Once you have found the property of your dreams, the next step is to make an offer.
If you are submitting your offer to an agent you can usually do so verbally, either in person or by phone, or in writing. If you initially submitted your offer verbally, you may be asked to send a confirmation across in writing, usually by email these days, for their records.
The agent is then obliged to pass the information to the vendor (the current owner) for consideration.
It helps to tell the story of what makes you a good buyer, highlighting why they should choose you, and don’t always assume that just by paying the asking price will be enough.
If your initial offer is not successful, there could be a couple of rounds of offers and counter-offers back before an agreement is made. An agent is required to be transparent with you and will let you know if there are other people that are interested.
Knowing your budget ceiling is crucial so decide your maximum limit from the start and stand firm. If the seller refuses to budge, you need to think very carefully if the property really is worth the extra money and of course, what you will have to live without over the long term.
Do your homework and check what the property is truly worth. Whilst sold house prices can help give an idea of recent sales, it’s better to see what the competition is like now. If there are few similar properties for sale in the area, chances are the seller has the upper-hand. Also, if there are any faults or repair work required, use this to justify a lower offer. In tougher times when there are fewer buyers, sellers may be more willing to negotiate on price.
Once your offer has been accepted, make sure the estate agent has taken the property off the market and is no longer advertising it for viewings.
If someone else is interested and views it, you risk someone else coming in with a higher offer, which is known as gazumping.
You should receive a letter from the estate agent confirming your offer. If you don’t receive this then make sure to ask for one.
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