Making an offer on a house

On average, first time home buyers view roughly 8-10 homes before finding their dream home and making an offer on a house.

Our team suggests making a shortlist of the top 3 properties you’d like to explore further and view these again before proceeding.

Viewing the properties at different times and with a friend or family member helps. They can give you a better insight and pick up on anything you could have missed. Having a first, second and third choice is always a good idea to keep your options open. This will help you avoid a take-it or leave-it scenario for one property. 

Once you find a house or flat you love, you’ll need to contact the estate agent to make an offer. Having written proof of your borrowing and buying power (in the form of a written email or document from your lender/s) can help boost your credibility in the eyes of an agent. [Click here for further negotiation tips]

We recommend speaking to the estate agent in person or by phone, then following up by email to ensure the offer you are making is recorded accurately. The estate agent puts the offer forward to the seller. The seller will consider your offer alongside any other offers they have received.

How do you structure an offer? 

The better the offer is structured, the better chances you have of your offer being accepted. In addition to providing proof of funds, offering an explanation as to how you arrived at your offer price will help show you have a good understanding of the market, property value and its potential. You can include an agreement in principle, property eligibility agreement and bank statements to show proof of funds. 

This will add lots of credibility to your offer on the house by showing you’re a serious buyer. Sellers prefer to do business with serious buyers who can move quickly with the financing. Showing this will improve your chances of getting the property at a better price. You should come up with a budget which you can stick to ensuring you don’t end up paying over the odds for the property. This usually happens when the property is in demand and price becomes the deciding factor for the seller. Understanding the property’s previous price(s), sold prices of comparable properties, costs to make desired improvements and the property’s history of offers will help you work out a budget which you can use to make your first offer and respond to any counter offers.     

Always remember that estate agents are paid by the seller and will act in the seller’s best interests.  This shouldn’t stop you from using the information they provide to your advantage. Building rapport with the estate agent will make it easier to find out the information required to make an informed decision on the offer you will put forward. An estate agent can be your greatest ally in the home buying process as they can influence sellers on who to sell to, having a better understanding of the home buying process. Estate agents, who do their job properly, will find the right balance between those who can move quicker to complete the sale and achieving a fair price. 

Counter Offers

When you receive a counteroffer, don’t hesitate to ask for some time to think things through. You can commit to getting back to the estate agent by a certain date and following through with this commitment can help add even more credibility to your offer. 

Study the counteroffers carefully and don’t be fooled by “sweeteners” such as white goods or pressure from the estate agent communicating any other offers that have been put forward. Estate agents may try and rush you to make a decision and asking for some time to do so will allow you to analyse the counter offer logically, rather than emotionally. If the seller accepts your offer, remember the offer will not be legally binding until the contracts have been exchanged via the legal professionals of both parties. This means that they can accept a higher offer at any time. To prevent this from happening, you can request the property to be removed from the marketplace and is no longer advertised.


Proportunity Tip

Use any findings from property viewings to negotiate the price down, if any refurbishments need to be made.


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SSM One Limited (trading as Proportunity Loans) is an intermediary only lender authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (with firm reference number 716565). SSM One Limited is registered in the UK at Companies House with reference number 09273700, with its registered office at GG 315, Metal Box Factory, 30 Great Guildford St, London SE1 0HS, United Kingdom.
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