Potential bidding war - WWYD(44 Posts)
FTB here so any advice greatly appreciated. NC due to details. Slight rant, sorry!
We viewed a property last summer. It'd been on the market 2+ years.
We registered our interest with the EA, explaining we were waiting for DH's new job, to be in a better position for a mortgage. We kept in touch in the meantime, got our AIP and made offer in March - low, but an amount the EA said all along would likely be accepted.
Were told the vendor was away for a few weeks so not to expect a quick response. Waited 2 weeks, called the EA and discovered someone else had had a higher offer accepted (and the amount) over a week before. He said he hadn't let us know as we'd said our offer was the best we could do.
Immediately made a higher offer, were told the vendor would consider it for a few days.
Discovered we knew vendor through mutual friends, and that he'd had a minimum amount in mind all along, so our 1st offer was never in the running. (Also discovered he'd accepted our 2nd offer on the spot, not said he'd need a few days!)
Instructed solicitors, began full mortgage application.
A week later, EA called to say he's going to ask the other buyers for a higher offer, so please can I make a higher offer now, so he can take both to the vendor and 'get this over and done with'. I declined, as there seemed no reason to go higher til we were outbid!
The other buyers have now made a higher offer, best & final. He won't tell me the amount this time, and apparently hasn't told the vendor either, but vendor again said he'll take the highest (fair enough).
Apparently the other buyers submitted their AIP with their offer, around 2 weeks ago, their application is being dealt with by underwriters right now, and they'll have a formal offer on Monday morning, then all they have left to do is the valuation.
How can they have a mortgage in place if they don't yet have the final price of the house, or a valuation?
We can afford to increase our offer by a little bit (as we really don't want to lose it, we're taking from money we'd set aside for improvements)
In my position, would you:
- Contact vendor (he's said he's happy to communicate with us) and find out what amount would take it off the market - is there any way of making this formal? I don't know how I'd phrase it.
- Make our actual best & final offer to EA - it may be well above the other buyers' and we'll end up spending more than we could have?
- Make only a slightly higher offer, and say it is best & final, as that's what EA is insisting on, run the risk that it's too low - do we have the right to keep coming back with more even though he's asked for best & final? The other buyers may also be lying when they say their offer is final.
Over 2 years and suddenly there's a bidding war ?
Sounds like bollocks. Is there nothing else you like?
I would walk away. The EA seems to be playing games, but it doesn't sound as though they or the vendor can be trusted.
Thanks for replies.
Yes Laurie we didn't believe it at first - but have heard through other sources (small village) that they do exist just shit timing I guess!
Unfortunately, there's barely anything on the market, we've been looking for a year and nothing else has been worth viewing, and circumstances mean we need to move this summer. And we absolutely love it.
Agree wow - EA seems v shady and while I understand it's the vendor's prerogative to get the best price...I wish he'd been straightforward, he kind of assured us he didn't want a bidding war.
X-posted with Rae - thanks, yeah, I'm afraid that might be best
Plum it just sounds like you can't trust the EA or the vendor... Vendor accepted your 2nd offer but is now asking for another offer and allowing another party to do so also? I just couldn't trust them. Sorry
Fwiw, my aunt and uncle had a very similar situation to this- they walked away. A few weeks later the EA called to say that the other buyer had backed out and the vendor would now accept their offer. My aunt told the EA she couldn't trust them and declined to offer again. I think your situation could cause you a lot of heartache of you continue unfortunately.
Rae I'm so clueless - is it not the done thing, then, for vendors to remain open to other offers early on? We don't have our mortgage confirmed yet, haven't done valuation yet, etc.
That's why I considered making a final offer directly to him (don't trust the EA at all) - on the condition he takes it off the market (or we'll withdraw it) - is that a thing? Maybe I should've said that at the start, I just don't know how it is enforced...
I am taking on board that people are saying walk away, though!
Sorry, X-posted with your last message!
Yes I am trying get some perspective and see that we'd be best off out of it. V tied up in it emotionally as move is primarily for DC and house is perfect for them, with no other options. Gah!
To me 'accepting an offer' means that you will sell to the person at the price they have offered. House is marked as under offer pending surveys etc. I know that lots of vendors can do the exact opposite of this, and it's not illegal. If I were in your position I would feel that the trust had gone though.
However, if you really want the house you could maybe put in a 'best and final' but tell the EA that if negotiations carry on with another interested party you will pull out? Stress the fact that you're first time buyers too- if you have no chain and the other interested party do, it might push things in your favour. The person I sold my flat to a couple of years ago was a FTB and I was thrilled about it
I think the key is that there is nothing much on the market competing with this house and so supply and demand will inevitably push the price up. It often seems that making an offer on a house that has been on the market for ages brings out the competition too, as people sit in the wings hoping to get a house at a steal because it has been up for ages but when someone else starts making serious offers the other buy has to move too.
In this situation I think the only tack is to forget the other party and put in your best and final offer that is your best and final offer, and only you can weigh up how much you want the house, the impact on your finances etc. to decide that figure. Then be prepared to move on knowing you would not have offered more because you didn't want to overpay.
I'd walk away as well sounds like EA playing games.
The game playing won't end even if your next offer is accepted over the other buyer's offer.
I always thought estate agents weren't permitted to tell you the value of competitor offers. Either way he sounds very dodgy and I would walk away.
I would walk away, vendor is messing you about and knows it.
I don't think there is anything to lose by contacting the vendor. He has said he's open to be contacted.
Best and final offer (you may pay more than need to but that is how house buying goes in bidding war) with condition that if accepted property is taken off market- check it's not on rightmove etc. If doesn't work out however frustrating you have to walk away
I would walk away too and that's not just empty words. We have walked away from situations like this in the past and never regretted it.
I'd contact the vendor direct to see if he knows what's been going on. EA might be feeding him a pack of lies too.
of course the vendor knows whats going on - his house has been on the market for 2 years - sounds like he is just chancing his arm to try and get more money for the house all the time. he doesn't sound like hes interested in selling tbh.
Thanks so much for replies all.
Have slept on it and we're not quite ready to walk away yet, although really appreciate the advice and have given it serious consideration!
It would be a life changing move for us all.
Glad that others agree there is game playing - think we must cut out the EA for now, I don't trust him to put our offer forward truthfully (or at all) we'll put our best & final to vendor and if he won't take it off the market today and put it in writing, then we will walk away. Agree winky - I am afraid 'best & final' doesn't mean anything to them!
Let us know how you get on Plum. Good luck!
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