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Making an Offer on a House: How to Get Your Offer Accepted

Martha Lott
Written by Martha Lott
15th February 2019 (Last updated on Friday 19th July 2019)

Making an offer on a house can be daunting, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. Once your offer has been accepted, you will need to compare conveyancers and then instruct them to begin the conveyancing process.

There are ways to make your offer stand out by doing your research and presenting yourself as a serious buyer. Knowing the reasons behind your offer and writing a letter to the seller will make your offer stand out from the crowd, giving you more of a chance of being accepted.

We’ve put together this guide on everything you need to know about making an offer on a house, from how much to offer to how to get your offer accepted, we’ve covered it all.

This article will cover the following points

How to Make an Offer on a House How to Put in an Offer How Much to Offer on a House How to Make an Offer on a House Below Asking Price After Offer Has Been Accepted Save on your Conveyancing with Compare My Move

How to Make an Offer on a House

You should spend some time working on your offer and why you made that offer to have more chance of success. Here we list our best tips to successfully make an offer on a house, from the importance of doing your research to how to look like a serious buyer, we've covered everything. 

Do Your Research

Research the area and similar houses that have the same number of rooms and features and find out how much that sold for and base your offer around this.

You should also find out if the seller has received other offers on the house, how much the offer was and why it was declined and factor this into your offer.

Negotiate

Sellers will usually put their houses on the market for 5-10% above the actual price as it’s common knowledge that buyers will offer a lower price and negotiations will happen.

Start with a low offer as you can always increase your offer if it’s not accepted straight away, but you can’t decrease your offer if you go in too high, potentially losing out on getting a better deal.

Don’t go straight in with your maximum bid as if the seller comes back with a counter-offer, you won’t be able to go any higher. 

Have a Mortgage in Principle 

To let the seller know you’re a serious buyer who doesn't want to waste valuable time, start your mortgage application way before you look at properties. If you make an offer and don't have a mortgage in principle, the chances of the offer being accepted or even taken seriously are slim.

Arrange a Date for Moving

Have a rough idea of a date that you’d like to complete and move house on. This will give the seller more reason to accept your offer and trust you as a buyer.

Let Them Know You’re a Serious Buyer 

Explain why you offered the amount you did, factoring in other houses and their sold prices nearby. If you offer a low amount, consider explaining this is because the house needs a certain type of work done. This will show you’re serious about buying the house, therefore your offer will be more likely to be accepted.

It’s also worth letting the seller know you have your finances in place and you’re ready to start the conveyancing process. This way, you will be taken more serious as a potential buyer.

Be an Attractive Buyer 

If you’re a first-time buyer, not part of a property chain or a cash buyer, you’re going to have an automatic advantage over other buyers who have made an offer as this will likely be a quick conveyancing process.

How to Put in an Offer

You should always put your offer in writing through an estate agent, whether it’s a letter, email or telephone call, this will act as evidence of your offer. Don’t put your offer in person without any proof of you agreeing this with estate agent.

To make your offer stand out even more, write a letter to the seller detailing why you want to buy their house and the reasoning behind your offer. This will be a more personal approach, allowing the seller to get to know you a little bit, making your offer stand out over other potential buyers.

How Much to Offer on a House

Usually many people will put their first offer in 5-10% below the asking price as a lot of sellers will price their houses above the actual valuation of the property to make room for some negotiations.

Don't go in too low or too high for your opening bid. If you make an offer that’s way below the asking price, you won't be taken seriously, and if you go in too high you’d have likely got it cheaper.

Work out what your maximum offer will be and make sure you don’t get carried away and bid more than you can afford.

How to Make an Offer on a House Below Asking Price

It’s normal to make an offer on the house below the asking price. Typically between 5 and 10% below the asking price is commonly offered amongst buyers. Any offer that is unrealistically low will immediately get declined and you could be ruled out from trying again.

You should give valid reasons why you’re offering a low figure. Find out if there’s work that needs to be done, a dodgy boiler or any problems with neighbours, and factor in how much this will take off the asking price to fix.   

After Offer Has Been Accepted

Once your offer has been accepted, ask the estate agent to take down the listing to avoid disappointment. They usually keep the listing up which allows someone to make a better offer, also known as ‘gazumping’.

Ask the sellers to stop marketing the property to avoid being gazumped, which will prove to the seller that you’re a serious buyer and won’t pull out of the purchase. You will need to make your offer subject to survey as if your property survey shows any damage to the condition of the house, you can negotiate on the price even more.

Remember, the purchase isn't legally binding after the offer has been accepted. It’s not until after exchanging contracts the purchase becomes official and you can’t back out of buying the house without potentially losing your deposit money.

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