How to Make an Offer on a UK Property
Finding the perfect property can be quite a lengthy process. From the initial search to the various viewings, it can take time to discover your dream home. When you do, however, there’s no greater feeling of excitement than making an offer to make it your own. If you’re in the first stages of your property hunt, it’s wise to be aware of what the process of making an offer entails. There are a number of things to consider and a sure-fire way to go about it.
Consider your circumstances
If you’re a first-time buyer without a chain, or if you have been guaranteed a mortgage before making an offer, you become extremely appealing to a seller who’s looking for a speedy sale. That being said, there will be sellers who will take the time to consider the amount of money that each potential buyer offers. For the majority, the highest offer is the more important factor when it comes to selling a home.Your personal circumstances are worth considering, to decide what advantages you have over competition and to give you a head start in the race. Point them out as soon as you know that you’re interested in making an offer, otherwise your competition might get there before you.
Evaluate your budget and stick to it
The value of the property shouldn’t be the only thing you consider when you evaluate your budget. Additional fees from solicitors and stamp duty can add a rather large sum to the total cost of buying a home. As such, it’s wise to allow an additional 15% of your budget to make room for these costs. From there, you can work out the highest amount that you can offer a seller and stick to it, to make sure you can afford the live in the home, when it comes to the big move.
Make room for negotiation
Begin by offering slightly less than your maximum budget, to allow room for negotiation. You might find that this process saves you more money, too, should the seller accept your initial offer. Look at property prices in the area before your viewing, as well as how many similar properties are for sale close by. A unique property is worth a higher offering, however the seller might be open to negotiation if there are other properties like theirs. Any repairs you find during your viewing could also lower the cost of the sale.
Prepare for gazumping or gazundering
Gazumping – where the seller accepts an offer then drops the deal for a higher offer - happens more often than you would hope. If your lower offer was accepted, you might consider offering your maximum budget to avoid losing the property to another buyer.
Gazundering describes a buyer waiting until the contract is nearly complete, to then lower their offer in the hope that the seller will accept to secure a deal. Gazundering can be a dangerous game and if you really want the property, it’s best to stick to your original offer.
Once you have agreed on a price with the seller, a survey of the property will secure the deal at the agreed price. In the meantime, you should ask the seller to take the property off the market, to avoid any other competitors from creeping in. Have the surveys and legal proceeds completed as quickly as possible to avoid a fallout with the seller. This begins with completing a lender’s application form, which is then followed by a survey and valuation.Should everything go smoothly, you will officially become the owner of your dream home in no time.