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Help! Clueless about negotiating when buying a house

(19 Posts)
PolyesterBride Fri 14-Feb-14 11:30:45

Hello.
I'm a first time buyer and made an offer on a house for the first time ever yesterday (it was rejected). I feel like I have no clue what I am doing. The estate agent quizzed me about my mortgage offer and deposit so that he knew my exact financial position within seconds. Is that normal or should I be playing my cards closer to my chest? Basically he found our instantly that in theory I could afford a lot more than I offered.

Then after making the offer should I have followed it up with eg an email explaining why we think the price should be lower? I feel like he's just gone to the seller and said "this girl has no idea, just sit tight and she'll make a better offer".

Argh! I thought years of watching Kirstie and Phil would have prepared me for this but it seems not. Grateful for any advice!

specialsubject Fri 14-Feb-14 13:34:02

Kirstie and Phil don't have any magic tricks, and most of their transactions don't go through!

you offer what it is worth to you and what you are prepared to pay. Just because you have more money doesn't mean you have to pay it - don't overpay for a house!

so if you want the house and are prepared to pay more, offer more. Otherwise don't.

mysteryfairy Fri 14-Feb-14 16:07:50

I think ascertaining you are in a proceedable position is pretty normal. We've just sold our house and would only entertain offers from cash buyers or those who could demonstrate they had a mortgage agreed in principle. Similarly we'd given our own aip letter to the estate agent as we offered on the property we want to buy. I just told the estate agents the reasons we were restricting what we were borrowing to less than the maximum offered. These were to do with work we planned to do on the house, other circumstances (school fees bill, possible fluctuations to our income etc) and what we felt house was worth.

What was the house on for and how much did you offer? It's not in the agents interests to advise clients to reject a decent offer as their commission relies on the house selling. You could book more viewings via the same agent this weekend to make it clear you will just move on and look for something else.

PolyesterBride Sat 15-Feb-14 17:51:57

Thanks for the advice. The house is on the market for £220,000 and we offered £195,000. Apparently the seller was offended!

NoArmaniNoPunani Sat 15-Feb-14 17:56:22

That does seem like a low offer but you saw the house, we haven't so you know what it's worth to you. Keep looking.

eurochick Sat 15-Feb-14 17:58:35

That is a pretty low offer compared to asking price in this market but I haven't seen the house and agree that you should only offer what it is worth to you.

LaurieFairyCake Sat 15-Feb-14 18:00:07

Depends where it is and how long it's been on the market.

Round here they go for asking price or over - I had to pay over the asking price for a house 4 months ago.

Bowlersarm Sat 15-Feb-14 18:04:53

Don't worry about giving your affordability to the agent. They need to know to be able to take your offer seriously, and put it positively to the vendor.

If you want the house, I would go back to the agent with your final offer of what it is worth to you.

Weigh up how disappointed you would be if you didn't get it, against how much you feel it is worth. Hopefully there is a price you feel you are prepared to pay.

Why did you offer less? Does it need work? Are otherwise similar properties in the area selling for less?

I'm expecting to get around £195k for mine so will market it around £200k as it's in good condition so there's no real reason for anyone to bargain much.

If the house you want is on at £220k and in good condition they're probably expecting at least £210k.

mysteryfairy Sat 15-Feb-14 18:44:23

You only offered just over ten percent under so I think insulted is bit of an OTR reaction however realistically ou are unlikely to get something that far under asking price unless it has sat on the market for ages

Sorry, just realised my post wasn't that helpful. What I meant was that you need to make it clear to agent why you're offering less. Is it in need of work? Is it overpriced? How much you can afford to borrow makes no difference if the house isn't worth that much.

PolyesterBride Sat 15-Feb-14 23:30:22

It was a low offer and we didn't expect it to be accepted. But as I said I'm clueless about negotiating and thought I should offer lower to give me some room to go up. Maybe that wasn't the right move.

It does need some work but it's not in a state eg the carpets are old/worn but they're clean enough and covering the floors ok. We estimated about £10,000 worth of work but most of that is want to rather than have to type stuff.

We did specify why we'd reduced the price eg comparison with recently sold / others on the market. Also as far as I know, places round here are not going for the asking price or over so I think at least a small reduction is expected.

Thanks for all your advice though everyone. It's good to hear what others would have made of our offer.

schmalex Sun 16-Feb-14 06:51:33

I usually expect my first offer to be rejected, so I usually would offer less than the max I'm willing to pay (unless it's just come on the market and there's lots of interest).

If you still want it and can/will pay more, you just go back with a counter offer.

The vendor being offended is a bit silly. It's a financial transaction, not a personal insult!

PolyesterBride Sun 16-Feb-14 09:59:36

That's what I thought. We said we really liked her house!

NoArmaniNoPunani Sun 16-Feb-14 11:29:11

I like to try to get a house below asking price but I'd never bother making an offer if I'm sure it'll be rejected. What's the point?

LIZS Sun 16-Feb-14 11:37:36

I think the market is changing though. In SE a neighbour has put their house on for over 10% more than they paid last summer, having done no improvements to it. A relative in Midlands has recently got an asking price offer on first weekend and another slightly less. I suspect the superficial things like carpets were factored into the asking price and expectation .

PolyesterBride Sun 16-Feb-14 13:40:56

We are in the north west. Market might be changing a bit but haven't heard of above asking price except for wrecks going as renovation jobs.

It does seen a bit pointless making an offer I know will be rejected. I just thought that's what you did to find out the vendor's true expectations. Also you hear stories of people getting cheeky offers accepted unexpectedly. It's a minefield!

Mandy21 Sun 16-Feb-14 14:01:01

We are NW too - depends where you are, same as everywhere I suppose, are you in a desirable area / is this a desirable house / what else is on the market. Quite a few locally going to final bids now - Rightmove blurb changes within days of coming onto the market saying closing date and time for bids.

I think you should compare it to others locally - you can easily see what properties sold for and if you use Zoopla too, you can find out what they were actually being marketed for.

But having said all that, if you want this house, you have to factor in the vendor. If the feedback was that she was insulted, then shes obviously looking for closer to the asking price. You just have to decide whether its worth that.

Pheonixisrising Sun 16-Feb-14 14:22:46

We have bought and sold a zillion houses over the years and , tbh it's only worth what you are prepared to pay .
Agents aren't really interested in what you want to do with it . They work for the seller and want the highest price
Look at the average compatible house prices in that area and make that decision
It's none of the agents business how much you can afford , cheeky bastard

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