Stipendium has compiled a guide on what to expect when it comes to making an offer on a property and the best, most reliable ways of ensuring that your offer is accepted.
Understand the local market
When you have found the home you want to buy, you have to submit an offer. This will, of course, be guided by the asking price, but the asking price is not set in stone. You might be able to buy the house for less, or you might have to buy it for more.
To get an idea of how much you should offer, analyse the local market looking at both asking prices and sold prices. This will help ensure that you’re not offering more than you should. It’s best to concentrate on similar sized and styled properties in the area you are hoping to live. If you can’t find any exact matches, look for sold prices on properties in the same region with the same features, such as the number of bedrooms and garden size.
Understand your financial position
Once again, we return to the most important thing - make sure you are absolutely clear on how much you can afford to spend and do not, under any circumstances, be tempted to go over this amount. If the seller is adamant they want more than you can afford, walk away. This is a classic example of where head must rule over heart.
Deciding on your initial offer
Your initial offer should be below the asking price while remaining reasonable. A good estate agent will be able to help you strike this balance. In some cases, you might get lucky. The seller might be keen to get the deal done quickly, or might be struggling to attract any other offers so you could end up with a great deal.
However, it’s far more likely that you’ll have to raise your offer to match the asking price which, if you’ve budgeted properly, shouldn’t be a problem. Things can get complicated when other buyers become your competitors and, to fend them off, you have to raise your offer above the asking price. Never go higher than you can absolutely afford. Never let emotion rule the day.
Submitting your offer
The actual process of submitting an offer should always be done through an estate agent, not directly to the seller and it’s worth knowing that agents are legally obliged to pass on each and every offer they receive. It’s always best to confirm your offer in writing so that you’re not misheard or misunderstood.
5 top tips for getting your offer accepted
When you’ve identified the home you want to buy, be swift and get your offer in sooner rather than later. In today’s market, homes sell very quickly and if you dilly-dally, your offer might arrive too late.
Don’t make your offer unreasonably low. While you want a good deal, so does the seller. A silly offer is likely to frustrate them; they might even consider it offensive.
Play your position
Sellers often want to sell quickly and without unnecessary complications. If, therefore, you are a first-time buyer, are not linked to a chain, or can afford to buy in cash, make sure the seller knows this. If they receive two identical offers, they will choose the one that allows for the fastest, easiest path to completion.
Trust your agent
Trust the advice of your agent. They are a professional who knows the local market like the back of their hand. They know better than you how to get an offer accepted. You can rely on them to do what’s in your best interests.
Have everything in order
Make sure your paperwork and life circumstances are in order to allow for the smoothest possible transition of ownership. Sellers will appreciate this and are, therefore, more likely to accept your offer.
Christina Melling, CEO of Stipendium, commented: “In today's hot housing market, the process of submitting an offer is a delicate balancing act. You don’t want to overpay, but you also don’t want to lose out to a competitor. Understand your position, trust your agent and be prepared to walk away if the seller demands too much.
"In truth, however, it’s actually one of the most straightforward parts of the buying process, which says a lot for how complex the journey can be. We hope Merge and its 12-step plan can help overwhelmed buyers get a clearer idea of what needs to be done and when.”