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Any happy ending stories of 'negotiating' with a stubborn seller?

(27 Posts)
CityDweller Tue 30-Jun-15 19:57:09

To cut a long story short, we're at a stalemate with the vendor of a house we've put an offer in on. We initially offered low (10% under asking price), seller came down a tiny bit (3%). We then offered to meet them in the middle (6.5% under asking price). Seller refuses to budge or even discuss further. We're really attractive buyers (not in a chain, very high LTV, completely flexible on when we move).

Weird thing is, the seller initially seemed very keen to sell, and in particular sell to us. Another weird thing is that the agent doesn't seem to be making any effort to get us to shift our offer up. So, I'm not sure how to read the situation. Agent has also told me that he knows the original asking price is too high and that there's no other interest. But the sellers don't want to reduce the asking price or, clearly, accept our offer... It's been on the market for 3 months.

Any happy endings to similar stories? We love the house, but it really is overpriced and while I want to buy it, I don't want to pay over the odds for it...

Stubbed Tue 30-Jun-15 19:59:16

Tell the estate agent to call you when the owner changes their mind, and leave it for a couple of weeks. Worked for me, to some extent. If no one else is interested then you won't lose out

redshoeblueshoe Tue 30-Jun-15 20:10:14

My friend did this. House massively overpriced. No other offers.
Went back 3 months later and vendors accepted lower offer. Good luck, some vendors are just not realistic about the value of their property.

Esmum07 Tue 30-Jun-15 20:14:48

Agree with Stubbed. Tell the estate agent you're not prepared to go higher so you'll 'leave the offer on the table' - which means the vendor can come back to you if they still can't sell and your offer becomes more attractive.

Then ring in a couple of weeks.

it may work. Mind you, we did this with one place who decided for some inexplicable reason to go with someone who offered the same as us but, whereas we were in rented accommodation with a 45% deposit, they were mortgage free BUT had to sell their house. We left our offer on the table just in case and got a call 4 months later - the buyer had pulled out two days before exchange. I must admit I did enjoy telling the estate agent (who surprise, surprise, was handling the buyer's property too - so they'd get two commissions if the deal had gone through...) that we'd found another place and were due to exchange that week. A while later the place came off the market - never got another offer.

Good luck, but do keep on looking.

paxtecum Tue 30-Jun-15 20:15:23

Maybe they are not in a hurry to move.

FranBrodie Tue 30-Jun-15 20:21:49

In a very minor way.... when it came to the contents of our previous house, the vendor wanted £500 for their fitted wardrobes shock The agent really put pressure on us to buy them, and it would have been convenient but we told them to get lost. When we moved in, there they were!

(Probably not that helpful in the context, sorry)

HelenF35 Tue 30-Jun-15 20:25:33

We left an offer on the table after sellers refused it. They came back to us a few weeks later and said they'd accept 2.5k more, we said if you through in various bits furniture (which we didn't really want truth be told) otherwise current offer plus £500 and it was accepted. Depends largely on the local market and how busy it is whether this will be a successful tactic.

mistymeanour Tue 30-Jun-15 20:29:47

They may not have anywhere to move to. They may need to sell to downsize but don't really want to. Keep on looking and let the EA know that you are.

Etak15 Tue 30-Jun-15 20:40:16

We were in similar position the to you I think that the sellers get carried away by the stupidly inflated price that the estate agent market it at that they actually believe that's what it's worth and become very stubborn!! Have you checked on zoopla for what they paid for it and when, by doing this we knew that they were trying to make £100,000 profit on what they paid so knew we had room to negotiate - if they were selling for near to what they paid - less likely to budge. Have you had survey and then followed up with a couple of quotes as to what any work will cost? The best way is to play it cool - act like you don't mind either way when secretly you want it soooo much!! We got there in the end paid couple of grand more than we wanted to but got a decent amount off.

CityDweller Tue 30-Jun-15 20:51:27

So - a bit more info (sorry, don't mean to drip-feed, but this is relevant re. comments above).

It took us 2.5 months to put in our first (low offer), for various reasons. They came straight back with their tiny reduction. It was then another 2 or 3 weeks for us to put in our 'middle ground' offer. So, it's not as if we've been chomping at the bit. We haven't purposely been dragging our feet as a negotiation strategy though, and agent knows why it's been taking us so long, but I wonder if this has pissed the sellers off. My other theory is that in the meantime they've lost the appetite to sell, or something in their situation has changed.

It is on the market for 60% more than they bought it for 6 years ago. But they've done work on/ extended it.

Idefix Tue 30-Jun-15 21:14:02

We have recently walked away from "the one", we didn't even make as much headway as you...
First offer was low and firmly rejected! Upped offer considerably and got another no. Feed back from the ea was that we were the third set of offers to be rejected all within a similar range. The vendor apparently wants the asking price and not a penny less, all needed to purchase their next property which they are currently renting hmm

We have left are offer on the table but looking hard for somewhere else.

Idefix Tue 30-Jun-15 21:14:46

Our not are [ confused]

Misty9 Tue 30-Jun-15 21:37:24

Our dream house was over the stamp duty threshold and we offered as such (£25k under asking) which they turned down. We then upped the offer to over the threshold, just (I know, mad) and they rejected that too. While we went off to look for other houses none of which measured up to The One a couple of weeks later they contacted us to see if we'd increase our offer by a couple of grand. While we thought about it (a couple of hours) they called back and accepted our original second offer! They'd found the house they wanted and didn't want to lose it.

I know they'd spent quite a bit on it and were basically looking to recoup their costs - which is not realistic. We love it here grin

SheriffCallie Tue 30-Jun-15 23:19:38

We dealt with a stubborn seller when we bought our house last year. We were ideal buyers as weren't in a chain, we offered only £5k under asking price of £180, which was refused outright. There were no other offers and we then went back and offered asking price, which was accepted.
Seller then flexed his muscle by refusing to let the particular company we has chosen for survey in to do the job so we had to go with a more expensive firm. My husband wanted to walk away by that point but I talked him into focusing on the bigger picture as we really did love the house and nothing else came close. Plus the survey valued it at £10k higher than we paid so that helped us feel that we hasn't been foolish to offer full whack.
So we dealt with a difficult seller and backed down on both occasions, but ultimately I feel we we could have lost out in the house otherwise (as he was very stubborn and inflexible) and that's not what we wanted. The house felt perfect for us and we actually love it even more now we are in a year.

Belleview Wed 01-Jul-15 08:27:01

sherriff may I ask, what reason did your seller give for refusing the lower cost surveyor?

CityDweller Wed 01-Jul-15 08:37:40

If it was £5k then I'd be happy to go to their lowest level. Unfortunately it's a lot more than that!

mandy214 Wed 01-Jul-15 09:16:02

But unless you know otherwise, the vendor holds all the cards. You can tell him all you like that the house is over-valued but unless he believes it, or has some other reason for accepting an offer which he thinks is under the value of the house, there is nothing you can do. As everyone has said, you leave the offer on the table and walk away.

I also think from the vendors point of view that it is quite strange for people who are genuinely interested in a house to take 2.5 months to put an offer in. It sounds a bit like you saw the house, quite liked it, but wanted to see if there was anything better. Perhaps the vendor therefore doesn't see you as a serious buyer - perhaps you need to get the EA to relay to him the reasons for taking so long with offers etc and that you're really serious about how much you want the property?

CityDweller Wed 01-Jul-15 10:05:46

Fair points Mandy. As far as I know, the EA has clearly expressed to the vendors why it took us so long to put in the first offer and he knows that we're now serious. (Which is, incidentally, why I find it weird that the EA isn't trying to 'sell' us the house more by, for example, trying to convince us to up our offer. The email I got from the agent yesterday saying they'd turned down our 'middle ground' offer was quite final. Which I just find strange because the EA knows we're now quite keen). I'm wondering whether the EA has some instinct that they're actually not that serious about selling, and therefore it's not worth his effort to get a sale??

CQ Wed 01-Jul-15 11:19:45

We were the same, I first viewed our house in September, we didn't end up completing till the following June.

We started in at 10% below asking price - which had already been reduced so the vendors were probably still smarting from that - and it was rejected.

We did some sums and came up a little more, they named their figure which was beyond what we felt the house was worth.

We left the offer on the table - EA knew how much I loved it, and we knew there had been no other offers.

Vendors were not in a hurry as they were downsizing, and obvs wanted to get the best price as this was their nest egg.

I kept in regular touch with the agent, and started viewing other properties - and made sure the vendors knew we were doing so.

Finally in about April time they accepted our offer - but then tried to screw us on all the extras!

Bearbehind Wed 01-Jul-15 11:57:43

I don't really see what else you can do as you're not prepared to pay what the sellers want and they're not prepared to accept what you offered.

They're not being stubborn really, well, no more than you are.

It does sound like they might not be taking your offer very seriously anyway though. You even said above the EA knows we're now quite keen

'Quite keen' after taking 2.5 months to make an offer wouldn't fill me with confidence.

I doubt the estate agent isn't makng an effort to get the sale, after all it's already been photographed etc, and it would be easier to sell to you than show more people around- it sounds much more likely that the vendor has made it quite clear they won't consider anything less a certain amount and you've said you won't pay more than your last offer so there's no point in pursuing it further.

CityDweller Wed 01-Jul-15 12:19:45

But the EA doesn't even know whether or not we're prepared to go higher, as he hasn't asked me if we'll raise our 'middle ground' offer! In fact, I emailed him back after he said they weren't budging, suggesting we could go up a bit, and then also left a phone message for him this morning. He hasn't replied to either. This is thing I'm finding strange about the whole thing... That the EA seems not bothered about chasing the sale.

But I do take on board that our 'keenness' may be under question - due to the length of time to put in first offer and then that being v. low. But, but but - the agent knows the reasons (and they're reasonable ones) and I was in touch with him regularly during the whole period letting him know where we were at. So it's not like we disappeared for 2.5 months and then came back in with an offer out of nowhere.

mandy214 Wed 01-Jul-15 12:27:20

When you say you're not in a chain, have you sold?

Do you know it is over-valued going off other sold prices? We bought 5 years ago, and haven't extended it (although we have decorated / refurbed kitchen etc). Its gone up by 35% in that time (just had it valued for a remortgage) without adding to the square footage.

Bearbehind Wed 01-Jul-15 12:54:11

I appreciate you might not want to disclose the reasons for the delay but the only 'reasonable' excuse for viewing a property but not being in a position to offer until 2.5 months later that I can think if is that you have to sell a property first.

I'm guessing that's not the reason, or you'd have said, but anything else has perhaps made the EA think you are not really serious or proceedable.

CityDweller Wed 01-Jul-15 13:28:10

The agent knew it would take us a while to decide whether or not to put in an offer, and he told the owners this after our second viewing 2.5 months ago. We've been totally upfront about it. And no, it wasn't because we needed to sell our place.

If the agent doesn't think we're serious or aren't proceedable then he's an incredibly good actor on the phone. He seemed to completely understand our position and told me that he thinks the price of the house is too high, has told vendors that if they reduced it (not sure by how much) they'd get more people through door/ renewed interest from those who've already viewed and would most likely get an offer straight away. I now wonder if he's just lost patience with the vendors. Or something. It's so weird that he wouldn't return my email/ call of the last 24 hours, when for all he knows I'm getting in touch to up our offer to their non-budging-point. But, I guess ours it not to reason why the way an EA's mind works...

Poofus Wed 01-Jul-15 13:59:48

I think that if the estate agent himself admits it's over-valued, you would be mad to take your offer up any higher. It sounds like the estate agent doesn't need to chase you, because you are chasing him. I would leave the offer on the table, but start viewing other places and not budge on this one.

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