Making an offer

When you’ve found a property that you like, it’s time to make an offer.  If you are submitting your offer to an agent, they’re obliged to pass the information to the landlord for consideration.  Paying the asking price does not put the landlord under any obligation to accept – but it usually works.

The acceptance process varies. In many agencies, if the price is good enough and the tenant successfully passes a third party referencing check then the tenancy is often just agreed.  Some agents will have a pre-authorisation from the landlord as to what offers to accept.

However, in a competitive market (like the summer) there are often multiple offers and so you should think about other selling points that might make your offer more attractive than those of others.

Price – money does talk – so consider what is the best price you can pay.

Start date – if you’re able to move in on, or very close to, the available date and reduce the potential void period for the landlord, this will improve their overall return.

Tenancy length can be a significant point of benefit:

  • Set up costs are generally quite high for landlords and tenants and so shorter tenancies are generally less attractive.
  • If the property is available at a quieter time of year, offering a longer tenancy that ends at a busier time of the year for the landlord will help them re-let it quickly.
  • Offering a long-term commitment, say of two or three years, so as to avoid the pressure of remarketing.
  • The landlord might want a specific fixed term because they are moving back in – working to their dates would be attractive.

Upfront payments – if you are able to pay more rent in advance (say, an additional month) this would help cover the landlord’s upfront costs.

Keep it simple – a landlord is likely to find your offer more attractive .if you don’t have many special requirements.

Be quick – the longer it takes to agree an offer, the less likely it is to be successful and the more likely that other offers will come forward. Keep the momentum but remain comfortable with what you are doing and offering.

Be honest – it’ll help you build a positive relationship from the start.

Be upfront about pets and children – the landlord is bound to meet them at some point.

Some properties may be listed with more than one agent and they could both end up showing you the property if you’ve been speaking to many agents.  If this is the case, to avoid any dispute as to who introduced you to the property, it’s best to put the offer through the agent that showed you first.

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.