How to Make a Successful Offer on a House


Buying your own property is without a doubt one of the biggest things you can do in life, and clearly, it needs careful planning. The process of submitting and negotiating an offer can be daunting, but with a little research and general know how there’s nothing about the transaction that can’t be successfully navigated, ensuring you get the best deal possible going forward. Here, we’ll take a look at what's required to ensure that, when the time comes, you’re as ready as you need to be, and get exactly the result you’re aiming for…

3 Bedroom Apartment for Sale | Southbank Place, London, SE1


Preparation & Research

The more research you do, the better prepared you’ll be for a negotiation. Doing extensive research will only put you at ease, preparing you to secure the best deal possible. This means not only understanding the details of the property you intend to buy but also having a working insight into similar properties in the area and how much they’re on the market for. This will give you a good sense as to whether or not the property you wish to buy is marketed at a fair price. 


If you’re planning to buy with a mortgage, a lender or adviser will be able to get you an agreement in principle before you start your search. Meanwhile, making sure you have enough money to pay the deposit will reassure sellers that you're serious about moving forward. Estate agents are required by law to perform checks that prevent money laundering and, as such, will need to see your personal details. They’ll check your ID - for instance, a passport or driving licence - and they may also ask to see proof of funds. This is entirely standard practice, so it’s best to have to have your ID readily available when making an offer.


Making the Right Offer 

Once your finances are in order, you’re ready to come up with a bidding strategy. By continuing your research, you’ll be able to make a bid on a property that isn’t more than you can afford or more than the property is worth. It’s worth remembering that a serious buyer isn’t interested in a long and drawn-out process but would rather move ahead and get the deal done. For this reason, your first offer should be your best offer. With that in mind, however, you’re well within your rights to try and get yourself a bargain, which will also give you room to negotiate if your initial offer is refused.


An estate agent will take your offer but it’s always a good idea to have it put down in writing so it’s accurately recorded. The estate agent will then ask you where the money is going to come from and how quickly you’re able to go ahead with the purchase. The agent will then inform the seller of your offer and by law must pass every offer received onto the seller, before letting you know whether or not it’s been accepted. If for any reason it isn’t accepted, you’ll either need to seek out a different property for purchase or enter into negotiations.


However, before making a second offer, finding out if there were any other offers put forward - and if they were higher than yours - will only strengthen your position, allowing you to adjust your bid accordingly. Take into account any extra fees like, for instance, stamp duty and if you are going to offer more money remember the limit you set yourself at the beginning. This will keep you on track and, with a bit of luck, you’ll be able to present a second offer that works for both you and the seller, and is ultimately accepted.


How to Make Sure Your Offer is Accepted 

The good news is there are things you can do to significantly up your chances of getting your offer accepted. First of all, you need to stress your position, making it clear to the seller that you’re well-positioned and ready to move ahead faster and more efficiently than other potential buyers. It’s also true that first-time buyers without a chain are a far more attractive prospect. Meanwhile, building trust with your estate agent means getting the best possible advice and service throughout the buying process. By meeting face-to-face, you can get to know each other and you’ll be able to communicate your needs in much more detail. 


Being proactive is also crucial. No one responds well to a buyer who comes across as a time-waster. However, if you’re serious about this opportunity, let people know and follow up by being the first to see a property that’s of interest. When negotiating don’t go in too low as, obviously enough, you may lose out to someone who offers a higher price. Once your offer is accepted, request the property be taken off the market immediately. This offsets the likelihood of further offers being made that may undercut your own. 


What Happens When Your Offer is Accepted 

Once your offer is accepted, take a moment to celebrate everything you’ve achieved so far. It’s no small undertaking! Then, gather yourself because the deal isn’t legally binding until the contracts have been exchanged. Unfortunately, this still leaves a window of time within which another buyer could swoop in and put in a higher offer. Or, the seller could simply pull out of the deal. To prevent this from happening, ask the seller to stop marketing the property and reassure them that you’re wholly committed to the purchase. 


Make sure to stay in touch with your estate agent during these final stages, as they’ll be able to assist you until you collect your keys, after which you can really pop the champagne! Buying your own home can be a long road but when you get to your destination, you’ll see it really is a road well travelled.    


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