Should you tell your estate agent what the lowest offer you'd accept for your house is?

(25 Posts)
Mendi Wed 01-May-13 10:10:03

Just that, really. I am pretty desperate to sell my house before the end of the summer (i.e. complete before end August) and so far there have been no offers.

I was wondering if it would help or hinder me to say to the EA what my 'bottom line' is.

Thoughts?

Salbertina Wed 01-May-13 10:12:27

Of course! Remember they're acting for you not buyer and they'll want highest price as more commission that way.

ValentineWiggins Wed 01-May-13 10:17:23

Sorry Salbertina but the only people estate agents are working for are themselves. And the commission is a red herring - if your house is on for say 300K and you tell them you would accept 290 thats the difference (at 1.5%) between 4500 and 4350...they would WAY rather make a quick sale and get the slightly lower number. If your bottom line is 250 then drop the price a lot and see if you can get a bidding war!

If you have had viewings and no offers then the price is too high. What have the EA said about why you have had no offers? If you haven't had viewings there is something wrong (either with the house itself or the price)....

FiftyShadesofGreyMatter Wed 01-May-13 10:18:40

DO NOT do this!! Agents work only for themselves, they are not interested in getting you the best price, as long as they get their commission.

Keep in mind that they only work for themselves and you won't go far wrong.

anklebitersmum Wed 01-May-13 10:19:35

NO! Don't tell them, I almost 100% guarantee they'll only have offers for you that are at that level of you do.

deepfriedsage Wed 01-May-13 10:21:36

I have been told by EA in the past the lowest a vendor will accept. Keep it to yourself.

Bowlersarm Wed 01-May-13 10:23:15

No I wouldn't. Eg if you are on at £275,000 and your bottom line is £250,000 and tell them that they'll start getting people round who can afford £230,000/£240,000 and hope a deal can be struck.

After saying that, if you aren't getting viewers and subsequent offers anyway the house must be priced too high anyway, and it would be irrelevant what figure you wanted, if it wasn't worth that figure.

ExcuseTypos Wed 01-May-13 10:30:14

Well I'd say that if you are happy with accepting the "bottom offer", and want a quick sale then I would tell them.

Yes the EA will tell the buyers, but if that makes them more inclined to make an offer because they think they're getting a bargain, or they know their offer will be accepted, what harm can it do?

Mendi Wed 01-May-13 10:43:31

I've had 3 viewings in a month. EA says our village is too far away from nearest city to be desirable for people looking for 'villages near [city]'. It is only 9 miles or 10 mins in car, but I suppose I will have to take the EA's guidance on that point. It is where it is.

There are 3 other 3 bed houses (mine is 3 bed) and 2 other 4 bed houses on the market in my road. Most of these have been on since before Christmas. One is sitting empty, another the owners are about to emigrate, so both of those are desperate to sell and have dropped their prices from £275k to £250k but since being on at £250k for the past 2 months still haven't sold.

Mine is on at £270k but my third bedroom is a large loft conversion which the others don't have, so I have 3 large doubles and they have 2 proper bedrooms and a tiny box room. Also my house is larger downstairs.

EA says my house is not overpriced, as is quite a bit bigger than the competition.

I can't decide if the fact that there are so many houses, all not selling, proves that the EA is right and buyers just aren't interested in this village, or if my EA isn't really trying. The other houses are on with other EAs.

Saying that, my EA did sell a 4 bed house in my road in March.

My gut instinct over whether to disclose bottom line was not to, and your responses seem generally the same so I won't. Just so frustrated and desperate to get more viewings and an offer!

alienbanana Wed 01-May-13 10:48:38

Never ever ever give anybody your lowest price - that applies to sales jobs, purchasing, buying a new car - everything.

Do you think your house is overpriced? Obviously a lot of people might only look up to the stamp duty bracket. Could you suggest to the estate agent that you'd be happy for them to show people around who are looking in that price bracket?

Mendi Wed 01-May-13 11:02:02

I would really struggle if I had to sell at £250k. I need £260k. At the time I put it on at £270k, it looked relatively bargainous against smaller houses on for £275k but now those houses are £250k.

The 4 bed house up the road sold in March for £280k apparently, and the fourth bedroom is more of a study/box room so I really don't think £270k as a marketing price to get £260k for mine is overpriced. On the other hand, I do need to sell fast.

It's so hard isn't it.

alienbanana Wed 01-May-13 11:05:06

That is tricky.. We've been looking at our max budget is £250k purely because of the stamp duty, but we're looking at houses up to about £275k in the hope they'd take an offer under the stamp duty threshold. It's a really difficult bracket to be in I think.

badtasteyoni Wed 01-May-13 11:08:45

I wouldn't do it - they will be straight on the phone to potential buyers encouraging them to make an offer at that price. Yes they get more commission the higher the price, but their no.1 aim is to get houses on and off their books as fast as possible.

Mendi Wed 01-May-13 13:08:27

Yes it is a tough bracket. I bought for £240k 7 years ago. Just to keep up with inflation since then would require £300k now, which is depressing.

As a buyer I would be looking at the SDLT threshold too. I've done some sums and it seems as though, if you're going to pay more than £250k, you've really got to go to £260k before it is worthwhile doing. Which is fine because I can't afford to sell for less than £260k and I think that would be a great deal for a buyer (and my EA and another have also agreed).

Just need someone to come along and like it.

georgedawes Wed 01-May-13 13:22:40

I think you'll be hard pushed to get 260 tbh. Most areas (not all) have been static since the peak, when you bought. I think 250 will be the most you'll get, sorry.

Rosesandlemons Wed 01-May-13 13:49:10

We bought a house last year. It was very desirable and worth the asking price to us. The ea told us what they would accept. We offered that. Got the house for significantly less than asking price. The ea are clearly after quick sales and good turnaround of property's. in the scheme of things a few £££ doesn't make a significant difference to the agent

PlasticLentilWeaver Wed 01-May-13 13:53:36

If you need to sell, you also need to be realistic. Being priced just over that stamp duty threshold means that people have to find about another £5-6k (give or take, depending on exact offer) on top of the purchase price. That rules out quite a few buyers for starters. You need to carefully weigh up the need to sell by August vs the extra £10k and see which is most important.

When our EA valued my house, I told them to market for £10k more and that I would then accept what they had valued it at. Right or wrong, I don't know, and maybe I got lucky, but we had an offer at that price within about 8 weeks. It was below the £250k threshold though.

Our next purchase is then over the next threshold up, which we had to think very long and hard about doing, as we wanted to stay below as we didn't think we could find the money to do the jump in stamp duty. In the end, we have managed it but most of the houses that we looked at that were valued just over the threshold are still on the market and have been for over a year because buyers really resent the significant stamp duty hike for a relatively small (as a proportion of house value) increase in price.

The fact that other houses with other agents aren't selling either suggests he might be right about the village being wrong (as if it was lack of effort, the others would be selling). Which means the value is lower, and there will be fewer viewings and less opportunity to sell.

pippop1 Wed 01-May-13 14:56:40

I've been looking at flats up to £270k with the aim of not paying over £250k because of the stamp duty threshold.

One EA I came across, marketed a flat at £265k with the vendor willing to pay the difference in the extra stamp duty. I thought this was rather clever and might be something that you can try?

So if the for sale price was £265k, the buyer would pay 1% of £250k (£2,500) , and the vendor pays the rest of the SD amount. This would be £7,915 minus £2,500 so about £5415 for vendor to pay.

You'd still get £260k then and the Government get their 3%.

xabiuol Fri 03-May-13 09:55:21

How long has it been on market for?

If your house is on at £270000 and is correctly priced I would expect numerous offers at the £250000 mark because people would be trying their luck for a bargain. £270000 is near enough the SDT that buyers would have no hesitation trying their luck and offering £250000 if the house represented good value. If I see a house marketed at £270000 I make an automatic assumption that seller would be prepared to accept £250000. Also this represent less than a 10% reduction on the asking price (about 7.5%) which seems like a very reasonable offer in today's climate.

The fact that there are smaller houses on at £250000 doesn't automatically make your house the right price if the smaller houses are also overpriced (which if they've been on before Christmas they would appear to be).

I imagine the chances of you getting £260000 where asking price is £270000 are slim unless you are somewhere like London or sought after areas in SE.

Mendi Sat 04-May-13 08:46:58

Pippop I've heard about that deal on the SDLT on here before, but when I looked into it it turned out that it doesn't work because mortgage companies just consider the seller's offer on the SDLT to be a discount off the sale price, and they will lower their mortgage offer accordingly.

flow4 Sat 04-May-13 08:59:29

Yes, I've been told that to Mendi.

I think 'bottom lines' can easily become 'top offers', as they do with the phrase "offers over". You are basically telling vendors what you would accept, and they are likely then to treat that as an asking price and negotiate down.

pippop1 Sun 05-May-13 22:45:41

It's a shame that the Stamp Duty bands work in such an odd way. It skews the market around £250K so much.

flow4 Mon 06-May-13 08:27:48

And around £125k. Some estate agents round here don't even bother marketing houses between £125-135k, I've noticed.

Alwayscheerful Tue 07-May-13 08:59:22

It is my understanding that the £260,000 price point does not exist. I only know of two properties which have sold for this figure. Unless your house is very unusual or very exceptional you will only achieve £250,000. As other posters have mentioned a house priced at £270,000 should quickly generate offers of £250,000, if those offers are not forthcoming the property should be reduced to £250,000 and it would not be unwise to initially state that you would like the full asking price.

Deaglan Tue 14-May-13 12:10:18

Hi everyone,

Mendi, as an estate agent myself I would talk to your agent explain that you wish to complete before the end of august and how best to do this, take a look at the marketing they've done for you and have a look on rightmove at what's sold recently near you if you're much higher its time to change.

I actually do this often with over priced or ..not very well marketed property, first take it off market - it's stale, second take time to think about how best to make your 'home' a 'property' you're in it to sell it and for that we need to emotionally detach ourselves and push it for sale - this may include packing and storing items or making a pink wall cream or another neutral colour.

you need to be able to go around your house and imagine it as someone else's that you're looking at to buy. would you buy it? or bring a friend to help.

I'd suggest then getting at least 3 agents to value it - do not choose the highest its a dirty trick to get instructions. then it may be best to instruct one or all three of them to market it.

what ever price you have now - the market has shown you it's not the correct price. so stay away from it

I hope this helps and if anyone is stuck within London I'll happily help you with a free analysis and market appraisal. just drop me a PM

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