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Anyone had any joy when appealing to sellers??

(59 Posts)
Lizzymc1984 Sun 12-Mar-17 21:32:50

Sorry for long post. Will try to get to the point!
I live in London with DH and our 4 month old. I grew up about a mile away from where I live, and where my mum still resides. Although close by, my mums street is so much nicer. Well kept houses and a lovely park I played in as a child. I really want the same for my DS - the school locally is better too. DH and I had been thinking of moving because the residents on our road don't take care of their properties and some of the houses are shabby. Some houses are owned by landlords who are filling every room with tenants. We are just a bit fed up with looking at rubbish in front gardens and people sitting and smoking on our wall.

Anyway a house has came up on my mums road and it is perfect. All except the price. It would put about £100k + on our mortgage. I know it will stretch us massively but it ticks so many boxes. My son will grow up with granny nearby and she will be a massive help. As my mum is getting older it will also help me keep an eye on her. The price it's on for seems good for the area but is too much out of our price range. My mum has offered to help financially but I have said no. She is almost 70 and works full time (this is her choice, she's always been work mad!!). She is thinking of reducing hours which might mean she can help with childcare and therefore reduce our nursery fees which will help. My DH recognises it's a great deal but is worried, as am I, about stretching ourselves so much.
The owner is in a retirement home but I knew her and her husband (RIP) when I was growing up. Not very well but my mum is well known on the street as she is the resident nurse and has helped some of the neighbours over the years if they have been unwell. I have read recently about ppl writing letters to appeal to the owners and was wondering if anyone has experience of this? Just wondered if I wrote about growing up there and that we are a small family starting out it might make them inclined to consider our offer. Am I being unrealistic??
Btw I recognise I am in a privileged position to own my home so don't want to seem ungrateful. Just if anyone has any insight.....

KnittedDress Sun 12-Mar-17 21:37:27

You can try, but if it was me I would be very worried about making them feel bad about then having to choose between your plea and their own genuine need for (expensive) care home fees and their probable wish to have something left over to leave to their own kids/grandkids.

NewIdeasToday Sun 12-Mar-17 21:37:53

I think that would be fine completely inappropriate.

If she's in a nursing home then she will be facing bills of hundreds per week. It's important that she sells for a reasonable price so her future is secure.

Also it's possible that her family are dealing with the sale, so it would be wrong to put a guilt trip on this elderly woman.

JigglyTuff Sun 12-Mar-17 21:38:29

I'm not clear what you're going to put in the letter. Are you going to offer significantly below asking price? Or do you just want them to consider your offer more favourably?

KnittedDress Sun 12-Mar-17 21:39:15

If your mum is working full time by choice and has offered to help - do you actually know that she can't afford to as you've refused? Maybe she can.

MaryPoppinsPenguins Sun 12-Mar-17 21:40:42

What are you going to write in the letter? Money is everything when you're in a care home as far as I know...!

Lostwithinthehills Sun 12-Mar-17 21:44:05

I've never heard of prospective buyers writing personal appeals to sellers. My gut feeling in this instance is that you would be being cheeky. I get the impression from you wanting to tell the seller about you growing up on that street, being a young family starting out and your mum being well known that you will be applying a little emotional blackmail, which would be tremendously unfair of you. The seller will be relying on the money from her house sale to pay for her residential care and why should she have to scrimp on her care to help you out?

SarahBernhardtFan Sun 12-Mar-17 21:46:04

Might be worth a try, I recently sold our house and turned down a higher offer from a buy to let investor in favour of a family. It was only 7k difference though.

EatsShitAndLeaves Sun 12-Mar-17 21:49:26

You can make whatever offer you want, but the upshot is I very much doubt anyone is going to extend a personal favour to the tune of many, many thousands of pounds by discounting their primary asset.

If you want to make a low ball offer then you need to make that attractive by being in a strong position to buy "now" rather than by asking someone to behave altruistically at their expense to meet your personal ambitions.

Efferlunt Sun 12-Mar-17 22:06:50

People might choose to, for example sell to a family rather than a developer so worth putting the info in when you make the offer and also mention you grew up in the area etc, I might give someone more confidence that you are serious. They might in those circumstances not go for the highest offer but for you. At the end of the day though doubt you will swing a massive discount that way. Especially if it's the person's relatives who are selling

Lizzymc1984 Sun 12-Mar-17 22:07:58

Thank you all for your replies. Our offer would be approx 8% lower than asking price. I think I am getting ahead of myself. Only found out house is on the market today so just got really over-excited. My plan wasn't to write to the owner, rather her NOK so wouldn't be trying to appeal to an elderly lady. Granted though I hadn't considered the cost of a nursing home.

My mum is a workaholic. Her and my father are separated and since my brother and I left home she has filled the void with work. I worry that if she lends me the money if gives her another reason to stay working FT. I have been trying to get her to consider going PT for ages!

The letter would have just asked them to consider our offer based on our circumstances but you are probably correct, it would be very unfair (though I imagine they would have disregarded it anyway). I just remember when we were buying our current property the family were looking to sell it to a couple starting/with a family.
Thank you MNers!! Providing me with a bit of clarity!!

JoJoSM2 Sun 12-Mar-17 22:27:30

It wouldn't be appropriate to write anything over the top. However, you could put in the offer mentioning that you grew up in the street and would love to live there again. I think it could sway it in your way if there are many similar offers. SarahBerndhardtFan, wow you were very lucky 7k is a ton of money...

SarahBernhardtFan Sun 12-Mar-17 22:29:34

I have a bit of a grudge against BTL investors at the time grin. It was worth it.

SarahBernhardtFan Sun 12-Mar-17 22:29:50


PigletJohn Sun 12-Mar-17 23:25:39

Dear Mrs Seller

Would you like to give me a present of ten thousand pounds?

Best wishes

Potential buyer.

Lizzymc1984 Mon 13-Mar-17 00:02:52

Wow piglet incredible!! It's like you read my mind!! That's exactly the letter content I was thinking!! Think it'll work??

I know it sounds crazy but I have heard of it before. Think it's quite an American idea??

Kiwiinkits Mon 13-Mar-17 00:40:58

It worked for my friend. She included a photo of her family with the offer papers!

ExplodedCloud Mon 13-Mar-17 01:09:02

It isn't going to hurt to put a handwritten note through the door to say "I'm X's daughter. We would love to buy your house but our absolute top price is ****. We understand this is possibly less than you hoped for but we are 100% committed to making any purchase work."

Lizzymc1984 Mon 13-Mar-17 07:06:45

kiwi do you know how much under your friend's offer was out of interest?? Or were they chosen over someone else matching their bid?

unfortunateevents Mon 13-Mar-17 08:37:19

What does 8% less mean in real terms though? Many house prices have some degree of flex built in to the initial asking price but it really depends on the house and area. The house you are describing sounds as if it will be in demand from others in just the same position as you so you need to be prepared for the selling price to possibly be above asking.

You have nothing to lose by writing a letter but as it will be the owner's NOK who may well be deciding on the sale, their primary responsibility is most likely going to be achieving the best price and fulfilling their duty of care to the owner, rather than accepting a lower offer from a "local" family. Rather than appealing to their better natures, I think you would be better to take some practical steps towards moving, such as getting your own house on the market immediately and sorting out the increased mortgage you will need.

Tollygunge Mon 13-Mar-17 08:40:32

Haven't read the entire thread, but I think you're bang out of order. Your mums offered help but you won't take it, but you're prepared to let someone you admit you don't really know take the hit?!

Lizzymc1984 Mon 13-Mar-17 09:17:06

tolly they will assess their financial situation and circumstances and make the best decision for their family. I wouldn't be 'letting' them take a hit! If it's not right for them they will say no and go for a higher offer. Simple as!! I am not naive enough to think my letter will lead them to consider an offer that is not right for them. I am not that persuasive! It's just if one of their priorities was to sell to a family, as described by SatahBerdantFan we might be in with a chance?

Unfortnuate we are talking approx 60k. I know, a huge amount!!

Letsgotoparis Mon 13-Mar-17 09:25:36

I don't think it's out of order. Somebody I knew became responsible for her fathers affairs when he went to live in a nursing home and she sold it to a young couple who had just married for a little less, because she wanted another family to live there rather than the other bidders.

Piffpaffpoff Mon 13-Mar-17 09:31:38

I'm sure on LLL Kirstie sometimes recommends putting additional 'positive' information in with your formal offer to the agent but it's usually along the lines of 'I am a cash buyer'. I might put a covering letter in with the offer to the agents with a general comment about having grown up on the street and wanting to offer my child the same happy lifestyle, but no way would I approach the seller or their NOK directly with such a letter, I think that's too pushy and inappropriate and likely to do more harm than good.

unfortunateevents Mon 13-Mar-17 09:41:36

So the house is up for £750k and you want to offer £690,000? That's a pretty huge reduction. Unless the house is priced out of line with other similar properties in the immediate area, then I don't think you have a chance and you will be competing with people who presumably can pay the full asking or close to it. £60k is a year's nursing home fees!

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