Making an Offer on a Property
Before making an offer on a property, there are a few things you should consider. First off, you should check whether the house is worth the price you are willing to pay. You can use the Land Registry to compare the selling prices of houses that have sold in the same area. Access is available for free on the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/search-house-prices. Remember that other factors affect the value of two similar houses such as location or quality fittings. You should also make sure you know if the property is freehold or leasehold and decide on a list of the fixtures and fittings which are to be included.
How Much Should I Offer?
There is not a fixed price guide for properties, but significant savings can be made by using the right strategy during the negotiations. The opening offer is very important. Usually, it is a figure below the asking price, but this depends on market conditions. The price may be adjusted later depending on the survey results.
There are a variety of factors to consider when negotiating:
- Are there any other interested buyers? If there are, you may prefer to offer the asking price before you get into a bidding war.
- How keen is the seller to get a quick sale? For a quick sale, they may accept a lower offer if you have a mortgage in principle letter and a solicitor ready to act.
- How long has the property been on the market? If the seller is having difficulty selling, then a lower offer may be accepted. Ask if the price has been reduced since the property first went on the market.
- Time of year. Demand for houses is highest in spring and summer, therefore you often will get a better deal during the depths of winter.
Your negotiating position can also be improved if you have no property of your own to sell. This makes you a more attractive buyer because it makes the process faster and smoother for everyone. It is also a good idea to have a mortgage in principle letter, which will show the seller you are in a position to pay the price you are offering.
It is worth bearing in mind that if the purchase price is above £125,000.00, you will have to pay Stamp Duty. The amount varies depending on the purchase price.
My Offer has been Accepted … Now What?
Once the seller accepts your offer, it must be made formally in writing and will be subject to terms and conditions. Your offer will be ‘subject to contract and survey', this means that you are not legally bound to complete the sale until a satisfactory survey has been completed and signed contracts have been exchanged. You should also specify the fixtures and fittings to be included and, if applicable, any work to be completed on the property. At this stage, it is a good idea to request that the property is taken off the market to reduce your chances of being gazumped.
Last Updated: Thursday 25th April 2019
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