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How certain to you have to be to make an offer?

(14 Posts)
Quodlibet Wed 14-Nov-12 09:35:18

Hoping for a bit of perspective here.

We are first time buyers and trying to get a handle on the way things work really, as the mental leap of putting your first offer in on your first house is a big leap!

We are in London where at the moment there seem to be more buyers than suitable properties at the range we can afford and I am concerned we are missing out on things by dallying about. My question is I suppose should we be thinking about putting offers on houses we'd like to buy all being well and then working the details out later? It all seems such a moveable feast. Obviously we don't want to let anyone down, but likewise how sure can you be before you put an offer in?

Advice?

Mintyy Wed 14-Nov-12 09:37:19

No, do not put on offer in unless you are absolutely certain. If you keep your options open then you are mucking your vendor about.

soverylucky Wed 14-Nov-12 09:43:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lalalonglegs Wed 14-Nov-12 10:20:19

As someone who has just had a buyer "change his mind, no real reason, just changed his mind" four months after putting an offer in and after countless delays and expense so we could track down this, that and the other piece of meaningless paperwork, I would urge you to be very, very certain. angry

Quodlibet Wed 14-Nov-12 10:53:08

I don't mean not being certain because you want to keep your options open - I suppose I mean putting an offer in when you are not absolutely sure things will go through smoothly. We are in a weird position being self-employed of having our max borrowing amount being a bit difficult to discern - different advisors have been more or less certain and we have consulted a few - and we know we might have to hunt around a bit for a lender at the top end of what we are looking at. Should we absolutely get our max purchase price nailed down before we think about offers?

lalalonglegs Wed 14-Nov-12 11:17:30

Go to a mortgage broker - London & Country are good and know about a wide variety of specialist providers - get an agreement in principle and then look.

LaCiccolina Wed 14-Nov-12 11:31:03

The moral way is to know its the right house, feel it, love it and go forwards to survey.

The often done way is to see a few, like a couple, put in a few offers. See what comes back quickly, go forwards and see which gets to survey quickest. It's at survey u as a buyer starts shelling out £. It does sort out lazy sellers, there's no reason for the process to take as long as it does apart from lazy buyers, sellers and lawyers.....

I'm not saying it right. I'm just saying it happens.

Quodlibet Wed 14-Nov-12 12:51:05

I am finding it hard precisely because the whole thing seems so unscrupulous tbh - agents lie and exaggerate, in London many things are priced 10 or 15% above with the expectation of getting knocked down, and things go so quickly that a careful buyer who even wants to do two thorough viewings to spot potential snags will be outflanked by someone else who slaps an offer in after a 15 min look round. It is all very depressing.

Lalalonglegs we will try L&C, ta. Our other mortgage broker said in our circumstances it wasn't really worth getting a MIP until we had a property in mind - see what I mean about difference in opinion?

ClareMarriott Thu 15-Nov-12 09:31:32

Quodlibet If you have nothing yourself to sell, go back to basics and work out how much you and your partner can save/ have already for a deposit and what level of mortgage you would need to fund the purchase of a property. Then find out who would lend you the money and at what rates . Go viewing properties with an open mind, now or in the spring, in the area you want to live but have a list of certain things both of you need ( compromises always come into the picture ) If you then find a property you like and know how you are going to fund it, then you can put in an offer. If it is accepted ( and sellers expect to have to accept below their asking price ) then you can instruct a solicitor to do their work and to carry out all the searches etc whilst you organize the survey ( I would always go with a full structural survey myself )
Good luck

lalalonglegs Thu 15-Nov-12 10:51:57

I don't think sellers do expect lower than asking price in many areas of London. If you have been looking for some time, try comparing the sold prices of places you've seen with the asking prices to get an idea of realistic offers (remember that the initial offer may have been negotiated down a bit after the survey). Get a solicitor lined up in the next few weeks so you are ready if you do have an offer accepted.

Quodlibet Thu 15-Nov-12 12:40:34

Thanks Lala - I have got a close eye on sold prices which is what reinforces my idea that sellers are being optimistic - even agents are saying 'well its on at £270k but they'll probably consider round the stamp duty threshold' which makes me feel like values are being inflated. Loads of evidence of agents keeping sold flats on their website at far above the price they achieved etc - my sister's flat (completed 6 months ago) is still on the web 'for sale' at 10% above what she paid for it.

Merrow Thu 15-Nov-12 12:59:50

We were FTB in London a couple of months ago, and it was tough. Things seem to move insanely quickly here. What we did was have a mortgage arranged for the maximum that we could get sorted out, and then start properly looking.

In the end we did make a pretty much snap decision based on one viewing, but by that stage we had a really strong idea of what we were looking for and where we were looking for it. It was still a bit terrifying, but I don't regret doing it. And to be honest I don't know what would have happened if we'd delayed to mull the decision over.

One thing I would say is that as FTB we felt really lost with the whole process after putting in our offer, and our solicitor wasn't really that helpful. The paperwork was all fine, but we had no idea at what points we should have pushed for more info, or pushed for a lower price, and got absolutely no guidance on that. There were some minor issues as a consequence of that, but luckily nothing major.

MustafaCake Thu 15-Nov-12 13:40:07

I'm a seller in London and in my area there seems to be a lot of buyers chasing few properties. If you piss the vendors around they will just go with another buyer, there are plenty around.

Believe me, I've just binned my buyer cos he put an offer in 3 weeks ago and has yet to have his survey done as he is still quibbling over various non issues!

The agents round here have a policy of keeping viewings going until buyers have demonstrated their commitment to buy (eg by paying for a survey) so there will be others sneaking in and taking your property if you are not in a proceedable position.

I had another buyer within 48 hours smile

Quodlibet Thu 15-Nov-12 14:17:19

That's interesting Mustafa and Merrow, thanks.

Right, looks like we've got to really knuckle down with the mortgage then.

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