How do I buy a house? | Making an offer

how do i buy a house

Making an offer

You have finally found the property of your dreams, now it’s time to make an offer.

To submit an offer, you must present your offer either verbally (over the phone), in person or in writing. If you decide to make an offer verbally, some agents may also ask you to send a confirmation of your offer in writing for their records. We would suggest to always provide an offer in writing. The agent is obligated to pass your offer onto the current owner of the property in for them to consider.

To give yourself a better chance of getting your offer accepted, it helps to tell the story of what makes you a good buyer and showing the vendor why they should choose you. By submitting an offer that is the asking price or more does not automatically give you the best chance of getting chosen by the vendor, there will be more factors that will be under consideration


  • Be Ready – The more prepared you are, the better. By knowing how much you can afford and having the evidence to confirm this will show that you are a reliable, responsible homeowner and a serious buyer. When you submit your offer, make sure you have a solicitor in place to avoid any delays.
  • Chain Free – If you are a; first-time buyer, a buyer with no chain or have a pre-arranged mortgage, you will be in the best position to buy compared to buyers who are in a chain with their current property.
  • Speed – Sometimes current vendors of the property have been trying to sell for quite a while. If they are looking to sell quickly, they will be more inclined to accept a lower offer. The more organised you can be, the sooner you will be able to move into your dream home.
  • Price – It is worth finding out the current situation of the vendor. If they are in no rush to sell their home, they will most likely be looking for the highest buyer rather than one who will be able to move quickly.
  • Be Confident – Even if your offer is a little bit lower than the asking price, don’t make out that you would easily be swayed by your offer. Vendors can see this as a way of getting more money out of you.

Don’t worry!

Don’t be put off if your initial offer is not successful, it may take a couple of offers and counter-offers before a final decision is made. An estate agent is required to be fully transparent with you, so will be required to let you know if there are other parties interested in the property.

Before you get carried away increasing your offer, you must know your realistic budget ceiling. This can also help you know what your starting offer should be. If the vendor will only accept a higher offer, you need to think carefully if the property is worth the additional cost and how this extra charge will affect you in the future.

Before you make an offer, do your research on the area. Speak with your agent to check what the property is realistically worth. The best way is to look at the current house values of the surrounding areas. This will show you a true-to-date estimation. Check to see if there is any maintenance or repair work that will need carrying out at the property. This can aid in justifying a lower offer. Take into account the amount of interest the property is currently receiving too. The less interest, the more likely the vendor is to accept a lower offer.

Make it clear

Once you make an offer, make it clear if the offer is:

  • Subject to contract (STC) – the final sale takes place only when lawyers have exchanged legally binding documents.
  • Subject to Survey – this allows for the cost of any faults or issues to be taken into account, once your surveyor has checked the property out

The first thing to do once your offer has been accepted is let the agent know they need to take the property off the market. This will stop any inquiries coming in and any viewings being arranged.

Make sure your agent sends you a letter confirming your offer. If you have not automatically been sent one, ask for one!

What now?

First things first, let the agent know they need to take the property off the market. This will stop any inquiries coming in and any viewings being arranged.

Make sure your agent sends you a letter confirming your offer. If you have not automatically been sent one, ask for one!

Now you need to move fast… Make sure you have all of your documents ready. This will include; your proof of ID, evidence of your earnings, proof of your address over the last few months and your bank statements.

Your mortgage lender will need to arrange for a valuation on the property you wish to buy. This will allow them to justify the amount you have asked to borrow.

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