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How To Approach (First Time) A House Owner To Buy Their House That Is Not Listed As For Sale?

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I live in London, UK and there is a property on a street that is for sale, however, it needs total modernisation and is not habitable currently. As I really like the street and it's location, do you think I could possibly approach other house owners on the same street to find out if they would consider selling their house? No other house is listed as for sale on the street, so how would I go about doing this? Drop them a letter through the mail? Is it even ok to approach people like this? I don't wanna come across as some sort of mafia ciminal, LOL, like "sell me your house or else!".....

Do you think it would be possible to approach this way? Is it considered acceptable? I would welcome any suggestions. The street and location is fantastic for my personal circumstances and unfortunately, there even no other houses listed for sale in the nearby area :( Many thanks.

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I live in London, UK and there is a property on a street that is for sale, however, it needs total modernisation and is not habitable currently. As I really like the street and it's location, do you think I could possibly approach other house owners on the same street to find out if they would consider selling their house? No other house is listed as for sale on the street, so how would I go about doing this? Drop them a letter through the mail? Is it even ok to approach people like this? I don't wanna come across as some sort of mafia ciminal, LOL, like "sell me your house or else!".....

Do you think it would be possible to approach this way? Is it considered acceptable? I would welcome any suggestions. The street and location is fantastic for my personal circumstances and unfortunately, there even no other houses listed for sale in the nearby area :( Many thanks.

I have a friend who did this successfully a few years back. He just did a polite letter saying he was looking for 'a home like yours' in the area, making it clear he was not an e agent, just a private buyer. Leave proper tel no and Mr/Mrs blogs, but no address. Do not say you only like that street - too much power given to the potential vendor. Also say, you are happy to negotiate direct or, through an agent or third party as they please, but mention a private sale means no EA fee. You would need to have a good idea what these homes are worth depending on condition and remember a mortgage valuation will be needed unless you are loaded. It might be worth having 3 agents do the come round and negotiate from there upon disclosure of their letters. Up to you.

Better still wait until prices drop, which they will quite substantially over the next 2 years and keep an eye on that street.

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I have a friend who did this successfully a few years back. He just did a polite letter saying he was looking for 'a home like yours' in the area, making it clear he was not an e agent, just a private buyer. Leave proper tel no and Mr/Mrs blogs, but no address. Do not say you only like that street - too much power given to the potential vendor. Also say, you are happy to negotiate direct or, through an agent or third party as they please, but mention a private sale means no EA fee. You would need to have a good idea what these homes are worth depending on condition and remember a mortgage valuation will be needed unless you are loaded. It might be worth having 3 agents do the come round and negotiate from there upon disclosure of their letters. Up to you.

Better still wait until prices drop, which they will quite substantially over the next 2 years and keep an eye on that street.

Cheers. Good to know that writing a letter this way has been done before! I won't feel so strange approaching this way now. Final question related to this, if I may........I have a relative living in this area and he knows the location inside out and so has a perfect idea on what the home is worth. Fortunately, I won't be requiring a mortgage to potentially purchase this property and I know that I can actually pay a few thou more than its basic bricks value. So In the speculative letter that I will be writing, should I mention something along the lines of 'willing to pay more than value' and go ahead and quote a final offer price (to entice them) or simply leave it at a standard line like 'willing to discuss at your convenience'?

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Cheers. Good to know that writing a letter this way has been done before! I won't feel so strange approaching this way now. Final question related to this, if I may........I have a relative living in this area and he knows the location inside out and so has a perfect idea on what the home is worth. Fortunately, I won't be requiring a mortgage to potentially purchase this property and I know that I can actually pay a few thou more than its basic bricks value. So In the speculative letter that I will be writing, should I mention something along the lines of 'willing to pay more than value' and go ahead and quote a final offer price (to entice them) or simply leave it at a standard line like 'willing to discuss at your convenience'?

I wouldn't recommend saying you'd be willing to pay over the odds. Due to the state of the economy and the prospect for house price falls, if the idea of selling up is appealing to them, they may be only too willing to accept the current market value or something close to it.

Of course, if you're a banker with money to burn, then you might as well chuck 'em another few quid of our money to make sure you clinch the deal ;)

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Cheers. Good to know that writing a letter this way has been done before! I won't feel so strange approaching this way now. Final question related to this, if I may........I have a relative living in this area and he knows the location inside out and so has a perfect idea on what the home is worth. Fortunately, I won't be requiring a mortgage to potentially purchase this property and I know that I can actually pay a few thou more than its basic bricks value. So In the speculative letter that I will be writing, should I mention something along the lines of 'willing to pay more than value' and go ahead and quote a final offer price (to entice them) or simply leave it at a standard line like 'willing to discuss at your convenience'?

First of all good luck, hope it all works out.

On the pointer side a couple of things.

1) The relative, he will have no idea what the property is worth to be honest, he may have bought 20 years ago so thinks its worth about a tenner, or bought in 2007 and so thinks it worth 100 million if you see what i mean, the value of houses is all subjective. Ask any homeowner what a property similar to theirs is worth and the answer will vary wildly, but by all means use it to help you guess.

2) Willing to pay more than value, depends on point 1. As an example suppose the house is really worth 100k, u would be thinking you are willing to pay 103-105k say in order to get it, but you drop the letter through the houses and people all think their house is 'worth!' 250k, so now they think you will pay 260k. So i would say dont mention willingness or numbers, just say what plummet expert said earlier something like "i am looking for a house like yours and would be interested in making you an offer".

Hope this is some help

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I would just put the letter through the door, and let people contact you. If someone knocked on my door and asked if I would sell, I would mention a price that I would sell at, which is a fair bit more than it's worth - because I don't want to move!

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I wouldn't recommend saying you'd be willing to pay over the odds. Due to the state of the economy and the prospect for house price falls, if the idea of selling up is appealing to them, they may be only too willing to accept the current market value or something close to it.

Of course, if you're a banker with money to burn, then you might as well chuck 'em another few quid of our money to make sure you clinch the deal ;)

Hehe, no banker here (un?)fortunately. Just a uni student living at home with a dad who has paid off the mortgage a while back and potentially buying a house on this street means that we would be trading down lol.

First of all good luck, hope it all works out.

On the pointer side a couple of things.

1) The relative, he will have no idea what the property is worth to be honest, he may have bought 20 years ago so thinks its worth about a tenner, or bought in 2007 and so thinks it worth 100 million if you see what i mean, the value of houses is all subjective. Ask any homeowner what a property similar to theirs is worth and the answer will vary wildly, but by all means use it to help you guess.

2) Willing to pay more than value, depends on point 1. As an example suppose the house is really worth 100k, u would be thinking you are willing to pay 103-105k say in order to get it, but you drop the letter through the houses and people all think their house is 'worth!' 250k, so now they think you will pay 260k. So i would say dont mention willingness or numbers, just say what plummet expert said earlier something like "i am looking for a house like yours and would be interested in making you an offer".

Hope this is some help

Hmmmm, some food for thought. So the consensus here seems to be mention no numbers. Makes sense. I have favourited this thread, so if anything does come out of this arrow in the dark, I will post it here.

I would just put the letter through the door, and let people contact you. If someone knocked on my door and asked if I would sell, I would mention a price that I would sell at, which is a fair bit more than it's worth - because I don't want to move!

lol fair enough. I'm a bit too chicken to knock on peoples' doors, think I will stick to a speculative letter.

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That's what I did a few years ago, and it worked. I dropped a few notes in the letter box of a few places, and got a result.

The sale was done privately, without the involvement of agencies, only through the solicitors on each side.

It does pay off if you have your heart set on a particular area. Some people who may want to sell would be glad not having to pay for an agency. It saves them some precious money.

Good luck! I hope it works out for you.

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I think its a great idea. A woman once knocked on our door and said she loved our house and could we give her a call if we ever wanted to sell. We didn't, but made a note of her name and number anyway.

A couple of years later we decided to sell and phoned her, but there was no answer.

We sold the house through an estate agent, and it was only near the end we discovered that the person who bought our house was actually the same woman who knocked on the door. I'd written her number down wrong!

If I'd written the number down correctly I could have saved a few grand in estate agency fees. Having said that, the agent negotiated a selling price that was higher than we were expecting, so in reality we probably didn't lose out.

I'm tempted to do it myself, but I'm worried that by acting keen I won't be able to negotiate a fair market price for the house. There's a street I really like, but not enough to pay above market value. So I'm holding out for a distressed seller, with an estate agent, in a slightly inferior street.

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Have a look at the recent sold prices for similar locally. Then go to the land registry website and pay for a copy of the title deeds.

That way you will know what they paid for it and when, the prices for similar now.

It will give you good scope to put in an offer.

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Following on from this thread, I am in the process of composing a letter to a block of flats. A flat recently came on the market but went under offer before my partner could go for a viewing. I really liked the block and looking at the history of sold prices, they don't come up for sale very often. I have been looking for a place for 5 months but flats within my budget are flying off the market v quickly. So, I am resorting to sending letters to blocks of flats I like.

I am struggling with a good opening and closing line. Here is what I have written so far - would be grateful for any tips :) :

Dear Homeowner

I am looking to move to xxxxx and like the properties in this particular part of the area. Should you be thinking of selling your property in the near future, I would be willing to consider engaging in a private sale. The benefit of this to you is the considerable saving in estate agency fees. The current market value of modernised flats in xxxxx is in the region of xxxxx. Based on 1.5% commission typically charged by agents and 20% VAT, you could save around £xxxxx.

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  • 259 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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