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Keep missing out on houses - what are we doing wrong?

(16 Posts)
redsquirrelmonkey Mon 03-Jul-17 15:08:53

Hi, looking for a bit of insight into the world of buying houses from others with more experience. First time posting here so hope this is in the right place!

A bit of background - looking for a house in a range of villages outside a city in the East Midlands. Been looking for a while generally but for the past few months we've been looking with the intention to move asap - we have a baby now and are desperate to get settled in a new house. Our own situation is that we own a flat, the move to a new house is not contingent on a sale (although sale of our flat is now going through anyway) but we basically want to get out as soon as we can into a house! We would be getting a mortgage.

The problem is that our offers are just not getting accepted! We have made some offers in the past below asking price which have been rejected and ultimately asking price offers have been accepted. Partly we offered below asking as we didn't consider the houses worth asking price (compromises in all properties) and also because we figured that houses don't actually go for asking price! Except apparently they do! We have come to realise that the demand for houses that we are looking for far exceeds supply in this area and therefore if we actually want a house we need to see it the day it comes on the market and make an asking price offer straight away.

We therefore thought that we had finally 'figured out' the mechanism of the local housing market, but apparently not - today we have had an offer rejected on a house we viewed as soon as it came on the market. We know we were the first offer and we offered full asking price but the estate agent has told us it has been rejected and it's not going to best and final offers - the vendor has an offer above asking price in this case and doesn't want to take it to best and finals. So again, we have missed out and clearly still don't know how this market works! FWIW we would have gone above asking in this instance and made that clear to the agent so there is some reason why the vendor has chosen not to take it further.

I'm therefore trying to work out what we are missing here - what the other people are doing that we're not? Really interested to hear from those who have success in such a market as to any tips as to how to ultimately secure a property. We watch a lot of Location, Location etc but the way this market seems to be working is not how it appears on TV! We're just scratching our heads and wondering if we're ever going to get a house!!

lanouvelleheloise Mon 03-Jul-17 15:18:42

Well, it sounds like you have learned how the market works to me! You were making offers that were too low, and they were rejected outright. You've learned and stopped doing that.

It sounds as though the market is pretty brisk in that area, and houses are getting quite a few viewings at an early stage. I would say that you've maybe just hit an unusual sale in this case with the vendor not wanting to go to best and final - perhaps there are particular time pressures with this family, or maybe you're at some kind of threshold for stamp duty or something? I'd continue to make decent offers at the asking price, with the assumption you might have to go higher.

xandersmom2 Mon 03-Jul-17 15:30:32

We're also in E Mids looking at villages around a large city - we might be neighbours grin.

We started looking in Feb/March, put offers in on a couple of places slightly under list price but vendors were playing hardball and holding out for asking - which we weren't prepared to pay as we genuinely didn't think they were worth it. Eventually had an offer accepted about 10% under asking on a place, had to then pull out after a poor survey.

Started looking again in late April and by then there was just nothing on the market. I mean seriously, trawling through RM and just nothing to even go and view. One house came up, I called the agent within 5 mins of the advert going up, we went to see it 3 hours later and were the 3rd family to view it! Poor vendor was a bit shell-shocked. Anyway, we really liked it and we asked the vendor there and then what he'd need to take it off the market, he said 'full ask' so I texted the EA the second we left, to put a full ask offer in as long as all other viewings were cancelled.

Of course now the vendor is messing around and we can't seem to get to exchange, but that's a different matter.

Anyhoo, I feel your frustration. There is very little on the market, the same few houses are hanging on and on for literally months (including the houses we initially offered below ask on, and which have now dropped their prices to below what we had originally offered and which they rejected!). Everything is just stagnant. If this purchase doesn't go ahead for any reason, i think we'll probably just pull up the drawbridge and stay put for another 12 months, try again next year (we're in rented).

All I can recommend, based on personal experience, is stalking the EAs for any new houses they know of that are coming on (they'll know in advance when their valuers go out, for example) and then jumping on houses the second they are marketed. Be sure to sell yourselves, too, when you're making appointments to go and view - lots of noise about how proceed-able you are, not dependent on a sale, mortgage all lined up and the like.

Good luck...!

redsquirrelmonkey Mon 03-Jul-17 15:46:05

Thanks both for your replies, really appreciate it!

Xandersmom - we definitely could be neighbours, your situation sounds so like ours! I think what you said about the discussion with your current vendor is interesting actually. The second to last house that we missed out on, I know for a fact that the vendor verbally agreed the sale with someone when they were looking around, and so in reality we didn't stand a chance on that house by the time we called the estate agent as it was basically a done deal and out of the agents hands. It got me wondering if this might also have been the case with the latest house, as the vendor was doing the viewings for that too, and perhaps has agreed something when they were doing a viewing.

Totally take on board regarding the being able to sell ourselves and our position, we will try that next time and also may as well be open to discussing offers with the vendors then and there - it seems like we have nothing to lose. I think part of our problem is we're used to having a good discussion about pros and cons before we go ahead but I don't think this market allows us that in reality!! We probably just need to be more bullish.

OlennasWimple Mon 03-Jul-17 16:06:32

The other thing to bear in mind is that jsut because your offer isn't accepted there and then, it doesn't mean that it never will. If you miss out on a property that you really love, stay in touch with the agent so that if the sale ever falls through for some reason they know that you are still interested

loveka Mon 03-Jul-17 16:21:58

It doesn't work like Location...

That programme makes people think that you have to go under asking.

We have had 3 full asking price offers on our house, and 1 over asking.

We are on the market again now, after the people we were buying from changed their minds on the day of exchange. Our buyer was renting and had given notice she was leaving, so the chain totally collapsed.

On Saturday we had a super low offer. No way would we accept that when we have had full asking offers before!

We saw a house we loved and offered over the asking price because we wanted it so much. We got turned down because we are not proceedable.

It's a nightmare really. I think we might just take our house off the market and wait for things to settle down a bit.

Allthebestnamesareused Mon 03-Jul-17 18:43:16

There are still areas of the country where the market is buoyant. We paid £30K over asking price and our offer was accepted (there were 3 couples after our house and we kept matching other offers) because we were chain free and prepared to go at seller's speed and with their required dates.

JT05 Mon 03-Jul-17 20:22:05

We're in an E Mids village with outstanding schools, between a city and desirable Market town. Decent houses, priced right don't stay on the market long.
We bought last year and despite being cash buyers had to go to best and final offers above asking price.
In a sellers market, you just have to make your mind up quickly and offer the max. you can.

HipsterHunter Mon 03-Jul-17 21:28:52

What are you doing wrong? Offering too little! :-)

If those other houses haven't sold, you can go back and say your offer still stands. Might get a look in now?

redsquirrelmonkey Mon 03-Jul-17 22:05:54

Thanks everyone for your responses, it's been really helpful.

Out of interest then, would you usually offer the max you're willing to pay ie your best and final offer at the outset rather than offering asking price and then increasing it if other offers match or exceed yours? It's difficult to get away from the feeling that you may in some cases end up paying more than you need to. But maybe the lack of understanding around the bidding process is part of our problem!

lanouvelleheloise Tue 04-Jul-17 08:46:33

I think it depends on how much we're talking about. At the end of the day, when you're talking about a few £1000s, a house's value is fairly hazy and subjective. Is it worth offering a few grand more if you think it makes your offer look better? Yes, particularly if you are desperate to move in a fierce market, because when you consider the term of a mortgage, it's not very much money at all and in relation to the value of the house, it's a very small %. However, offering huge chunks more than the asking is unlikely to be wise!

OhTheRoses Tue 04-Jul-17 08:55:44

Is your mortgage agreed in principle?

HipsterHunter Tue 04-Jul-17 09:52:51

If it is a competitive market I think making your 'best and final' offer and letting the EA and Vendor know you are serious buyers, really want the house and this is your absolute best offer you can do is a good move.

Heartoverheadhouse Tue 04-Jul-17 22:56:15

We're trying to buy in the same type of market. I'm calling agents weekly to see what's coming on their books, reminding them we are still looking and definitely best and final offer and a "take if off the market now" offer. It's possible to get viewing before it goes live on rightmove with the being in touch with agents approach.

GardenGeek Tue 04-Jul-17 23:10:27

We had same issue, the competition was just too much and 140/150 houses were going for 175 due to all the best and final offers/ multiple viewings at same time madness.

so we moved up slightly to very top of our range; we are adding more deposit to make it up (just under 200) and was looking at houses at start of next tier, just over FTB/ BTL developer IYSWIM - you will have to work out what £ that is for your area, but once they stop doing best and final offers is a good indicator. Then you can look at houses for slightly more and put in lower offers than asking but still your max.

Then we had the advantage of being chain free which we didn't have before. We ended up getting the house under asking and not even being the highest bidder who offered over asking in a chain. We just said at the beginning thats what we offer. They told us we had lost the bid twice and did we want to up it twice before they rung us to tell us the vendor chose us for quick sale.

If you can use the money from your flat to push you slightly into the next bracket it might be worth it. I feel for the 20k more I am getting so much more, and its well priced as opposed to over priced for the first rung of the ladder. IYSWIM.

Goodluck

JellyBellies Thu 06-Jul-17 11:00:52

Hi, We bought in the same/similar area in the east mids last year. We lost a few house due to only offering asking price!
The only reason we managed to buy was that we had made an offer which wasn't accepted initially. Them the chain fell through and the sellers were on a timeline as they were emigrating. And they accepted our offer as we were chain free.

My advice is be as flexible as possible about moving dates, highlight that you are chain free. Make a decent offer where possible even if you think you won't get it.

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