How to make an offer on a house
Once you’ve found a property you’re happy with and you’ve viewed it at least once, the next thing you will need to do is make an offer on it and wait to see if it’s accepted. Here are a few of our top tips for how to go about making an offer on your dream home.
Remember, properties don’t have a fixed price – it’s not like going to the supermarket! The owners will have put the property on the market after getting a number of valuations and will probably have chosen a figure somewhere in the middle of those estimates. They will most likely have factored in buyers putting in offers that are lower than the asking price. So, you could potentially make big savings if you can negotiate, but you should always think hard before making a lower offer than expected. For example, if lots of other people are viewing the property and other people are making offers then common sense may tell you that the owner might hold out for a higher bid.
If you happen to be one of the lucky ones that isn’t part of a property chain, for example if you are a first time buyer or if you are buying a second home, then you can be in a strong position to make a lower offer, but you still need to justify your reasons for doing so. The seller needs to be made aware that although you are offering less money than they wanted, they won’t have to wait for you to sell your property and there isn’t a risk of the chain collapsing – they can just get on and sell their home.
Factors like how long the house has been on the market, the time of year and how badly the seller wants to sell are all factors that you should consider. If the house has only been for sale for three weeks, chances are they won’t be open to low offers, but if it has been for sale for over a year they may be willing to accept a lower offer so they can sell the house and move on. You can do a bit of research by talking to the estate agent, the neighbours and looking online.
When you make the offer, it needs to be subject to the results of a survey and getting a mortgage. If the survey informs you that the property has structural problems, for instance, then this could allow you to substantially lower your offer as you need to budget for repairs.
When making an offer on a property, you make it to the estate agent. You can either do this over the phone, in writing, or you can go to their offices and do it in person.
Take a look at our helpful article for more information on buying your first home.