ARTICLES - CURRENT

Author: Fine & Country
4 July 2021

What Should I Consider Before Making A Property Offer?

How do you know when you have found the right home? For many people, it is love at first sight. For others, they may look at ten or more properties during their search. Today, Fine & Country agents share their advice on what you should do before making an offer and how many homes you should view during the process.

How many homes should I look at before making an offer?
Colin Shairp, Managing Director of Fine & Country Emsworth, says:
“House hunting can be exhausting. If you are unsure of what your ideal home is and just hope to spot it, it will become tedious and you may even give up! You will need a plan in place. Work out what you want, where you want it, and how to find it.

“Don’t look at properties that may not cater to your needs as it can become obvious to your estate agent that viewers have no idea what they want. Let your estate agent help you, distil your desires, and deliver the properties that really suit your demands. It is important to know what you want, have the right agent and you will find the perfect property in no time.

“On average, it may take two or three viewings but if you are ready to move when you see the right house then one offer might be all it takes to find your perfect home.”

Simon Bradbury, Director of Fine & Country St Neots says:
“The number of properties you should look at before making an offer will vary depending on your circumstances as a buyer and the amount of properties available. Whilst it is very tempting as a buyer to “look at one more house” this can be counter- productive as you may risk losing your potential dream home to another buyer. You may end up having to offer more than you would want simply to compete with another buyer. If the very first home you view ticks all the boxes, then I would advise to go for it.

“With that in mind, I would always recommend viewing a property a second time before making an offer. Viewing on a different day and at a different time will allow you to see the property in a different light. As ever with buying a property, research is vital. By researching in advance, the discerning purchaser can rule out properties that may tick all the boxes, therefore reducing the number of viewings and time required to find your next home. This advice remains the same for all prospective purchasers whether they are buying their first home or an impressive statement property”.

Bobbi Findlay, Client Consultant at Fine & Country Bury St Edmunds said:
“You should go with your heart when moving home– you should get that ‘feeling’ within the first 20 seconds of being in a property on a viewing.

“It is also important to be sensible about your final decision and would advise that you second view, ideally at a different time of day to experience the home and its surroundings in the evening, for example.

“Also, make sure you have enough time to explore the local area, town or village whilst you are there. Identify what amenities are important to you to have nearby and discover where they are in relation to the home you are viewing. Be prepared to look past cosmetic features at the property. Décor is personal taste and can easily be altered to suit, look beyond the obvious.”

Things to consider before making an offer
● View a couple of options in one day: We advise that you view around two-three homes on the same day to allow you the perspective to compare and rank your options and make sure you are viewing exactly what is ticking your boxes, and serving its value.

Tip: Don’t over do it! View no more than three properties in one day to avoid overwhelming yourself with too many options.

● ALWAYS book a viewing: Many people often make the mistake of seeing a property online, or even viewing it online, and putting in an offer. Not only can this be a hasty move, but it can mean that the property may not live up to your preconceptions once you are there – and by this stage, it can often be too late to turn back.

● Make a realistic offer: Once you have found your property, chances are you will have fallen in love with every realisation of it, right? And this can make it easy for a potential buyer to overestimate their offer, and offer an unrealistic cost to beat out competition. Make an offer that is realistic to you and your circumstances, and keep your agent up to date throughout the process.

What is the best strategy when making an offer?
To make sure you get your offer right, there are many approaches that you can put in place to avoid any problems. We spoke to some of our agents to find out their view on what they thought the best strategies were when making an offer:

Matthew Craker, Director of Fine & Country Brookmans Park, said:
Be open with all of the information
“When making an offer it is important that any potential buyer provides as much information as possible and actually puts themselves in the shoes of the seller. It is essential to confirm your buying position:

Are you a chain free buyer?

● Are you dependent on selling a property and, if so, do you have a buyer on that property along with your agents details?

● How are you going to finance the purchase?

● Are you a cash buyer or part cash/part mortgage? Either way it is imperative to show proof of funds and/or confirmation from your lender that they have agreed to lend you a certain amount of money.

“Some vendors even like to hear a reason why their home is wanted by a potential buyer. Is it going to be a family home for many years due to the children starting a particular school? Or are you looking to buy because of a job move? Some people like to know that their loving home will be sold to the ‘right’ person.

“To conclude, the best strategy for making an offer is to include all the essential information as well as any other information you feel might be worthwhile, no matter how insignificant you feel it might be.”

Jenny Owen of Fine & Country Brighton & Hove said:
Money matters and sell first
“Make sure you have a ‘mortgage arranged in principle’ certificate from a lender. It is always best to use an independent financial adviser to find the best mortgage deals and a good advisor will also be able to help you with a ‘cost of moving’ plan to ensure you’re confident about your budget.

“If you’re using the proceeds from the sale of a property in order to purchase one, try not to get too excited and start offering on properties before you have a buyer on yours. It can be really disheartening to see the property you’ve fallen in love with get snapped up by another buyer, just because you don’t have a buyer for yours. You’ll find that you’re in a stronger negotiating position when you yourself are ready to go ahead with a purchase, so get your property under offer first then start seriously looking.

“Obviously, there’s no harm in browsing the property websites and asking advice from agents to get an idea of what areas and properties you like as well as the average selling prices. However, when choosing an agent to sell your own property, always do your homework and choose one that offers a high quality service. Using an agent with a reputation for consistent high standards to sell your property means that the seller of the property you’d like to buy and their agent will feel more confident in you as a buyer.”

Sally Jackson, Director of Fine & Country Norwich, said:
Confirm any borrowing
“One thing that we would always strongly recommend is to get your borrowing confirmed before you put an offer forward. An offer that is supported by confirmation of funding is always a good way forward!”

Simon Bradbury, Director of Fine & Country St Neots, said:
Research the value
“The absolute key to making an offer is preparation. Firstly, a prospective purchaser should understand that the estate agent receiving the offer is acting in the interests of the seller, not the buyer.

“Secondly, ensure that as a buyer you have proof of your position e.g a copy of a letter from your own estate agent confirming the position of any related sale. Proof of your finances and proof of your intended legal representative is also key as it is all too easy for a buyer to simply state that they can do certain things rather than proving it. An offer is much more likely to be accepted if it is accompanied with evidence of what is claimed by the buyer. The estate agent can reference this when speaking with the seller and it will add to your credibility as a buyer.

“Make sure that you mention any caveats to your offer at the very beginning of negotiations so that they do not emerge as a problem later. Finally, do your research on potential value. What prices have other similar properties sold in the locality? Is the property you are interested in purchasing better or worse in your view? Remember that ridiculously low offers are counterproductive.”

The original article can be viewed here: