Should you offer?
Don’t believe the negativity. This week we have had a couple of properties that have gone a bit crazy, loads of viewings and loads of interest. This is obviously fantastic for us but has its own set of problems.
Whenever we have a number of people interested in purchasing the same property this inevitably leads to us having to let people down and disappoint them. We try and break it gently to prospective purchasers but there is nothing quite like telling someone that they cant have something to really get their backs up!
This is understandable in my opinion, as quite rightly they may have missed out on their dream home but you have to try to convince people to become philosophical about these things and ensure them that something even better will be just around the corner.
If you are hoping to buy a property that you know has loads of interest then there are a couple of things that you should do. Obviously you should do the things that you would in a normal house purchase which include satisfying yourself about the condition of the property, researching the area and any comparable properties that have sold.
Once you are happy to make an offer then it is important not to get carried away. In this sense it is not dissimilar to an auction. Set yourself a maximum budget and do not go above it. It is probably best to make your highest offer first. Put your best foot forward and if you get it great if you don’t, then sorry its on to the next one.
If there has been loads of interest and numerous viewings booked, then the agent or seller will probably decide to have, maybe a week of viewings, to get as much interest was possible and consider all of the offers together. This means you may only get one chance to offer, so make it your best as once a decision has been made to accept the sellers are normally happy with this and wont want to get in the scenario of going back and forth to numerous interested parties to try and get a bit more money.
If you are going to offer make sure that you are ready as the agent will want all of your details to make sure you are serious. This will include details of a chain you may have of sold your property, details of mortgage or lending or proof of funds if a cash purchase and details of a solicitor you will be using for the conveyancing.
With this though comes the age old adage. Should you make an offer if you haven’t sold your existing property?
The answer, unfortunately is probably not!
The problem is that sellers normally don’t want to get bogged down with chains if they can help it and definitely ones that are either open ended or haven’t even started yet. Once people have made the decision to sell then they usually want to just get it done and people that are not yet in a position to buy aren’t that attractive unfortunately
As agents, we like offers from people that still have properties to sell. We can normally get their properties on the market to sell to try and secure the other one which in turn leads to double bubble! (2 commissions rather than one). For sellers though it is not as attractive. We can assure them that peoples properties will sell quickly and things will get tied up easily but at the end of the day it is a bit of guesswork and in this uncertain market it is a leap in to the unknown and sellers may not want to commit.
This can even mean that sellers turn down higher offers from people dependent on sales of their own properties compared to lower offers from people having sold properties to complete chains or in the position to proceed immediately.
I do genuinely understand that for buyers it can be a conundrum about which way to go about it, a bit of a Catch 22. People worry every day that they are going to sell their houses and will never be able to find something to move in to.
In my (vast) experience this is not normally the case. Once you have made the decision to move then it usually all falls in to place and there will be something out there for you. Before you even think about selling yours, do your research about what you want to buy. There is no point you selling yours if you think you can move to a 3 bedroom semi detached house on the Marine Estate for £300,000 or downsize to a seafront apartment for £200,000. As long as you are realistic and may be open to a little bit of compromise then you should be fine. Also don’t forget about that double bubble! If you have sold through an agent then he or she is going to be doing everything he can to find you an alternative property and earn that double commission (don’t believe them if they say that all they want is for you to be happy!!).