How to Put in an Offer on a Property

 You’ve been searching for your dream house for weeks or even months, and you’ve finally found it. Great! Now there’s just the small issue of making an offer …

For home buyers, making an offer is fraught with difficulties. Should you bid high and secure the property? Should you bid low and risk offending them? Here are some of the main issues involved in making an offer so you will stand a better chance of getting your hands on your dream property.

Don’t Show How Interested You Are

First of all, don’t give away how much you want the property. Play it cool and don’t start saying to the estate agent or seller how desperate you are to buy it. This will only give the seller more leverage to demand a higher price because they know you will be willing to spend more to get your hands on it.

Do Your Research

It’s important to find out as much as you can about the property and the area before making an offer. For example, find out how much similar properties are going for in the area because the seller might have overpriced it.

Also, how long has the property been on the market? If it’s been on a long time, they might be more keen to sell, which means you could put in a lower offer. Ask the right questions during the viewing to find out as much as you can.

Why are they selling? It might be hard to find out, but if they have got a job or are moving overseas, this could be the perfect opportunity for you to put in a lower offer.

Start Low

When making an offer, it is generally good practice to start lower than what you expect to pay. Don’t go so low that you risk offending the seller, but up to about 10% lower than the asking price is fine. Many sellers ask for more than they expect to get.

If there are other people making offers, you will usually find out from the estate agent whether someone else has offered more, so you can usually go back and make another offer.

Be Realistic and Polite

Don’t be rude or aggressive at any time because the seller can always just refuse to sell to you. This is especially important if you negotiate with the seller directly.

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Show You Mean Business

Once you know how much you want to offer, show that you are ready to go ahead quickly and that you won’t keep the seller waiting. They don’t want to worry about whether it will take you a long time to get the funds, so be clear with them.

If you’re not in a chain, this gives you a bit more leeway because sellers will usually be keen to sell fairly quickly, and this can help to speed things up.

What About Sealed Bids?

This is where you write down your offer and seal it, and the seller will often choose the highest bid. It’s popular in areas where demand is high, like in London.

If this is the case, always stick to your budget, and put in the highest bid you can realistically afford. Don’t bid more than you can afford or you’re likely to regret it.

And one trick is to put an extra £50 onto your bid to outbid other buyers who offer round numbers (e.g. your bid of £200,050 will beat a bid of £200,000).

What Are Holding Deposits?

This is where you provide a cash sum along with the offer to show you are serious. They are not that common, and they mainly happen in competitive areas like London. If you pull out, it might be non-refundable, so make sure you know the rules.

Go and Make Your Offer

These are some of the most important issues to take into account when you make an offer on a property. While it can be stressful and nerve racking when you have found a property you really like the look of, make sure you take your time, think carefully and, most importantly, never bid more than you can realistically afford to pay.