All you need to know about making an offer

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It’s so easy to fall in love with a hot property on s1homes. Unfortunately, it can be a little more difficult navigating your way around the cold concepts of Fixed Price, Offers Over and Offers Around.

But learning the implications of this terminology is important. After all, you don’t want any financial hiccups affecting the prospects of a marriage made in heaven.

So, here are our top tips on what you need to know…  and how to negotiate the best deal.


Fixed Price

Applicable only in Scotland, properties marketed at Fixed Price usually indicate the spot-on price the seller is expecting to achieve. The tag may even hint at a desire for a quick sale and it’s certainly rare the home will fetch anything higher.

Of course, there are certain caveats you should know before making an offer on a Fixed Price property. Firstly, the seller is under no obligation to accept the first or any offer just because it meets their threshold. Sellers may also impose other conditions and only once a buyer has satisfied these and the seller is 100% happy a sale can progress.


Offers Over

This sale prefix is more subtle as it doesn’t clearly nail down the financial expectations of the seller – although you can be fairly certain the price they hope to achieve will be higher than their stated benchmark.

Most properties marketed this way are already formally valued higher anyway and so the term is often used to create competition between prospective buyers. This is why these properties typically go to a closing date.


Offers Around/Offers in the Region Of

These terms may seem intentionally vague but are actually self-explanatory. The home is being marketed around a guide price and so the final sale value can be either above or below this.

Sellers choose to use this option when they’re more willing to negotiate the sale of their property, and often will take all the time they need to do so. This means it’s your move next . . . Aha! Which brings us neatly to explaining how to negotiate the best deal.


Do your research

How is this property being sold? Using our s1homes guide to terminology above, you can within reasonable doubt determine the sellers’ realistic expectations of a closing price.

Now you should also consider why is the seller leaving and just how long has the property been on the market. Have there been similar properties for sale in the area? How long were they available and how much did they go for?

Asking these kinds of questions of your estate agent, who will have expert local knowledge, builds up a better picture about the home’s saleability and final worth.

All of this puts you in a better position to start negotiating.


Don’t show all your cards too early

Remember, sellers are just as busy, engaged and emotional about the property transaction as you are so, if you like the look of a home, be the first to get a viewing. This shows you’re a serious player and not wasting time.

That said, purchasing property is a huge decision so resist the urge to share how much you love the place, even if you really have found your dream home.

Try not to squeal or run around: playing your poker face and curbing your enthusiasm will open more productive negotiations.

It’s always best to consult the expertise of your estate agent or conveyancing solicitor when it comes to this stage – you don’t want to miss out on your dream pad by playing too hard to get.

This is why building a strong relationship with your property professional will help them help you with the best possible guidance.


Always be prepared

Before bidding ensure all of your finances are in order before you start negotiating a purchase.

This means having your mortgage secured, knowing how flexible you can be with price and being in a place where you can pay all of the additional associated fees. If you don’t have the necessary collateral in place, you can’t open up fair negotiations.


Playing the first card

Don’t go in too low with your first offer. The owners may be leaving but this is their cherished home, remember, and an offer that’s too cheeky is akin to a car buyer kicking the tyres of someone’s beloved Ferrari. It may put noses out of joint.

Also avoid round numbers in case this means making exactly the same bid as someone else. Embarrassing!

Making your first bid strong (and close to your secret best offer) shows you’re serious and not willing to get caught up in tit-for-tat negotiations. But it also gives you some head room for a second or third go, should this be knocked back.

At all times, let your research and your property professional be your guide . . . and always go with what you can truly afford.


If you’re in the mood to discover a new home and want to put your newfound negotiating skills to the test, your one-stop-shop for the latest property news and advice is s1homes.

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