reading all your comments and knew the TES community would be a wealth of knowledge and experience. So much common sense expressed. Many thanks.
    Lara mfl 05 and Dunteachin like this.

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