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Can you put in an offer if it's already under offer?

(78 Posts)
Rooners Sun 01-Dec-13 15:55:07

Sorry, I am a complete newb to house hunting.

I haven't got a CLUE what the protocol is so please forgive if I sound completely stupid.

But we've found a house that's under offer and we really, really like it.

Would it be unfair/wrong/unethical to make an offer ourselves?

I am sure I will realise all the answers to this stuff as we go along, but for now, I am relying on you lot and a bunch of estate agents to show me the ropes!

What should we do?

JonathanRolande Fri 11-Sep-15 16:30:09

Sorry for bumping this thread as I know it's a 'Zombie Thread' but it's ranking on Google on a similar topic I was searching for.

Maybe I could help others that land on here looking for help! smile

Estate agents use a lot of terms for under offer. It could be sale agreed, STC, sold subject to contract, sold, any kind of thing.

Essentially it all means the same thing, that somebody has agreed to buy the property and that the seller has agreed to sell it to them.

Normally at that stage an under offer board will go up on the property, the property will be taken out of the estate agents window and down from the website and portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, that??s not always the case but normally is.

Of course, there is no guarantee that the sale will then proceed, it could be that up to about 25 or 30 percent of sales don??t actually conclude once they??ve been agreed. So, there is every chance it could fall through.

But certainly sale agreed/under offer, that??s the initial stage of a sale going to it??s completion.

Hope that helps anyone who's still looking for relevant information.

Jonathan :-)

GingleBells Fri 13-Dec-13 07:46:47

Oh poor you Celtic. (it's the OP here)

Seeing it from your POV I can totally understand why they want as many people to see it as possible. I mean, that was never something I didn't get iyswim - but when I started the thread it was from the POV of someone wanting to see something already under offer, and I needed to know what the protocol was.

And now I get it I think...

We really want this place and wouldn't have offered if we weren't pretty sure. We have sought legal advice and put in two offers conditional on certain terms which we've already investigated.

We have though asked to meet the vendor because it is leasehold, and that means we will be in a contract with this person and so if we find we don't like him, or cannot see ourselves getting on with him or being on the same page then we may withdraw our offer.

I think that's only sensible. But now he is considering selling the freehold with the property, as well, which may take it out of our budget entirely.

I'm not sure why he is considering this (though I can't really understand someone wanting all that responsibility without ownership of the property to live in, iyswim, and we would be glad of the freehold share).

Maybe no one else has offered - it is quite an expensive flat, but it is in a good area and is large - but not having any share in the freehold may be putting people off. That was one of our conditions, that the lease would be extended more than it was already going to be, for our higher offer.

CelticPromise Thu 12-Dec-13 23:01:53

I suppose they might have already booked the viewings? I was on here going to start a moany thread about offers but I read yours so I'll join in wink.

My house went on the market last week, in an outer London area where the market is quite mad but not as bad as central!

We have had about 20 viewings and six offers so far. BUT the one we were going to go with was withdrawn the following morning (no idea why) and so we accepted the next best. Then they came to see it again and withdrew because of a particular thing they weren't sure about (which they had seen and discussed before making their offer). They didn't even ring the agents to say they were withdrawing. Three other offers were too low.

Then we had another viewing and they have made an offer which I'm inclined to accept, but I already had two more viewings booked so I'm keeping them in case this buyer wobbles too! I am not necessarily looking for the highest offer but the one in the best position as we want to sell asap.

Is it a thing now to put an offer in on anything you vaguely like to stay in the running? If people wanted a second viewing I'd rather they just booked one.

(Actually, no I wouldn't. I hate cleaning up.)

Mabelandrose Thu 12-Dec-13 20:30:31

Because you are in such a good position I would put an expiry date on your offer.

DreamingAlice Thu 12-Dec-13 08:40:48

If the vendor has not accepted your offer, it is not Under Offer. They are free to show it to as many people as they like while they consider whether they will accept your offer (or not).

Of course the vendor wants to get the best amount they can for the property and if there is other interest and they think can get more money, they will keep on showing it until they hit the number they want. The vendor is taking a bit of a chance that you'll get annoyed and walk away if your offer is not accepted immediately but obviously is prepared to take that gamble.

And yes, even once the property is Under Offer then other higher offers may potentially be considered until you've exchanged- that is gazumping.

Welcome to the wonderful world of property buying. I'd advise you to buckle up, it is generally a bumpy ride. You will also need a lot of this. wine.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Wed 11-Dec-13 19:35:58

Well, they could out-offer you but you can ask as one of the conditions of the offer that there are no more viewings once accepted.

Rooners Wed 11-Dec-13 19:33:05

I think I see - only when they have accepted our offer does it become 'under offer' technically, then.

But even after that someone could still out-offer us if they decide to.


Rooners Wed 11-Dec-13 19:31:13

Oh I see. I think that makes sense - but we haven't offered 10p, we've had two viewings, we were the first people to view, we made a very good offer close to the asking price, within a week of seeing it, and we're offering cash with no chain.

He said he'd think it over overnight and yes or no today - and now they are having a further viewing.

It's not like we just casually threw a cheeky offer their way iyswim? I thought it was under consideration at least. Does this mean no?

Or is it just as it appears - he wants to know what other people might be prepared to pay?

sorry, ignore me, it doesn't really matter anyway/ Just feeling nervous and so on.

Thankyou for trying to explain flowers

TheDoctrineOfSanta Wed 11-Dec-13 18:28:22

So the buyers on the other one were further down the process than you are now.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Wed 11-Dec-13 18:27:44

Hi rooners

On the last house, the agent didn't show you round because it was under offer ie an offer had been made and accepted.

Otherwise I could go and offer 10p on all the houses in my town to make it look like the only one available was the one I was selling :-)

Rooners Wed 11-Dec-13 17:22:51

Oh I thought that Under Offer meant they have had an offer - not that the sale has been agreed?

That was the situation when I posted before and everyone said how awful it would be to go and see it under those circumstances.

I still don't really understand the whole thing. If this is fair then I think it would have been fair for me to see that other one, perhaps? Or am I still not getting it?

TheDoctrineOfSanta Wed 11-Dec-13 17:12:09

It's not under offer until they accept your offer though, and they've been straight with you about what they are doing.

It's only been two days, they are being reasonable although it's nerve racking for you!

Rooners Wed 11-Dec-13 17:05:16

Well we have now offered on a different house.

We offered just below the asking price, on Monday, and increased it when they said it was a 'good start but a little low'.

It isn't showing as under offer on the website and they said they would get back to us today.

They have now said that they are showing someone else round tonight to see if they make a better offer.

So according to you lot, this is unfair - or is it?

It's a bit of a nightmare isn't it. I'd have thought they would be happy with our offer unless these people offer the full asking price, in cash...well you never know I suppose.


it's just so nerve racking. I wish they would just say, no, feck off, ifthey don't want to accept. Fair play if someone else can pay more. But hanging about waiting to be told yes or no is just ergh.

Rooners Mon 02-Dec-13 11:47:00

Thankyou so much.

I just took a call from the other agent - I explained and apologised for even asking, and she said that the person buying it likes things untouched, too, and is pretty much just going to live in it - so I feel much better about that!

As long as it isn't going to be spoiled. I wished them all the best and they will let me know if anything else comes up.

Result smile

greenfolder Mon 02-Dec-13 11:11:21

Good luck in your search the right house is out there for you. And ignore any sarky
comments. I have learned loads on mumsnet from questions other people asked.

Rooners Mon 02-Dec-13 10:49:15

I am relieved, actually, yes - because it stops me wanting it so much and thinking it is so much of a bargain. But please don't be sarky.

I don't know much about the buying process but I am good with buildings - I have an idea yes - they told me the specific issue and I am confident it could be resolved without a huge outlay.

However there may well be other deeper issues and that is going to have the potential to go exponential, as it were.

Being right at the top of our budget it is unlikely we could take on anything major that hasn't so far been disclosed. But I'm not going to rule out the house, because if they offered it to us at a lower price it might be worth a punt wrt getting a survey.

Flibbertyjibbet Mon 02-Dec-13 10:18:30

'structural issues' that you think are not much and might take a few grand? I'm very curious to know what structural issues might be fixed so cheap. Can you tell us? (I'm dying to know....)

You should be very pleased that its off the market. I suspect that as a first time buyer you are getting away with the idea of giving some tlc to a poor neglected building.

Structural issues means things like walls, foundations etc. 'a few grand' will no doubt mean a megadosh money pit. The last 3 houses I've had have been renovation jobs. None of them needed structural work, but every single time we'd start a job, you find something else behind it that a previous owner might have done in the last 100/150 years. So even the simplest jobs on older houses need a bigger budget and more time than you think.

Walk away, keep looking, something else that you like better will come up.

Rooners Mon 02-Dec-13 09:54:30

I assume that as someone said earlier? you can only put in an offer if you have already seen the property.

Golddigger Mon 02-Dec-13 09:50:13

So people could be paying out several thousands of pounds several times over if they were unlucky?
But some of it could be done after a buyer agreed to take it off the market first?

OddFodd Mon 02-Dec-13 09:36:21

kronenborg - I think they have to do that when it's a repossession (or that it's at the very least standard practice). Obviously it doesn't make it any less stressful. Glad it all went through okay

singarainbow Mon 02-Dec-13 09:23:46

You could make an offer, its up to the vendor to accept it or not. I would say that they are the ones who would be gazumping, not you.

Rooners Mon 02-Dec-13 09:18:37

Plus I can see why it was reduced!

Rooners Mon 02-Dec-13 09:17:46

Oh golly that sounds absolutely terrifying.

We are in the South East. There seems to be some competition to buy - things are selling quite quickly from what I can tell.

Anyway an update for anyone interested:

I have spoken to one of the agents and they said that it does have structural issues, (she told me some of them - nothing horrendous but it would need a few grand) and they won't be doing any viewings as it is indeed under offer, and they don't do that.

Which is good as it removes any choice I may have about it! smile

But she did say they are taking names and numbers in case the sale falls through. I said had she got a big list above us and she said no, a lot of people had said no don't bother, but she would definitely call me if anything happened.

So I can stop being so nervous now - woke up at 4.30! arghh

also the other agent is ringing me back but I imagine they will say exactly the same. I am glad I asked on here - it has been really educative. Thankyou everyone who contributed. I feel like I understand the nuts and bolts of it a bit better now.

kronenborg Mon 02-Dec-13 08:52:13

while i admire the decency of many folks on this thread, you are perfectly entitled to make an offer on any house at any time, including when it's not even on the market.

an offer amounts to little more than asking the question "would you be interested in selling your house to me for X amount?"

yes, if the property is already under offer, then someone may have already forked out for surveys & searches, but in england, thats just the way house buying/selling works - like it or loathe it.

do bear in mind, though, that if your seller jumps from an existing potential purchaser to you, because you make a more attractive offer, then they could also do the same to you, if someone even more appealing comes along...and that would be rather karmic.

you could also find yourself in a bidding war.

don't get me wrong - i'm not a fan of the system, and i have also never offered on an "under offer" property - we have just, however, gone through the agonizing process of buying a repossession, and not only did the property remain on the market after our offer was accepted, but they ramped up the marketing significantly, including the publication of the exact amount of our offer in all the adverts, to try and solicit additional offers. during this period we spent several thousand on surveys, searches, inspections etc, all of which was done "at risk".

we spent a lot of time praying that noone came along and snatched the property from under our noses.

they didn't, but it was a horrible period. i've no idea whether the ethics of offering on an "under offer" property deterred anyone from offering, but if it did, i'm delighted. in the highly pressured housing market of the south east, i suspect those people would be in a minority, though.

Rooners Mon 02-Dec-13 07:52:47

Good questions, I'm afraid I don't know any of this - but apparently survey is around £800 - 1000? Perhaps depending on the size of the property..

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