Putting in an offer on a property is exciting, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. When you find a property you really love, you just want to get the keys and move in as soon as possible. However, there’s a process to submitting an offer on a property and getting it accepted, which shouldn’t be rushed.
Don’t worry though, this blog is designed to shed light on the property offer process and what is required of buyers.
Preparing for a house purchase
Before the process of putting an offer in begins, there are certain preparations that must be made. The most immediate of these is having a mortgage agreement in principle in place. This signals to sellers that a party has taken the first step in securing a mortgage and they’re serious about buying.
To make sure you aren’t caught out, read our other blog ‘5 reasons why your mortgage offer was declined’.
At this point, it’s also recommended for buyers to research the property they want to buy. A good start is to look at the local property market and find properties with similar features, including the number of rooms. This helps get an accurate valuation of the chosen property and informs how much the offer should be.
The process of making a property offer
Putting an offer in on a residential property is a formal process that has to be followed for the house sale to go through. Buyers shouldn’t feel strict time pressure to complete the offer though. The process has relatively few steps and once you’re familiar with it, you’ll find putting in an offer on your perfect property is straightforward.
Inform an estate agent or buying agent
By law, every offer made on a property has to be passed on to the seller. As a result, the best way to make a seller aware of your offer is to tell the estate agent responsible for the property. This can be done formally through email, letter, or over the phone.
A buying agent is a company or individual that the buyer can use to represent them during the offer process. The buying agent is often a legal professional who operates solely in the interest of the buyer. They aim to find the ideal house for their client, negotiate the best price and terms, and make the process smooth.
Put the offer in writing
Records of an offer can be made in an email or over the phone. Whatever method you choose to convey the offer, it should include:
- The buyer’s name and contact details
- The price you’re willing to offer for the property
- Any factors that make your offer more appealing
At this stage, it can be useful for buyers to make their position clear. This can help make their offer more attractive. For instance, sellers will always value first-time buyers more highly because they allow the seller to avoid chain delays.
Offers are often negotiated during the buying process. This involves the buyer and seller sitting down to discuss the price of the offer. As the buyer, you could be in a position where you can negotiate a lower price. Equally, the seller could attempt to push you towards a higher offer price. To prepare, your budget should be considered before you enter into negotiations.
Many properties are sold under open negotiations, meaning there’s an ongoing conversation between both parties. In these cases, the offer price can be changed up to the point where contracts are exchanged. The alternative is to send a sealed bid. Here, each potential buyer will submit their offer in a sealed letter. It’s then up to the seller to choose the offer based on which is best.
The offer is accepted (hopefully)
Unfortunately, an offer on a property isn’t legally binding in England or Wales. So even if your offer has been accepted, the house isn’t guaranteed to be yours. Instead, the seller may choose to go with a higher offer that’s submitted after yours has been accepted. This practice known as gazumping.
After your offer on the property is accepted, you’ll need to seek out expert conveyancers to manage the sale going forward. Toomey Legal deliver quality advice and services at fixed prices.
How to get your offer accepted
While the process seems straightforward enough, there are strategies and practices to ensure you have the best chance of your offer being accepted. From getting in touch with the estate agent to how you approach negotiations, these online conveyancing tips can give you an edge over other buyers.
It can often be better to make an offer that’s either higher or lower than the projected value of the property. This can be possible due to factors surrounding the sale. For example, if a property has been on the market for a long time, it could mean the asking price is too high. As such, it’s important to do thorough research on your chosen property before you put an offer in.
Show you’re serious
Sellers are looking for someone who is committed to following through on their offer and buy the property. Not all sellers ask for a holding deposit. However, those that do are looking for a buyer that’s willing to pay an amount of money upfront to demonstrate their seriousness. Being proactive is another way to instil confidence in sellers.
If you’re looking to buy in a certain area, getting to know the estate agents can put you in good stead for securing a property. You can build these relationships further by visiting their offices in-person rather than using other forms of communication.
Protect your purchase
On the acceptance of your offer, you should ask for the property to be taken off the market. This helps protect your purchase from other offers, thereby minimising the chance the purchase is disrupted.
Fixed fee conveyancing Whitley Bay
Toomey Legal is a fully licensed and regulated conveyancing specialist. Our team can help guide you through the process of putting an offer in on a property and beyond. All our services are focused on getting the best outcome for you. Contact us today and to get a free quote.