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When you’ve found the right property, you may wish to make an offer.
The offer is normally presented to the estate agent acting on behalf of the vendor. The agent is obliged by law to pass on all offers to the vendor and cannot discriminate between different offers.
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Before making an offer on a house, you should consider a number of important factors. Your offer should take into account the condition of the house, the local market conditions and of course your budget.
Talk to the estate agent and ask how long the property has been on the market and try to determine the position of the seller, and how keen they are to sell. Also ask the estate agent how much interest there has been in the property and whether there have been any other offers.
If you've seen a property which is perfect for you and within budget, consider offering the full amount and don't waste any time doing it - chances are if the house is perfect for you, it will also be right for someone else!
The Vendor is more likely to accept your offer if you have already sold your house and have finance pre-approved.
The Vendor may also consider the length of the purchase chain behind your property. If the sale of your property is not dependent on the sale of several other properties in the chain behind yours, you’ll be in a much stronger position to negotiate.
If your offer is accepted the agent will ask for your solicitor details and mortgage lender (if any) so the purchase can progress. If your offer is near the asking price, ask the agent to request that the property is taken off the market. Many estate agents still offer the vendor viewings even after an offer has been accepted!
In England there is currently no legal obligation for the buyer or the seller to continue with the transaction until exchange of contracts and either party is free to withdraw from the process without obligation.
It is very common for an initial offer to be rejected especially if the offer is well below the asking price and if the house is new to the market. If your offer is rejected, ask the estate agent for feedback as this will hep you determine the level of a new offer if you wish to persevere, The agent will normally have an idea of the figure acceptable to the vendor, although they're obliged not to divulge the exact amount.