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Estate agent wants to 'paint a picture' of us to the vendors - what should we say?!

(38 Posts)
ThePartyArtist Thu 03-Mar-16 12:24:26

We're first time cash buyers and just put in an offer on a house. It's the first time we've done this. The estate agent told my DH on the phone he thought it'd be rejected (apparently it's lower than another one that's been rejected) and asked for info to paint a picture of us to the vendors. Now I'm wondering how we play our cards right with this one! The estate agent asked if I work at X (I've never told him this - he's clearly googled me) and my DH confirmed this and also said where he works. The estate agent asked if we're looking to buy into the area for schools (it's a very desireable area in this way) and DH just said we're looking to buy a house, which hopefully implies to the estate agent we are not property developers, but doesn't give much else away.

I've no idea the best strategy when 'painting a picture' of us to the vendors. If we say school catchment is a motivation I think he'll use this to try to push us up. We've asked the estate agent about school catchment relating to other properties we viewed so if he remembers he'll know this is a motivation. I'm inclined to think we can't second guess the vendors' values so giving too much personal info away could just be used against us. Or maybe as they're a family we should be playing that card. I'm just not sure!

We've told estate agent we are cash buyers, first time, and offer complete flexibility whether the vendors want a quick move or to bide their time till they find somewhere to go. Any other tips for getting them / the estate agent on side?

EssentialHummus Thu 03-Mar-16 12:28:13

How bizarre. I'd be minded to say, "Hello, we're cash buyers, who are cash buyers, and did I mention we're cash buyers??!"

More seriously? We're cash buyers grin, we think the house would make a wonderful home for us, and we're willing to be flexible as to completion date to suit your needs.

Ahrightsoted Thu 03-Mar-16 12:28:28

You are cash and first time buyers?? What's not to like??? If they are being odd now just wait til you are getting ready to exchange. This would put me off. Honestly there's loads more houses out there and you are a sellers dream.
Also when I read your title I thought they actually wanted you to paint a picture blush

ThePartyArtist Thu 03-Mar-16 12:33:13

Haha no we're not actually posing for a portrait!
I'm just not sure what they want the info for. Part of me thinks the estate agent is being sneaky - i.e. if we admit school catchment is important he'll push for us to pay more for it. I can understand people may want to sell to someone who wants it as a home not an investment but beyond that am inclined not to get personal!

Also it's advertised as 'offers over X-amount' and we went in under. I just don't know what to make of the 'offers over' advert!

linspins Thu 03-Mar-16 12:34:58

After the obvious cash buyers and no chain , I agree with ahright, it might be things like flexible on dates, keen gardeners ( if there is a decent garden), loved the feel of the house, local to the area, looking to put down roots. But very bizarre anyway. Good luck!

Ahrightsoted Thu 03-Mar-16 12:38:00

I think you should go quiet now and let them come to you again. Surely once they realise what they could be letting go they'll be straight on the phone.
Your reasons for buying are your reasons and shouldn't come into it, it's a business transactions after all.
Good luck, we are due to complete on the 24th and its soo stressful

EssentialHummus Thu 03-Mar-16 12:39:52

I think the effect of "Offers over" depends on how long it's been for sale - if it's been on the market a while I'd feel fine offering under.

Perhaps he wants to know whether you could extend your budget / take out a mortgage to stretch the offer, or whether the cash you have is a limited lump sum and after that the cupboard's bare? Not really his business (if you don't think it's worth any more you don't need to stretch your budget), but possibly add, "We're two professionals working in interpretive dance and corporate law* (or whatever)"?

*I actually know a couple like this grin

otherstories Thu 03-Mar-16 12:39:53

We sent a little blurb with the offers made (and accepted) because as a vendor we valued a combination of personal and financial stuff. You are in a super strong position financially but there may be some heart in this sale. Have you met the vendors? If not even them knowing your first names informally creates a sense that they know you. Do you have a family? People selling a loved family home might want to know that another family will love it and kids will grow up there. Ours weren't all that personal, and I agree that school catchment needn't be specifically mentioned in case it triggers them thinking they can get more money, and our employment status would make me cringe! Then we reiterated how we got to the offer price and how we were financing it. Who knows if the vendors were ever shown it though confused

soundsystem Thu 03-Mar-16 12:41:31

Are you in London? Then you probably won't be the only ones who are first times cash buyers. Do you know why the vendors are selling? This should give you some insight into them.

It's daft, but if they have two (or more!) as-good-as-each-other offers they may lean towards people they feel a connection with, i.e. the ones that they feel that are most like them. So anything you can say to help this is a good thing!

Example: they're a family who have outgrown the house, they have primary school aged kids and now need somewhere bigger. So you can say how you're looking for a family home where you can really become part of the community and put down roots etc, that your kids (if you have kids already) are like X and so Y school will be really great for them. Or if you don't have kids yet that X is really important to you and you want to be near Y school for that reason.

I'm sure some people will come on and say I'm being ridiculous but if it helps you get the hosue you want...

BeaufortBelle Thu 03-Mar-16 12:43:54

All the agent has to say is the ThePartyArtists are cash buyers, my due diligence proves this so, they want to press on and arrange their survey. Their offer is x, subject to survey. Do you wish to accept it? The answer is yes or no. I've sold two houses in the last couple of years, I wanted the facts and nothing more. With names, I googled people to see if they were who they or the agent claimed. Might have asked for a summary of their circumstances if considering more than one offer.

We've bought cash twice too. Here's the proof of the money, this is what we are prepared to pay. There really is no more to it. House two we offered and said it was our top offer. We found a tiny bit more because we were buying with our hearts and had gone in low and wanted it that much.

ThePartyArtist Thu 03-Mar-16 12:45:03

No not London, but it is a competitive area.

They have a toddler and new baby on the way. We are pre-kids - like it as a family area but are afraid if we mention the school catchment the estate agent will try to push us up (he already goes on about it at every opportunity as it's a big selling point of the area!)

emwithme Thu 03-Mar-16 12:51:24

When DH and I bought our house (which was the most 70s house you've ever seen), I wanted to tell the agent that (as well as being cash buyers) we were a newly-ish married couple, wanted to start a family and raise it in the house. He thought I was being stupid and telling them too much.

I did it anyway. We got the house for 20% under the asking price, against developers who had offered the full asking (there are four garages on the plot, so another house could easily be built on it). The vendors (who were selling their late parents' house) wanted it to go to another family who would be as happy here as they were. Reading the deeds since we've bought it (while renovating) we discovered that we were only the second family to own the house - the lady whose children we bought it off had inherited it in 1970 from her uncle, who had inherited it from his grandmother in 1950 (and her grandfather had built it in 1885).

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Thu 03-Mar-16 12:53:53

Don't mention the school thing, especially as you don't have children.

Your a professional couple in your ?0s without any children yet, looking to buy a house to be your family home.

That's all you need to say. They probably just want to make sure you're not developers and want to make sure you're definitely cash so perhaps show EA a bank statement too.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Thu 03-Mar-16 12:55:03

Sorry for typos. I'm not illiterate, my phone just hates me.

wowfudge Thu 03-Mar-16 13:00:19

I am really not bothered by all this other stuff: you like it, you want it and you can afford it. Tell them you like the house and it works for you, it's fairly non-committal and vaguely flattering to the vendors. The EA wants to skirt round you offering less than they've asked for.

Whathaveilost Thu 03-Mar-16 13:06:43

This sounds like game playing!!

I'm I the only one that feels this is ridiculous?
Can you tell me what I am missing, what does it matter to the vendor what you are like?

I really couldn't be arsed with this and would carry on looking.

Cel982 Thu 03-Mar-16 13:21:32

This sounds like it's your offer versus a slightly higher offer from a developer. Personally I would push the family aspect - you're looking to create a home for your future family. I wouldn't be so afraid of the catchment area issue - the EA can try to push you up if he wants to, he doesn't need a specific reason to do that and you're under no obligation to respond. Decide what your ceiling is and stick to it - if you don't think the catchment area is worth paying over the odds for, then don't.
You're cash buyers looking for a family home to live in - that's pretty attractive from the POV of most vendors.

Naoko Thu 03-Mar-16 13:25:31

You don't need to say more but it might help! It depends on the vendors - when my granddad moved into a home he sold his house to a young couple who obviously adored the place even though someone else offered him more money. He was really struggling with the idea of moving into a care home and the thought of giving some young people a leg up made it easier for him to accept and let go of the house.

ThePartyArtist Thu 03-Mar-16 13:46:53

Ok slight update - our offer was rejected, as expected. It's advertised as 'offers over X-amount' and we offered 2% under that amount. Estate agent tells us they are interested in us as buyers and DH has said we'll talk about it. So the big question now is - how high do we go?! If we went to the 'offers over' amount it'd be £5k over the most expensive sold on the street, but cheaper than comparable properties on neighbouring streets. Do we go a little bit higher at this stage, or straight to our final amount? There are 3 other offers so far, all rejected. It's been on the market for a week.

Ginslinger Thu 03-Mar-16 13:57:21

it depends on how much you want the house and if you are in for the long haul. No mortgage means you don't need to worry about negative equity and if there's a price crash then all prices crash. If it's what you want and you can afford it then offer £100 above the price

StepAwayFromTheThesaurus Thu 03-Mar-16 14:11:17

The offers over price looks like it's the absolute minimum they're willing to accept at this point. It's only been on the market for a week and they've had 4 offers, so they're unlikely to go under their specified price - and are possibly expecting higher counter offers to come in.

If you really want the house and you have the money, is it worth quibbling over £5k?

Bearbehind Thu 03-Mar-16 14:33:56

OP, this is the second thread you've started where you keep mentioning factors that you think will make an EA try and push the price up. At the end of the day its not their decision what the house is sold for, it's the vendors.

The fact is you want to buy this house- stop trying to sound too aloof about it.

You don't have to gush over it but equally you need to present yourselves as a good option for the vendors.

Read some of the longer/ ongoing threads on here- people don't always go with the highest bidders/ cash buyers etc.

For a lot of people it's important they are selling to someone who they feel will love the house as much as they did. If you are very non- committal about it then it is very likely to go against you.

Likewise, if you keep making offers you know are too low then you won't be taken seriously either- decide what the house is worth to you- make a full and final offer and leave it with the vendor to decide.

bigsnugglebunny Thu 03-Mar-16 14:39:20

Tell them a load of random bollocks - star signs, favourite band as a teenager, send detailed descriptions of any scars you have and how you got them (chicken pox 1987 anyone?)

DelphiniumBlue Thu 03-Mar-16 14:49:08

If they've said " offers over xx' and you've offered less than that, they'd have to be desperate to accept your offer in the first week! What were you thinking?
If you want the house, you'll need to offer at least the stated minimum, and probably more. If it hasn't sold 2 or 3 months down the line, they might accept an offer below their stated minimum, but not at this point.
And they obviously know if their house is in catchment for a good school, were you imagining you might sneak that past them?
Your selling point is that you are a nice young couple looking for a long term home, although tbh, if they are selling with young children, they're probably not that bothered who you are. Have you asked why they are moving?

bilbodog Thu 03-Mar-16 15:37:01

When we sold our last house we had two parties offering and although my heart wanted to sell to the young family we took the other slightly lower offer from a lady who was in rented, cash buyer but who had enthused about the house. The younger couple had looked round and hardly made any comments about the house so we felt that the one who had been more enthusiastic was the better bet in case anything untoward came up on the survey as she was desperately keen on our type of house and would have been less likely to want to renegotiate price. Worked for us.

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