How to make a successful offer

Many homebuyers believe they should start with a low offer and then “bargain up” towards the sellers’ asking price. But most experienced agents can attest to the fact that too many offers and counteroffers will usually kill the deal.

Indeed, even in the current “buyers’ market”, there’s a real art to making a successful offer to purchase, and prospective buyers would do well to learn it if they wish to end up with the right home at the right price, says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group.

“To start with, serious buyers should spend time researching the market in their area of choice, and especially obtaining information about current selling prices rather than advertised prices.

“At the same time, they should establish what they can comfortably afford and apply for formal home loan pre-approval, which will ensure that sellers will take them seriously when they do make an offer.

Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he says the next step should be to eliminate any properties that are obviously overpriced from their list of “possibles”.

“It is really a waste of time to even view these properties, let alone contemplate making an offer to purchase, as a seller who has not taken the trouble to set a realistic asking price is hardly likely to even look at an offer for a lesser amount.”

On the other hand, Everitt says, serious sellers in the current market will have spent a lot of time with their agent to get their asking price just right, and will not have left much of a cushion against lower offers.
“So finally, when they have viewed several properties and found the home they want within their target price-range, prospective buyers should pitch their first offer close enough to the asking price to encourage the seller to accept swiftly and avoid a long negotiation – or even an outright refusal.”

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