My feed

to access all these features

Join our Property forum for renovation, DIY, and house selling advice.


Is this an insulting offer?

82 replies

macneil · 31/08/2007 18:20

Have fallen for a house in the north of England in a university city. It's on the market for £275,000. Last year the buyer paid £230,000. They have sanded the floorboards and decorated it beautifully, but done no structural work. The estate agent says house prices haven't gone up all that much in the last year. The thing is, we just can't afford it, especially as going over £250,000 means stamp duty of at least £7,000, over £8,000 at £275,000. They haven't had any other offers. But if we make an offer at £249,999, will they hate us so much they wouldn't take a bigger offer? The absolute most we can afford (and basically this would mean eating nothing but rice for the rest of our lives) is £260,000. Would it be smarter to say 'We've spoken to the bank and this is absolutely our top offer, we understand if you can't take it' first of all. Or do we take a risk and try the £249,999? Does anyone have any idea how the house market is going at the moment?

OP posts:
hoxtonchick · 31/08/2007 18:35

oh york is lovely (it's where i'm from), go for it! i'd offer 240 i think.

crokky · 31/08/2007 18:36

If they won't accept the £249,999, can you perhaps offer them £3k for some "fixtures and fittings" on top of the acutal "price" so that you can avoid the higher stamp duty bracket and also they can get a bit closer to their asking price?

macneil · 31/08/2007 18:36

Oh Property Snake is a fantastic site, thanks very much!

OP posts:
LIZS · 31/08/2007 18:37

crokky A solcitor can get into trouble if they allow that !

WideWebWitch · 31/08/2007 18:39

You're welcome! If the market goes down they'll potentially make a LOT less or even a loss than if they sell to you. So depends on whether they're prepared to make a £10k profit or wait and potentially make a loss. So they may decide you're the bird in the hand.

Niecie · 31/08/2007 18:39

Isn't there some stats that say houses sell for, on average, 95% of the asking price so £249,995 would be within that so not a silly or insulting offer, especially if it has been on the market for a while. They are still making money out of it.

I don't think there is any harm in making the offer and thinking about upping it if they turn you down and you absolutely must have it.

Good luck. Hope it works out for you.

macneil · 31/08/2007 18:40

Okay, this is all making me very courageous. This was dh's view, and I have been shouting him down for the last 2 days telling him he is mental. He keeps saying they are making enough profit in one year and we aren't stealing from them. I keep saying they will be insulted by our paltry offer and refuse to haggle. Thanks for all the links.

OP posts:
LIZS · 31/08/2007 18:41

How is 5% of 275k more than 25k !!

WideWebWitch · 31/08/2007 18:43

and don't worry about whether it's insulting or not, it's a business transaction! We made an offer a couple of weeks ago of 15% less than asking price. He turned us down so we went up £5k but he said no. However, we DID establish from the agents that he would be prepared to sell if we'd go up another £15k. I didn't think it was worth that so didn't BUT that meant he was actually prepared to sell for an awful lot less than the house was on at.

And then I put it into tesco and another prop price site and they both valued it at less than I'd offered. RICS (I think) are saying that surveyors are starting to downvalue again too. So if you've a high ltv that will matter (obv not if you've large deposit, low ltv)

WideWebWitch · 31/08/2007 18:44

I think people have got v greedy though and they may take the view that £10k isn't enough profit. For painting and sanding floorboards in an uncertain market I think it's not bad.

lizziehoney · 31/08/2007 18:46

I too would offer something quite a bit lower, 245 k or thereabouts. You can then up it and see what happens.All depends on how much they need to move really doesn't it? I have a few friends who've made what i thought were ridiculously low offers on properties, but because of the cicumstances of the vendor (eg lost job/relocating to new area) they ended up getting a great deal. You've nothing to lose by trying!

zippitippitoes · 31/08/2007 18:47

the insulting bit only comes in if you have competition at the time you offer and it doesn't sound like you do....the estate agent is legally obliged to out all offers ot hte vendor

WideWebWitch · 31/08/2007 18:53

And LOOK! time may be right to make a lower offer

macneil · 31/08/2007 20:03

Right, that's settled it! I was wrong, we would be lunatic to go with higher than we can afford as our FIRST offer.

OP posts:
CarGirl · 31/08/2007 20:07

You can also make a seperate offer for furniture and fittings (carpets, curtains, appliances, garden stuff) you could probably pay £2k without it looking odd so therefore pay them £252 in total without incurring stamp duty?

CarGirl · 31/08/2007 20:09

sorry repeating what crokky already said, obviously there does have to F&F they are leaving behind and it does have to be a reasonable amount that you pay for it

macneil · 31/08/2007 20:15

They said they wanted to sell their fittings - dh said this was code and I said dh was smoking the crack pipe - and they have a brand new £1000 range cooker, for instance, so I think this could be easily reached in a legal way. Although I've now researched this and anything around £250k gets sternly looked at. But yes, they definitely have valuable things they have told us they want to sell to the buyer rather than take with them. It wouldn't, obviously have occurred to us before this to buy things that expensive, but if it meant getting a house, that would be... ANYWAY, mustn't get carried away, the truth is we should probably be looking a little cheaper, but as you all say it is definitely worth asking.

OP posts:
Niecie · 31/08/2007 20:19

Whoops - really should stop trying to do maths in my head - £13.5k is 5%.

margosbeenplayingwithmynoonoo · 31/08/2007 20:48

Please see this thread - I contemplated doing the same.

There are quite a few houses in the same area which are up for between £260k to £275k. We put in an offer of £255k to the vendor on a house we really liked but we withdrew our offer, as she didn't accept our offer and take it off the market. 3 & 1/2 months later the same houses I viewed are still up for sale.

Some places have a ceiling limit and I would assume that houses in the 250 - 275 bracket are extremely hard to shift.

Try £250k - and wish you lots of luck

macneil · 31/08/2007 20:57

Thanks for this, Margo.

Oh, poor everyone whose house genuinely IS worth more than £250k but is being screwed over by stamp duty. Time was that £250k was an astonishingly flash house and worth an extra wealth tax, but now none of us can afford bedrooms for our children, it's just too much to make us pay even more tax!

OP posts:
Drusilla · 31/08/2007 21:03

Have a look at this site too - it tells you the actual price paid, rather then the asking price. It may give you a better idea of what houses in the area are actually going for.

margosbeenplayingwithmynoonoo · 31/08/2007 22:57

Oh, I wish £250k = flash house.

We are buying a 2 bed house for £250k now.... and still waiting to exchange.

I will have to wait a decade before I move again to avoid this price bracket.

Are you going to put an offer in tomorrow Macneil?

macneil · 01/09/2007 00:02

Seeing one more house tomorrow then putting in the offer (well, if we can see the other one tomorrow, otherwise waiting till Monday to do both). Honestly don't know how people have more than 2 babies - I will never be able to afford any more bedrooms than this and if we ever move back to London, we're sunk. Our parents never had to borrow 6+ times their income (after down payment) to buy a house.

OP posts:
twentypence · 01/09/2007 00:59

We made a cheeky offer and were turned down, two weeks later and obviously no better offers they said yes but we had to buy the fridge for an extra $500 (there is no stamp duty in NZ). It was a little embarrassing having to admit that the house I claimed to have "gone off anyway" was now the one I was buying - but I lived!

Surely if they paid $230 it's not unreasonable for it now to be worth around the stamp duty threshold. Offer 240K and say it's all the money you have in the world but you love the house for your family. Then go about your business.

Silly to put in a thousand pound stove in a house you were doing up in a property ladder stylee way.

WideWebWitch · 01/09/2007 09:36

Agree about the £1k stove, mad. Sounds like a Sarah Beeny frowned upon mistake of doing what you'd like rather than what makes commercial sense. Say you don't want it and they're welcome to take it, that knocks £1k off. Say you;ve got one you love.

Let us know how you get on

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.