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Negotiating House Price After Offer Accepted

Nicola Ryan

Written by

17th Jan 2023 (Last updated on 8th Feb 2024) 5 minute read

It is common for buyers to negotiate their agreed price after the initial offer has been accepted. Most properties are “Sold Subject to Contract”, meaning the property transaction is not legally binding. On the other hand, sellers are not allowed to alter the asking price once they have accepted an offer.

In this guide, we take you through what you need to know about negotiating property prices after an offer is accepted. We will discuss why buyers renegotiate their offers and when it is possible during the property transaction.

  1. When Can You Renegotiate The House Price?
  2. How to Renegotiate the Property Price
  3. Can I Renegotiate After Offer Accepted?
  4. Is the Seller Allowed to Change House Price After Accepting Offer?
  5. Can I Renegotiate Offer After House Survey?
  6. Can I Renegotiate Offer After Exchanging Contracts?
  7. Finding a Conveyancer

When Can You Renegotiate The House Price?

Buyers can pull out of a property purchase at any point before the exchange of contracts. This is because the sale is not legally binding. If you pull out before exchanging contracts, you will not be subject to any financial penalties. However, you may lose money spent on conveyancing searches and solicitor’s fees.

A general rule is that the further along in the home-buying process you are, the more money you are likely to lose.

How to Renegotiate the Property Price

Here is the best way to successfully negotiate a house price:

1. Have a Property Survey

Surveyors work in your best interest to highlight any defects. They can also provide an accurate valuation. Make sure that they are regulated by RICS to ensure that the survey is completed to the highest standard.

If you do receive negative survey results, you may get an estimate of repair costs and maintenance work that needs to be completed. This may assist in getting you a good deal as the report will contain evidence to negotiate the purchase price.

2. Do Research

Researching the local property market can give you a rough estimate of the current market value. You can look at recently sold homes in the area. If you are purchasing a new build house that has not finished construction, you can research how many plots have been sold and how much for. It may help you decide whether you want to submit a cheeky offer.

3. Write a Letter with Reasons and Quotes

Once you have completed the previous steps, you can explain your reasoning in a letter to the seller. Stating estimated costs for reparations will give the seller a realistic idea of what to expect from other potential buyers.

Not only will this boost your bargaining power, but it may result in a significant price reduction for your new home.

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Can I Renegotiate After Offer Accepted?

Renegotiation is a common occurrence after an offer is accepted. Properties tend to be listed as Sold Subject to Contract, often abbreviated to SSTC.

Chain-free buyers such as cash buyers and first-time buyers will be in a better position for negotiations. This means that sellers are more likely to accept a lower bid from them in the hopes that it will generate a quick sale.

If you are buying a house with a mortgage, your mortgage lender will carry out affordability checks before you sign the contracts. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate your mortgage offer carefully and make sure you can make your monthly repayments. This includes accounting for the rising interest rates.

Is the Seller Allowed to Change House Price After Accepting Offer?

Sellers cannot alter their guide price after accepting an offer. They may have accepted an offer immediately for a quick sale and feel regretful that they didn’t put their property on the market at a higher price. If the seller wishes to back out of the transaction, they will face financial penalties. This includes potentially covering the buyer’s legal costs up to the current stage of the process.

Your seller may be reluctant to negotiate. This could be due to the seller’s solicitor or estate agent wanting to get the full price. If your seller refuses to negotiate, you can choose to pull out of the sale or proceed with the purchase, paying the initial offer.

If you have concrete evidence as to why you wish to renegotiate, you can explain how this may affect future offers.

The best way to avoid upset as a buyer is to not get emotionally attached to the property. Make sure that you keep your options open and keep an eye on the property market in the area.

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Can I Renegotiate Offer After House Survey?

Most cases of renegotiation come after the property survey has been conducted. In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the survey is paid for by the buyer.

The most popular survey types are the RICS Level 2 Home Survey (HomeBuyers Report) and the RICS Level 3 Home Survey (Building Survey). In Scotland, the seller pays for a Home Report which is then available to all potential buyers.

Once you have received the report from the surveyor, you can use the survey findings to renegotiate the property price. Some sellers will pay to have the issues fixed. However, some may lower the house price.

If you do agree on a renewed lower price, you will be expected to foot the bill for repairs. Bear in mind that this can take a lot of time and could cost thousands. Therefore, make sure you are not exceeding your maximum budget.

Some homeowners sell their homes at auction if their property requires a lot of improvements. This means that the property is likely to sell for less, but this accounts for the work the buyer will have to complete.

Can I Renegotiate Offer After Exchanging Contracts?

You cannot renegotiate your offer after exchanging contracts. This is because the purchase becomes legally binding. If the buyer wishes to withdraw from the sale, they will face financial penalties.

The buyer will lose their deposit and can face legal action if the seller pushes for the sale to go through. Therefore, the buyer must make sure they are paying the right price before signing any contracts.

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Finding a Conveyancer

At Compare My Move, you can compare quotes from up to 6 licensed conveyancers. Simply fill out our conveyancing form. You can compare quotes from conveyancers working in your area and save on your conveyancing fees.

Nicola Ryan

Written by Nicola Ryan

Nicola focusses on all things moving house at Compare My Move where she writes articles for the advice centre, guiding users through everything they need to know about moving house.

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