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I know, I know. We stand on the precipice and all that, but, the missus and I have seen a house that we like, with potential for extending, that we can see ourselves bringing our family up in over the next 15 years and we're thinking about putting an offer in.

The property: 3-bed semi on a 1/4 acre plot in a village outside town. On the market for £290k.

Owners: Old couple looking to move into sheltered accommodation as he's not well; they've owned it for years and years. Agent says they're motivated to sell.

EA says: 13 viewings in the week it's been on the market. All from people who would first have to sell their home so cannot proceed with an offer. She says this is typical of the market at the moment.

In my opinion the asking price is a little shy of what the house would have sold for in 2007. Next door (almost identical) sold for £270k last year.

My instinct is to go in at £250k with a take it or leave it offer, citing stamp duty / deposit etc. This is 14% below asking and I reckon near enough 20% off peak. I think we're unlikely to get it at this price although we won't offer higher. Would our chances be improved by going straight in at £250k and saying that's it, best offer. Or have we nothing to lose by trying £240k or below first (I will agent stop taking us seriously with a very low-ball offer?). Any other advice on how to give ourselves the best chance of our offer being accepted?

Thanks for any advice.

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If it's only been on the market a week and it is the first proceedable offer the vendor receives I would suspect they would reject any offer much below asking. If I were you I'd take my time and offer 240, 245, then 250 with you best and final left on the table incase the vendor changes their mind.

Speak to the agent though, tell him about your comps and see if he can give you an indication of the vendors mindset. So many vendors are coming to the market with overinflated opinions of their own properties, he may feel your offer is about right and may be able to talk the vendor into taking the lower offer.

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If 250k really is your best and final offer then why wait? Make the offer.

Waiting for more interest from other potentials doesn't make any sense.

If they know you're serious, and you can proceed immediately, then you'll look like a tempting offer. Even if you're rejected they will keep looking at your offer on the table. If they don't get a better proceedable offer soon then they will get a feeling of time ticking. The sooner you make your earnest offer the better, why mess about?

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Stamp duty cliff-edges are evil, but at this kind of price point it works for you. If you're happy to offer £250k you have a rock-solid reason not to be haggled upwards, and a hurdle to any higher offers they might hope for.

Very likely the agent will try to push you up, while at the same time telling the vendor to accept!

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  • 419 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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      • Even
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      • up 5%

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