How to make the right offer on a house
Searching for and finding the perfect property can take some time, but when you find ‘the one’ you’ll want to move quickly and make your offer.
Acting swiftly doesn’t mean you should rush and make hasty decisions. Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions of your life! Take a moment to read this quick guide so you can be fully prepared to make the right offer on your new house. Plus, download and print off our FREE checklist to help you along the way!
1. Confirm this is the right property
This first, and most important step, in making the right offer on a house is to decide that this is the property for you. You’ve followed our top tips for getting the most out of a viewing and think this could be the property you’re after, but there are a few key questions you can ask yourself to confirm.
Does this property meet my goals?
Moving goals are the reason you’re looking for a new property and are what you want to achieve from moving home. If location is key, for example, is this house within 5 miles of your family? The right house should meet your goals but if this property doesn’t meet one or all your goals, you’ll need to decide if you’re willing to compromise.
If you are happy to compromise on one of your goals, this could be a sign that this wish isn’t really a ‘must’ for your move. Consider reassessing your goals at this stage, this house may be the perfect property for your needs!
Are you downsizing and moving to a smaller home? Assess the rooms objectively and examine the available space and storage options. If your current furniture is too big for example, do you have plans to sell it on or give to family? Consider all your options and be certain on any compromises before you decide to make an offer.
Is the property within budget?
Calculating your affordability is key to moving home. Use our free calculator to work out your moving budget and confirm what you can afford before making an offer on the house. You’ll want to know your maximum budget (what can you stretch to) and your ‘ideal’ budget. Your ideal budget would be comfortably affordable and leave you a little extra for improvements and emergencies.
Do I know the history of the property?
It can be a little tricky to know the history of a property on a first viewing but, before you make any offer, you should know exactly what you’re buying. Ask the vendor and agents about the property (and why they’re moving) and research previous selling prices online. If you don’t know the history of the property or the future of the area, for example any new developments that could affect your countryside view, then you’d be taking a big gamble making an offer.
Did you know our property experts perform due diligence and could help with your move? Read about our free Move Simply service available to all Homewise customers.
Does this house feel like home?
Can you picture your furniture in the space? Does the location feel like your new neighbourhood? Trust your instincts and emotions. If you have an uncertain feeling or there’s a significant doubt in your mind, chances are this isn’t the property for you.
If you do like the property, arrange another viewing for a different time of day before you make the decision to buy. If your opinion remains the same, great, your first impressions were right! Use our free checklist and confirm that this property is perfect for you!
2. Calculate your offer
Before you can make the right offer for a house, it’s important to know the current local property market. Research the local area and search for similar properties online using portals like Rightmove and Zoopla. By researching the market you’ll know if the asking price is realistic.
Do you believe this property is a little too expensive? If you feel like this is the perfect property and you’ve calculated your budget, do your research and prepare your argument for challenging the price. It could be that the asking price is simply too high or you feel there are improvements needed to compare to similar properties that have recently sold in the area. With research and preparation, you can calculate the right offer to put forward on the house.
3. Contact the agent
This property feels like home, it meets your goals and you know what you’re able to pay for it. Now the next step is to contact the estate agent and put forward your offer! Agents are legally required to put forward any offer to the vendor, but it’s best to confirm in writing too. A call followed by an email would be fine here and removes any confusion going forward.
This stage of the moving process can put buyers at a disadvantage. Vendors have their agents (professional negotiators!) working on their behalf to manage the offers and handle negotiations. Remember your budget and don’t stretch to your maximum unless you really love the property and can afford the offer made.
Our in-house Home Moving Team and Sales Progressors handle as much or as little of the buying and negotiating process for our customers as they like, free of charge! Learn more about our free Move Simply service and how, if you’re over 60 years old, you could benefit from our Home for Life Plan.
Don’t forget to print off your free checklist to take with you on viewings and help you make the right offer for your new house.