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Will we go to hell if we offer on a house that's already under offer?

33 replies

treacletart · 05/11/2009 17:55

Would I be inviting very bad karma? Our perfect house went under offer the day before we accepted an offer on our place and so we missed out. It went for pretty much what we would have offered, to I believe, a cash (or at least chain free) buyer. We really want to move but they're really is nothing around and not much hope of much else this side of Christmas. The vendor is still looking and I don't think their buyer has shelled out for a survey yet.
We could (at a real stretch) go to 8K more than they've already accepted. Would it be really bad form? I know what goes around comes around, but if he were to accept us, could I insist on the house coming off all websites so he wouldn't gazump us too?
What do you reckon?

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HeadFairy · 05/11/2009 17:56

I think the bad Karma would be theirs if they accepted your higher offer.

bibbitybobbityhat · 05/11/2009 17:57

No, you missed out, very bad luck. Let the agent know of your very strong interest though just incase that sale falls through.

bamboobutton · 05/11/2009 17:57

so you want to gazump the other buyer and then make demands to stop yourself being gazumped??

, nice.

Mcdreamy · 05/11/2009 17:58

Bad form I'd say although nothing stopping you.

thisisyesterday · 05/11/2009 17:59

yes it would be a horrid thing to do!!!

cakeywakeywhizzbangmakey · 05/11/2009 18:02

It could be the other buyer's dream house as well. If you wouldn't like the thought of someone doing the same to you then you would be unreasonable doing it yourself.

alarkaspree · 05/11/2009 18:10

Are they still marketing the property? If so wouldn't that suggest that the vendors accepted the offer but said that it wasn't what they were hoping for so they were going to keep looking for a better one? In that case I don't think you would be doing anything wrong to put in your offer.

Otherwise as bibbity said, let the estate agents know that you are interested if the offer falls through.

treacletart · 05/11/2009 18:19

Yeah in my heart I do know it's evil and I would feel very uncomfortable about it. So the vendorwould be the really evil one, but we'd be encouraging him...

The agent knows we're really interested and I keep asking him to tell us if it falls through.. But then isn't this the difference between "under offer" and "sold stc"?

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displayuntilbestbefore · 05/11/2009 18:26

The buyer would be a fool to gazump a cash buyer for you (no offence) if you have a chain behind you. If you did offer a higher offer and he accepts, then you'd be wise to watch your back and get things moving asap or he might just pull the rug from under you as he did with the existing buyer.
I'd say better to register your interest, if it falls through, you're there to step in (dh and I got our first house by being on a list of interested parties and the sale fell through so we were able to step in and buy)but in the meantime just accept that these things happen and keep looking for another house for you to buy. This way you also don't comes across as being rather mercenary in the eys of the agents, who might be the agents marketing the home you actually decide to go for. Keep the agents sweet and they're more likely to go out of their way to keep you informed on what's available that meets your requirements!

displayuntilbestbefore · 05/11/2009 18:27

sorry, the seller would be a fool, was what I meant to say!

twolittlekings · 05/11/2009 18:32

I think if the vendor has accepted the offer then no but if they have not then you are free to offer more. TBH I did this when we were looking - the place was under offer but the vendors had not accepted. The estate agent was a bit naughty as she blurted out what they had offered so we went in at full asking price. Call me bad but I did not see that I had done anything wrong - it's not like the offer had been accepted.

ABetaDad · 05/11/2009 18:37

You are perfectly within your rights to offer. No one has signed anything. The house is still being marketed.

Tillyscoutsmum · 05/11/2009 18:38

Under offer and sold stc are interchangeable ime - they effectively mean the same thing.

I agree that no vendor in their right mind would get rid of a cash purchaser for the sake of £8k.

displayuntilbestbefore · 05/11/2009 18:40

if the offer isn't accepted then it's not "under offer".
Under offer is when an offer has been accepted, SSTC is when the sale has gone far enough for it to be unlikely that anything will fall through and for that reason you usually only see the SSTC boards up at the time of exchange or sometimes just before completion. In a way there's not much difference betwen the 2 terns apart from the fact that "under offer" is in the earlier stages and SSTC is usually used when a survey has been carried out, the buyer has committed money to the purchase and it's at a stage where it's unlikely to fall through and all that remains is for the contracts to be signed and exchanged.
OP - have you only viewed the house once, before the offer was made by the other party? If you viewed it afterwards and it's still being marketed then there's nothing to stop you putting in an offer but it's little more than a registered interest if an offer has already been accepted and a sale is proceeding. Good luck with finding a house though!

treacletart · 05/11/2009 18:44

It 's marked on right move as "under offfer" rather than "sold stc" so I guess that would mean the other offer hasn't officially been accepted, but so is ours, maybe they just do that if the vendor hasn't found anywhere yet ... I agree turning down a cash buyer for a chain (however short) would probably be a silly move, but then that would be up to them... I have a good relationship with the agent - maybe I should sound him out informally again and clarify the situation a little more, before selling my soul to the devil.

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twolittlekings · 05/11/2009 18:47

Personally - I would go for it. If it is still being marketed then more fool the purchasers for not demanding this as part of the offer terms. This is what we have done when buying - not off market / internet etc then no deal.

Good luck!

Tillyscoutsmum · 05/11/2009 18:51

I know lots of agents that just use under offer all the way through and others that use sold stc as soon as they have accepted an offer - they are totally interchangeable terms.

Anyway - that's not really the point is it. If you want to put a formal offer in, then the agents have to report it the vendor. If the vendor decides to accept it, then great. Its more likely they'll just use it as a negotiating tool to try and get more cash from the existing buyer.

treacletart · 05/11/2009 18:52

sorry Displayuntil.. should have refreshed before posting again. Rightmove's definitions are a little different. Blimey its all very confusing isnt it? We only viewed it the once, I think we were first in and had later arranged a second viewing with the hope of offering for what turned out to be the day after they accepted the other offer so our second viewing was cancelled. So they haven't been actively marketing it since but is on rightmove and on the agents own website still (marked as under offer).

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displayuntilbestbefore · 05/11/2009 18:53

If it's marked as under offer, it means an offer has been accepted but it's not got to the stage of being close to exchange of contracts, If it had offers that weren't accepted, you just wouldn't know about it, nothing would be marked as it's insignificant to buyers if the offers weren't accepted but they mark it as being under offer so you know there's an offer that's been accepted and don't get your hopes up that it's fully available.
It would only be marked as SSTC once it had got to the stage of being near to exchange and buyers searching for a home would know that there wasn't much chance of it falling through.
If you haven't already contacted the agent to view it again now your own house is under offer, then why not contact them and they'll let you know whether the vendor is still taking viewings (they ought to just in case their current buyer pulls out but they may be seeing how the sale goes before taking more viewings).

treacletart · 05/11/2009 18:58

hmmmmmm like the idea of seeing if they're still taking viewings...

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displayuntilbestbefore · 05/11/2009 19:08

Treacletart - Asking to view the property should be your first call and that will give you more of an idea about how well the sale is progressing so far.
I used to be an estate agent (if you hadn't already guessed!) and we encouraged viewings on houses right up until the buyer had committed money to the property and/or the sale had progressed far enough for us to be satisfied that it wasn't going to fall through. It's no use an agent/vendor stopping viewings on a property until they know for certain that everything's going to go through ok because as soon as you stop taking viewings or make too much of there being another offer already accepted, other potential buyers are put off by thinking it's a done deal and they've got no chance so if it does fall through, there aren't any other buyers waiting in the wings.
Like I said before, though, even if they take the viewing and even if you decide you want to put forward your offer (which the agent is obliged to pass on to the vendor) just don't get your hopes up because you're not in as strong a position as the buyer with no chain. HTH and good luck.

treacletart · 05/11/2009 19:14

Cheers display.

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bibbitybobbityhat · 05/11/2009 19:44

Yes, technically, of course you can offer. You can phone up the EA tomorrow and offer, you don't have to do anything underhand like pretend you want another viewing.

But your op was "would I be inviting very bad karma" and I think a few of your early replies were saying that yes, you probably would. That's certainly what I meant.

If you didn't care about karma or similar then I doubt you would have put that as the opening line of your op .

HouseHuntingNoMore · 05/11/2009 20:12

When we accepted the offer from our buyers we didn't exchange until 6 months later & in all that time our proprty was marked as SSTC. I do not think SSTC means near completion, not in my area anyway. If an offer has been accepted then I personally wouldn't offer on it no matter how gutted I was. Good luck with your decision

treacletart · 05/11/2009 20:43

Gahh what to do?!! Curse my conscience!

So how's this?: Assuming that if they gazump their existing buyer the Karma's on them and not us... asking for another viewing will show if they're still marketing the property or not - if they are, then we could see the house as fair game, and if not we'll back away politely and wait in the wings.

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