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Any House-Bidding/Moving Gurus out there who can help a novice please!

(26 Posts)
moonshine Tue 02-Aug-05 22:37:40

Cannot believe have reached the age of 39 without ever having had to put in a bid for a house, so am a complete novice at this and need help!

We have found 2 houses that we like. Both are, strictly speaking, out of our price range but we are going to attempt to put in cheeky offers as we think we are a good prospect (no chain) and we know that vendors of both houses are keen to move and potentially can both move quickly (we are also maybe unrealistic dreamers!)

So, my questions are, can I put offers in at the same time (both would not need to know about the other) or is that unethical or just plain stupid? Is the first offer always rejected? Do you always go in much lower than the asking price (assuming that it's not a 'hot' property which is immensely popular, and they don't seem to be atm.)? What's the best strategy for getting a 'cheeky' offer accepted? Should we be actively playing them off against each other?

Also, has anyone ever put in an offer after only having seen the house once? (Long story behind that one!)

Any advice gratefully appreciated.


sobernow Tue 02-Aug-05 22:43:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sobernow Tue 02-Aug-05 22:44:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

moonshine Tue 02-Aug-05 22:46:59

If only! Was that the first offer of your vendors then, Sobernow or did they originally go even lower?

gigglinggoblin Tue 02-Aug-05 22:48:41

i would ask estate agent what market is doing atm in your area so you know what to expect. my last house was bought at nearly £5000 below asking price (10%) which we thought was a cheeky offer but they accepted it straight away. thing is, if they accept the first one you always kick yourself for not going lower!

be as cheeky as you like, there is nothing to lose if you are only at the offer stage - a lot can change when you get the survey done and that is expected anyway

sobernow Tue 02-Aug-05 22:50:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

moonshine Wed 03-Aug-05 09:05:11

Thanks so far - I know what the prices around the country are like roughly but am still always gobsmacked at how much cheaper property is in other parts of the country.

Any other words of wisdom - am on the verge of putting in an offer soon and feeling as sick as a dog for some reason!

Frieda Wed 03-Aug-05 09:17:35

Hi, moonshine

We're just in the midst of all this, so I know how you feel however, don't forget that you're in a very strong position – ie chain free. We're selling to chain-free first-time buyers, and have accepted about 7% less than the asking price as we had to move – would have insisted on another £5000 had they been in a chain.

And like you, we've offered on a house that I've only seen once (although I'm not 100% sure it's going to go through, as it's a listed building and the conveyancing has been a nightmare, but that's another story).

I'd say go for it. People don't usually accept a first offer – and our buyers were really cheeky – £40,000 below asking – but you have to start somewhere. And as for putting 2 offers in, I see no reason why not. And perhaps if you intimated to the agents that there was something else that you were equally interested they'd be so keen to make the sale, they'd accept quite a low offer.

Out of interest, where are you buying? We're moving to the west country, and the market seems pretty slack there with a lot of houses hanging around on the market for ages and many reducing their asking prices.

Good luck!

moonshine Wed 03-Aug-05 09:29:40

Frieda, that's brilliant! I was really worried about offering because we've only seen the one we like best once but we are finding it impossible to go again for ages and I really really want to get this whole process moving as we need to be out of our flat soon!

We are buying in Middlesex, or West London suburbia, some might say - somewhere I said I'd never go, but needs must. Cannot afford to buy a house here where we live atm. Market here does seem quite sluggish but still pretty expensive for us.

Good luck to you - are you in the dreaded 'Under Offer' phase then?

I shall go gather my thoughts now and maybe phone the Estate Agents.

Frieda Wed 03-Aug-05 09:48:06

Just another thought – someone suggested you ask the estate agent what the market is like where you're buying. I'd say, if it's the agent you're buying from, take anything they say with a pinch of salt: they want to make a sale and they want to get the best price they can so will string you along if necessary.

Ask how long the house you're interested in has been on the market. A lot of houses have been hanging around for a while – if this is the case, the vendors will look more favourably on a low-ish offer (last year was a particularly bad year for house sales pretty much all over – the conveyancing dept of the law firm DH works for say their business was down about 25% from the year before and agents are having to work much harder to get a sale and to keep it from falling through, so make 'em work!) There seems to have been a bit of an upturn this spring, (which is the main selling season) and the market generally tends to flatten out a bit over August, so I'd say you've a lot in your favour.

Let us know how you get on.

Frieda Wed 03-Aug-05 09:50:22

And thanks for asking – yes we are "under offer", and have been teetering on the brink of exchanging for the past three weeks! Fingers crossed it'll happen by Friday.

foxinsocks Wed 03-Aug-05 09:56:22

moonshine, sounds like you are moving to an area not too far from us...

You'll lose nothing by bidding low in a fairly quiet market. Also, estate agents will really push you (to the seller) as their preffered choice because of your position and for some reason, sellers quite often listen to estate agents!

We moved here (middlesex/sw london) from central/west london and I must say that in all my life (and I've moved almost every 2 years) I have never met such conniving estate agents but we may have just been unlucky. I hope it goes well and you get the house you want.

moonshine Wed 03-Aug-05 11:02:36

Offer made and rejected as expected . But the really sickening thing is, for the second time for us, another chain-free buyer has come in with a much higher offer (from what I can glean from the slippery estate agent) from nowhere - aaarrrghhh! So we will probably have to withdraw from that one. It wasn't a dream house but do feel very very disappointed.

Onto house number 2 then, which is not as nice (well more characterless but quite roomy). But still out of our price range. Grrrrrr.

Frieda - the waiting is killing, isn't it? Well, at least you're nearly there!

Foxinsocks - know what you mean about the agents - but do you like the area?? Think I can say now the area we want to move to is Ruislip (the other house is owned by childless couple so surely to God they wouldn't use this site??)

foxinsocks Wed 03-Aug-05 11:59:09

sorry you didn't get what you wanted - was the offer that was put in above your budget? If they were only on with one estate agent then I think it was very poor of them not to advise you that someone else wanted to put an offer in.

We are much further south than Ruislip so I can't really comment much on the area (though we're off to Pinner for a party next week!)

Frieda Wed 03-Aug-05 12:18:43

Moonshine – don't despair. In both the houses we've been interested in, another phantom buyer has emerged from nowhere (estate agent's fevered imagination, possibly in one case) to put in asking price offer. In the first instance, we refused to budge and they took the other offer (they were in a chain), only to find the chain fell through subsequently and they had to come sheepishly back to us, by which time we'd moved on (and I'm actually really relieved we didn't get that house in retrospect – fell in love with it, but totally impractical, miles from nearest school/shop and on a fairly fast road).
Second house had another phantom buyer lurking, who we dubbed "the richest man in Wiltshire" as the estate agent made him out to be a huge local property tycoon, however he didn't seem to be able to stump up the money when it came down to it even when we refused to go to the asking price.

Hold on to the fact that you're in a really good position and the estate agents will be desperate not to let you go.

All the best

foxinsocks Wed 03-Aug-05 12:22:13

our estate agents made out there were so many people bidding for the house we wanted that I totally expected to see a queue of people banging on the door expecting to be shown around.

When we arrived, the estate agents hadn't even got the right keys (so no-one else could have seen it). Boy did they look sheepish (for about 3 seconds then they reverted to their money grabbing look).

We put a bid on the house next door (much cheaper) and it was turned down. We found out later that the estate agent had advised them not to accept - 3 months later it was still unsold and eventually went for less than we offered. It still pisses me off today.

As frieda said (so much better than me!), hang on in there!

ButtonMoon Wed 03-Aug-05 12:33:58

Know exactly how you are feeling at the mo, we are awaiting to hear whether our offer has been accepted......except it's taken them over 48 hours to make up their mind!!! We're going crazy!! We put in a silly offer to start 10% of asking price, which they turned down straight away. The house is in a popular area and has only been on the market a few weeksand so I think they are playing silly beggars just in case a better offer comes in!! Frustrating time, just want to get moving on it soon cos our house sold three weeks ago and the buyer wants a quick exchange. All the best x

moonshine Wed 03-Aug-05 21:16:47

I'm loving these stories about phantom buyers - although obviously am not delighting in anyone's misfortune! Well I will not hope too much but will be interested to see what happens to the one we have pulled out of (yes because the estate agent was dropping huge hints that the rival bid was bigger than our budget).

48 hours is cruel ButtonMoon! We put our second offer this morning and we have to wait until tomorrow morning to find out what the vendor said (although estate agent said he was sure he would reject it). Fingers crossed for you too.

I've always read about but never had to deal with estate agents before - boy they really are slippery eels, aren't they? And the ones I have dealt with nearly all seem to be about 12 years old.

WestCountryLass Wed 03-Aug-05 21:48:55

When we bought this house (and our last one), we put in offers and said 'this is our full and final offer' as we really hate all that unnecessary messing about. If you do put in an offer then if it is the top end of your budget and full and final you need to make your EA aware and insist they pass on this information to the vendor.

You could put in offers on both properties but I personally would feel a bit of an arse if both offers were then accepted and you had to take an offer back. I would put in the offer on the property you like best first and see how that pans out, you should get an answer in a few days so hopefully that won't jeopardise your chances with the other property.

Good luck!

ButtonMoon Wed 03-Aug-05 22:03:04

Will have been 72 hours tomorrow morning! Pure torture!!

moonshine Thu 04-Aug-05 10:53:45

ButonMoon - any news yet? I'm still waiting as well and it is late morning now. Don't know whether I should phone again or play it cool...

WCL - you're brave. I did think about offering a first and last offer on house A but dh wouldn't let me.

ButtonMoon Thu 04-Aug-05 12:25:24

No news yet...still waiting...apparently he is "considering the offer"...taking a bloody long time though! the offer is over 98% of the asking price...surely shouldn't take that long. I reckon he is waiting to see if any viewings come to anything over the weekend. and this is supposed to be a buyers market

Prufrock Thu 04-Aug-05 13:06:43

It's always worth putting a cheeky offer in. When we bought this house we were renting and chain free, and willing to exchange on a provisional completion date (i.e. you say you will complete by a far off date, but sooner with 4 weeks notice) to give our vendors as much flexibility as they wanted. The house didn't actually get put onto the open market, but just shown to us and one other party, who also wanted it, but who we outbid. But our first offer was £75k below asking and we ended up paying £43,700 below asking.

moonshine Thu 04-Aug-05 17:22:02

Prufrock. Must have been quite some property.

Any news ButtonMoon yet???

Well I have shouted at and neglected my children today, have shouted at dh and have cried buckets. Our offer was refused (as expected) but we were told that the absolute bottom line was an amount about £4,000 more than we can afford, even after having begged the max from our Building Society and borrowed off relatives. And, surprise surprise, we were told of a mystery chain-free buyer who wanted to put in an offer - I'm beginning to realise they all seem to use that one (or someone has a vendetta against us). So, last throw of the dice, we put in an offer about £1k over what we can really raise (gulp) and....they are thinking about it.

When will this torture end??

WestCountryLass Thu 04-Aug-05 21:17:02

Not sure if we were brave or stupid but it worked out Both times we were in a good position, first time buyers and when selling our house we had a first time buyer buying it, mortgage agreed etc.

I hope your offer is accepted!

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