Making a good offer on a house is all about striking a balance between securing your preferred property and saving money. It’s not always easy to do, but there are a few tips that can help to guide you.
Securing a good price on a house starts before you even make a bid.
When you first meet with an estate agent, try to play down your budget. Some estate agents have a habit of showing clients properties slightly above their limit.
By underplaying your funds you’re more likely to see properties that fall within your financial reach, which will provide you with a bit more leeway when making a bid.
You also need to play it cool when viewing a property, even if you really like the place. If you're overtly keen, a buyer may sense that, which could give them extra bargaining power.
To ensure you’re able to submit a good bid on a property, you need to do plenty of research. Try to find out from your estate agent as much relevant information as possible about the seller and property. For instance:
It’s also a good idea to look into the housing market where you’re planning to buy. Check going rates of similar properties and try to scope out demand for housing in the area.
With the groundwork out of the way, it’s now time to think about making a bid.
Sellers often put their houses on the market for slightly higher than their actual asking price. So, as a rule of thumb, your opening bid should be somewhere between 5 and 10% below the sum requested.
However, if you think that circumstances are in your favour – for example the seller is struggling to shift their property or competition to buy is very low – you may be in a position to enter an offer well below the advertised price and have a good chance of it being accepted.
The only time you should offer above the advertised price is if you know it has already been met by another bidder and you are extremely keen on the property.
It’s important to note that you should always follow up any verbal offer in writing. This can be a letter or an email, both are fine.
Having made a bid, you want to show the seller that you’re serious about the deal. Commit to a moving date and demonstrate that you have a solicitor in place to carry out the necessary next steps.
However, hold off carrying out any conveyance searches on the house until the property has been taken off the market.
A seller is under no obligation to do this, but should do so if they are serious about your offer. If the property remains on the market this may be an indication that the seller is hunting for a higher bid elsewhere.
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