- Be honest about your buying position
Provide the Estate Agent with details of your position. You need to give details of the finances available to you in the form of equity, loans and cash. They will expect proof of these funds in the form of bank statements, an approved mortgage or details of the house you are selling. Explain your reason for buying and offer a realistic timescale you need to work to. The agent will need to understand your circumstances so that they can correctly match you with the property and vendors position.
- Consider the vendors position
Verify the vendors position and timescale, ensure you can work within their required timescale – you will want to avoid being under pressure. This could result in having to moving to a rented property or being in a position where you hold up a chain. Being honest with everyone means those with connected sales can decide if this is feasible for everyone. By carefully considering whether your timescale matches up with those in the chain to avoid a fall- through mid-sale.
- Look at your financial position and affordability
Is the maximum budget you gave to the estate agents realistically achievable? If the property requires renovation or redecoration these costs are in addition to your offer. Your offer is for the house which is sold as seen. Your then need to ensure you have funds set aside for the works you wish to carryout. The vendor is not concerned about what you wish to do to the house when you purchase, that is your business. The offer you submit relates to the house as it is now.
- Consider Demand
Look at how quickly similar properties have sold in this location. Consider how many similar properties are available, look at the rise in prices over the last year. If you have selected this area because there aspects which you require; such as local schools, transport links, local amenities or high rental yields; chances are other people will have the same idea. In such areas you will have to act quickly and may have to offer the asking price to secure the property; if the demand is exceptional high and the agency is conducting a large volume of viewings you may end up in a bidding war and have to pay significantly over the asking price. However, if then property has been on the market for a while, then it is more likely they are open to negotiation. You should decide what you want, if you don’t want to pay top dollar you should look for an up and coming area, which is not well known; if you wish to live in a sought after location, you will have to pay the price and be ready to act fast.
- Have proof of funds and solicitor’s details ready
An Estate Agent will expect you to provide proof of funds and solicitors details along with your offer. If you are not prepared with these and another buyer is, you could miss out on this opportunity. The agency will favour those who are likely to be easy to deal with, on the ball and ready to jump on this opportunity.
- Submitting the offer
When submitting your offer to the agent, state the price clearly and the full reason for offering that amount. If you have decided that this is the maximum you can offer make that clear, this saves time wasting and the vendor will be made aware this is a non-negotiable offer. Reiterate, in detail, your buying position and any flexibility that you can afford. If you have terms which are attached to your offer – such as this will include the washer or curtains or the vendor will re-paint the lounge before the sale completes – please make these clear now! Negotiating an offer down after you have agreed a price, is called ‘gazundering’ and is considered extremely underhand. Gazundering can lead to the fall through of not just your sale, but also the vendors purchase and other sales if you should be in a chain.
- Change of situation
Should, at any point, your position change, inform your Solicitor and the Estate Agent immediately so as to avoid causing problems for all parties further into the sale. There may be a way that this change can be accommodated but the longer it is left without communication the less likely it will be a solution can be found and the more upset you will be causing in the chain.