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How to make an Offer on a Property?

Updated: Feb 12

Are you ready to make an offer on a property but unsure how to approach this?

Whether you are a first-time buyer or a seasoned mover, it is important to know when the right time is to make your move. Before jumping in, there are a few important steps to take. If you require a mortgage, do you know how much you can borrow? Have you determined the maximum purchase price you can afford? Have you set aside sufficient funds to cover your deposit and all the associated costs? And how should you approach the seller or estate agent when making your first offer? With so much to consider, it is crucial to plan and prepare in advance. Here we aim to provide you with the essential basics for making an offer on a property.

A savvy homebuyer carefully evaluating a potential property, contemplating the advantage of partnering with a mortgage broker to secure a beneficial offer and successfully accomplish their home purchase.
"Home Hunt: Every Detail Counts"

Research Your Mortgage Options

Unless you are in the fortunate position whereby you do not require a mortgage, before you do anything else you should establish how much you can comfortably afford to borrow. A reputable mortgage broker will be your best port of call as they can not only simplify the entire process from start to finish, but they will also be your single point of contact throughout your purchasing journey. Alternatively, you can check in with your bank but just be mindful that they can only offer their own products so may not secure the best deal for you.

Following a meeting with a mortgage broker you should be clear on:

  • How much you can borrow and the ongoing monthly mortgage payments.

  • The amount of deposit you need to put down to secure the mortgage.

  • Total Costs involved when buying a home, from lender fees, surveys, solicitors fees and then broker fees, if relevant (check out our article on Broker Fees for full details)

  • How to organise a mortgage Agreement in Principle, a key step before you head out on your search for a property, make sure you are armed with your mortgage AIP!

  • And if you are reliant on selling a property then you should only consider making an offer once you have agreed a sale on your own – estate agents are unlikely to entertain you unless you can provide details of your buyer, thus making you ‘proceedable’.

Helpful Tips When Offering On A Property

If you are a first-time buyer, the prospect of making an offer on a property can be both exciting and daunting. Buying your first home is likely to be the biggest financial commitment you have ever made. Whether you are a first-time buyer or simply moving home, to help ensure you get the best possible deal, there are several key considerations you need to bear in mind:

  • Never go in with your highest bid first. Unless the property has just come to the market and is generating a lot of interest, it is advisable to start with a lower offer. (Just not too low as to then frustrate the agent & seller!) A lower offer allows you room for negotiation and ensures you do not overpay for the property.

  • Consider the seller's circumstances. Ask them questions around how long the property has been on the market, and why the seller is looking to move. If they are under pressure to sell quickly, you may be able to make a lower offer and still secure the property. If, on the other hand, the seller is in no rush to move or have a number of people interested in their property, you may need to be more competitive with your offer.

  • Make it clear to the estate agent that you have already secured your mortgage agreement in principle as this shows you are a serious buyer and, if necessary, you can move quickly to finalise the sale. As a first-time buyer you often have an advantage over more experienced home movers, as they are less likely to be able to move quickly.

  • Stick to your guns if the estate agent is applying some pressure to speak to their in house mortgage advisor. When it comes to dealing with the estate agent, it is important to remember that they work for the vendor, not for you. While they may be helpful and accommodating, their goal is to secure the best possible price for their client. If you have already sourced a reliable mortgage broker then you have no reason to use the estate agent's own broker - remember, doing so could potentially benefit the agent and vendor more than you. If necessary, your own broker will be happy to speak with the estate agent to verify your strong position. Remember to share with them your mortgage Agreement in Principle!

  • Negotiate well and do not show all your cards too early in the process. While it can be tempting to reveal exactly how much you are willing to pay, hold off until you have a better idea of what the seller is looking for. This ensures you do not end up paying more than you need to whilst also giving you room to negotiate for a better deal.

In summary, making an offer on a property can be a nerve-wracking experience, particularly for first time buyers. However, by approaching the negotiation process with care and consideration, you can ensure you get the best possible deal on your first home. Remember to find out the seller's circumstances, start lower if they are keen to press ahead with a sale, mention your Mortgage AIP, show caution around using the estate agent's own broker, and hold off on revealing your complete hand until you have a better idea of the seller's expectations.

Good luck, and happy house hunting! And when you are ready, check out our article My Offer Has Been Accepted, What Happens Next?

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Published by Beechwood Mortgages Ref: 219335 with review and approval from Stonebridge Mortgage Solutions Limited who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority Ref: 454811.

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