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Antagonising Ea With Low Offers?

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Hi all

I'm a first time cash buyer. I've been looking at flats in Camberwell, SE London, for the last 6 months. There are a number of flats available for around £300k and all are with the same EA. For obvious reasons I'd prefer not to pay more than £250k so I'm thinking about making serial "cheeky offers" to the vendors of the flats and seeing if anyone bites. My only concern is that as I'm offering quite a bit below asking price the EA may decide I'm a time waster and may not be keen to let me view any new flats that come on the market with them. Does anyone (especially EAs) have any views on how I should play this?

Cheers

Will

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Hi all

I'm a first time cash buyer. I've been looking at flats in Camberwell, SE London, for the last 6 months. There are a number of flats available for around £300k and all are with the same EA. For obvious reasons I'd prefer not to pay more than £250k so I'm thinking about making serial "cheeky offers" to the vendors of the flats and seeing if anyone bites. My only concern is that as I'm offering quite a bit below asking price the EA may decide I'm a time waster and may not be keen to let me view any new flats that come on the market with them. Does anyone (especially EAs) have any views on how I should play this?

Cheers

Will

You're offering about 18% below asking price. Current EA chatter suggests most properties are selling for about 12% below asking price. Therefore, I don't think it is unlikely that some of the more motivated sellers will accept your offer. 50% of all sold-subject-to-contract deals in London break down. As a cash buyer you are a safe bet for venders tired of being disappointed. Any EA that treats such an offer with contempt would be a fool.

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Hi all

I'm a first time cash buyer. I've been looking at flats in Camberwell, SE London, for the last 6 months. There are a number of flats available for around £300k and all are with the same EA. For obvious reasons I'd prefer not to pay more than £250k so I'm thinking about making serial "cheeky offers" to the vendors of the flats and seeing if anyone bites. My only concern is that as I'm offering quite a bit below asking price the EA may decide I'm a time waster and may not be keen to let me view any new flats that come on the market with them. Does anyone (especially EAs) have any views on how I should play this?

Cheers

Will

Do you have guaranteed access to the £250k? If so, EA's need to take you seriously.

If an EA tries to prevent you from seeing a property, go direct to the seller and have a chat. I'm sure sellers would be very interested to hear what their EA is doing.

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Hi all

I'm a first time cash buyer. I've been looking at flats in Camberwell, SE London, for the last 6 months. There are a number of flats available for around £300k and all are with the same EA. For obvious reasons I'd prefer not to pay more than £250k so I'm thinking about making serial "cheeky offers" to the vendors of the flats and seeing if anyone bites. My only concern is that as I'm offering quite a bit below asking price the EA may decide I'm a time waster and may not be keen to let me view any new flats that come on the market with them. Does anyone (especially EAs) have any views on how I should play this?

Cheers

Will

Hi Will

Good point. I believe that we genuine bears (as opposed to the various VI's that infest this site) have a duty to make aggressive offers to vendors, directly or through agents, who are legally bound to pass these offers on. There is a huge industry of vested interests - government, banks, surveyors, developers etc, devoting huge resources to keep this sagging house price bubble inflated. It's time we used our numbers to fight back - vendors will soon get the message if more than one potential buyer says: "nice place, but far too expensive." You get some surprising responses. It's our duty to undermine over-ambitious vendors' confidence.

House Price Crash is great, but I think it should be less of a debating chamber, and more a vehicle for encouraging positive action. I've said this before, drawing the response that I shouldn't dare to alienate estate agents, who will refuse to connect me with vendors, or write me off as a time waster. Of course, if they did that they would be breaking the law. I suspect the people issuing such warnings may have a vested interest of their own.

This is not a frivolous point, I once described such action as making a "derisory offer," merely repeating the angry response of a one vendor, who also immediately lowered their asking price (we Brits are not natural negotiators. The point is, I am just as serious as buying a house to live in as any member, but not at any price, and have never made an offer on a place I didn't want to buy.

Be aggressive, Will, be polite but firm, and drive a hard bargain.

Good luck

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Hi all

I'm a first time cash buyer. I've been looking at flats in Camberwell, SE London, for the last 6 months. There are a number of flats available for around £300k and all are with the same EA. For obvious reasons I'd prefer not to pay more than £250k so I'm thinking about making serial "cheeky offers" to the vendors of the flats and seeing if anyone bites. My only concern is that as I'm offering quite a bit below asking price the EA may decide I'm a time waster and may not be keen to let me view any new flats that come on the market with them. Does anyone (especially EAs) have any views on how I should play this?

Cheers

Will

How would you feel if the flat was valued at 50% less than you paid, in 2/3 years time?

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Hi Will

Good point. I believe that we genuine bears (as opposed to the various VI's that infest this site) have a duty to make aggressive offers to vendors, directly or through agents, who are legally bound to pass these offers on. There is a huge industry of vested interests - government, banks, surveyors, developers etc, devoting huge resources to keep this sagging house price bubble inflated. It's time we used our numbers to fight back - vendors will soon get the message if more than one potential buyer says: "nice place, but far too expensive." You get some surprising responses. It's our duty to undermine over-ambitious vendors' confidence.

House Price Crash is great, but I think it should be less of a debating chamber, and more a vehicle for encouraging positive action. I've said this before, drawing the response that I shouldn't dare to alienate estate agents, who will refuse to connect me with vendors, or write me off as a time waster. Of course, if they did that they would be breaking the law. I suspect the people issuing such warnings may have a vested interest of their own.

This is not a frivolous point, I once described such action as making a "derisory offer," merely repeating the angry response of one vendor, who also immediately lowered their asking price (we Brits are not natural negotiators. The point is, I am just as serious about buying a house to live in as any member, but not at any price, and have never made an offer on a place I didn't want to buy.

Be aggressive, Will, be polite but firm, and drive a hard bargain.

Good luck

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We are in a similar situation to you. Funds available to purchase etc and nothing to sell.

We have made offers recently on 2 places - and had them turned down to date. We have increased on both places, and still not biting.

We are not in position to increase further on either of them.

Our latest offers are 6% and 8% below asking prices.

On one of them the agent has stopped whizzing round town in his liveried mini to call us and enquire if we are still interested in property and we said yes, but only at the offer already made, he then tells us that we are near too an agreable price .... but not yet....

He then rings us back a few days later as a mysterious second party (in a chain) have now offered higher than us. Fine I said. Let them have it. Oh, dont you want to increase says the agent. No says I ..... The vendor would really like to do business with you he says .... You are in better position than other person ..... They can do business with me says I, at the price I have offered. Oh well, if the sale falls through they may be back to accept your offer says agent. . ....

Next day I calls said agent and reminds him, that my offer will not be valid in a few weeks time. If seller wants to sell to me, they sell to me now, not mess me about.

It is no use them being greedy and going for higher offer, but from someone in a long chain, and then coming back to me as a last resort if chain fails. (As I understand it, the other offer is 5K higher than ours - which we understand is a fair differential for a cash buyer with nothing to sell versus a chained buyer.)

Agent then tells me that if I reduce my offer they will definitely not sell to me at later date, and will rent it out again. Fine.

Property now is apparently "under offer" and marked up as such.

NB: We have been told by other agents in the same town, that our offers were very fair and reasonable. (One of the two who said this has been in the said property)

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OP: best to come back in a years time and then you may get what you want for £250K but I think offering £250K on a £300K at present is unrealistic. Don't worry about p*ssing off Estate Agents though they have a habit of p*ssing everyone else off - good give them some of their own medicine. :D

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Pretending to be hurt or insulted is just a sales technique. If they bother to react you're in the ballpark. You only need once to accept. If you're getting too much interest then drop your offers.

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In July we offered -23% on the initial asking price for a house that was "ambitiously" priced. We really liked the house and were ready to proceed with nothing to sell, but thought that our offer was very fair especially given the amount of work required (sale was following death of elderly owner).

By November the asking price was below our offer although, unfortunately for the seller, we were no longer in the market. The last I noticed it still hadn't sold.

So, moral of the story, never feel embarrassed to offer what you are willing to pay. I did get a slightly sneering response ("well, it's a start isn't it?") from the lady to whom we tendered the offer, but the guy actually handling the sale was quite decent about it and took us seriously throughout. In the end we were right, and the snooty lady was wrong.

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Hi all

I'm a first time cash buyer. I've been looking at flats in Camberwell, SE London, for the last 6 months. There are a number of flats available for around £300k and all are with the same EA. For obvious reasons I'd prefer not to pay more than £250k so I'm thinking about making serial "cheeky offers" to the vendors of the flats and seeing if anyone bites. My only concern is that as I'm offering quite a bit below asking price the EA may decide I'm a time waster and may not be keen to let me view any new flats that come on the market with them. Does anyone (especially EAs) have any views on how I should play this?

Cheers

Will

Cripes, were I in your position (i'm assuming by cash buyer, you have access to the above funds?) i'd be setting my sights a helluva lot higher than Camberwell; why there out of curiosity? I spent five long years in that god forsaken hell-hole so know SE15/SE17 very well.

As per you original suggestion; go for it, it can't hurt. Or at the very least you could have a chat with the EA re: you intentions and gauge their response. After all, volumes of business are pish-poor for EAs right now so i'm sure they'd be grateful to get one more off their books.

As someone else said (as per latest Hometrack report), vendors are - on average - only achieving 91.9% of asking price so there's definitely scope for negotiating - are any of these repos?

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Cripes, were I in your position (i'm assuming by cash buyer, you have access to the above funds?) i'd be setting my sights a helluva lot higher than Camberwell; why there out of curiosity? I spent five long years in that god forsaken hell-hole so know SE15/SE17 very well.

As per you original suggestion; go for it, it can't hurt. Or at the very least you could have a chat with the EA re: you intentions and gauge their response. After all, volumes of business are pish-poor for EAs right now so i'm sure they'd be grateful to get one more off their books.

As someone else said (as per latest Hometrack report), vendors are - on average - only achieving 91.9% of asking price so there's definitely scope for negotiating - are any of these repos?

Regarding the Hometrack report, does it tell you where the price disparities between advertised and actual sold are most significant? How do you get hold of the report in the first place?

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Regarding the Hometrack report, does it tell you where the price disparities between advertised and actual sold are most significant? How do you get hold of the report in the first place?

Not that in depth i'm afraid although I haven't looked where their source data comes from:

http://www.hometrack.co.uk/commentary-and-analysis/house-price-survey/20110127.cfm

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On another note, is there anywhere where people list which agents are over pricing properties and keeping expectations unnecessarily high?

Obviously the list would start with Foxtons, but I am starting to notice other agents who do it often as well, I went to view a flat the other day where the price was 5k more than next door that is also on sale. The EA did not realise that next door had been on for over 6 months and is in a really good condition versus the run down one we were looking at which she had priced higher.

If they did their homework in the first place (getting hold of a login for rightmoveplus isn't that hard to do) then they would have known what a realistic price was in the first place (or do they enjoy insulting both buyers and vendors).

Since I complained about the unrealistic pricing the flat we saw came down by 5k, however it would still cost 10-15k to get it looking as good as next door, which obviously is still overpriced as has been sitting on market since July.

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Last summer we offered 270 on a house up for 320. I came to that price by taking the price they had paid yonks ago and applying house price inflation.

To say the EA was rude to us would be an understatement. So much so that we doubted that they would even pass on the offer. We wrote a letter to the vendor to re-iterate the offer and point out that if they'd not received it their EA was breaking the law. A week or so later we got a very rude letter back from the EA threatening us for libelling them. We rang them again to say the offer still stood to perhaps wind them up a little.

Time passed and a month or so later we got a call from the EA asking us if we wanted to put another offer down. In the meantime the price had dropped to 299.

Maybe it worked, maybe it didn't, I have no idea. It was a great house and ticked all the boxes for us but now it's sold and my new years dream of getting it for 250 are gone ;)

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Last summer we offered 270 on a house up for 320. I came to that price by taking the price they had paid yonks ago and applying house price inflation.

To say the EA was rude to us would be an understatement. So much so that we doubted that they would even pass on the offer. We wrote a letter to the vendor to re-iterate the offer and point out that if they'd not received it their EA was breaking the law. A week or so later we got a very rude letter back from the EA threatening us for libelling them. We rang them again to say the offer still stood to perhaps wind them up a little.

Time passed and a month or so later we got a call from the EA asking us if we wanted to put another offer down. In the meantime the price had dropped to 299.

Maybe it worked, maybe it didn't, I have no idea. It was a great house and ticked all the boxes for us but now it's sold and my new years dream of getting it for 250 are gone ;)

Back at the peak of the market we offered a very reasonble offer on a property, which at face value looked like quite a bit off asking, was only a first offer too. EA was really really rude, so we didnt up the offer. Anyways a good while later the property was reduced to what we offered, therefore wouldnt even have got that, and it never sold. Some people are just unrelaistic and/or misled by their EA.

Edit, actually it was only about 10% and it had been on and off for a couple of years!

The important thing is offer what it is worth, regardless of asking price, i.e. it might even be worth more than asking if its priced cheap, its all relative! Its all about research, similar property, floor area, plot size, location, location, location lol! etc

Edited by southeast

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Back at the peak of the market we offered a very reasonble offer on a property, which at face value looked like quite a bit off asking, was only a first offer too. EA was really really rude, so we didnt up the offer. Anyways a good while later the property was reduced to what we offered, therefore wouldnt even have got that, and it never sold. Some people are just unrelaistic and/or misled by their EA.

Edit, actually it was only about 10% and it had been on and off for a couple of years!

The important thing is offer what it is worth, regardless of asking price, i.e. it might even be worth more than asking if its priced cheap, its all relative! Its all about research, similar property, floor area, plot size, location, location, location lol! etc

That is just crazy; anyone would think these cerebrally-challenged feckwits actually want to receive their P45s.

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We have recently offered what was paid for property back in 2007 - a more than fair offer.

Agent immediately told us that our first offer was unacceptable. A few days later we increased to the 2007 sale price.

We have not yet heard anything further from that agent.

The property in question had been on market for 12 months at same price.

Agent tells us that our revised offer is still too low, and client was seeing something still with an 8-9% upshift on what they paid - and they have done nothing other than maybe apply a tin or two of emulsion to walls during the time they lived there (they have now moved out and property has been empty for a while)

Today said property has reduced its price by 5K - and that is still making the asking price 11% more than they paid.

We naturally feel our offer was fair. The property still continues to sit empty. In the vain hope that someone who apparently offered and had a chain fall through on them in November may come back - and the agent still feels it is worth what he sold the one next door for in Autumn 2010. (annoyingly the price of that one has not yet appeared on LR site)

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Quite a few site cite the Land Registry sold prices, but how often do they get updated? eg. houseprice.co.uk, mouseprice.com and nethousprices.com

How come it can taek 2 months from sold date for the price to register, surely it ought to be quicker than that?

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Hi all

I'm a first time cash buyer. I've been looking at flats in Camberwell, SE London, for the last 6 months. There are a number of flats available for around £300k and all are with the same EA. For obvious reasons I'd prefer not to pay more than £250k so I'm thinking about making serial "cheeky offers" to the vendors of the flats and seeing if anyone bites. My only concern is that as I'm offering quite a bit below asking price the EA may decide I'm a time waster and may not be keen to let me view any new flats that come on the market with them. Does anyone (especially EAs) have any views on how I should play this?

Cheers

Will

I don't know your local market, so will not say anything about asking prices or valuations.

An EA will have to pass on the offer to the vendor and to make sure ask them for a copy of the written offer and/or written acceptance/rejection.

To help prevent the EA thinking you are wasting their time, explain to them your financial position and that you are not prepared to pay over a certain limit. It might help if the EA is not a chain or just a small family typr run agency where they are more likely to give you more time and try to assist you as much as possible.

If the EA is marketing many or all of the properties that you are interested in, then you should be able to arrange to see them all in the same day unless they are one of those EA's that always do block viewings or times to suit them. If you can't see them all at once, then view them all when you can and make the offers after you have viewed them all.

We have many cash buyers and investors putting in offers around 25-30% BMV on several properties a day. 99% get rejected, but there is always one that will accept. You just need to make enough of the 'cheeky offers'.

Good luck.

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I don't know your local market, so will not say anything about asking prices or valuations.

An EA will have to pass on the offer to the vendor and to make sure ask them for a copy of the written offer and/or written acceptance/rejection.

To help prevent the EA thinking you are wasting their time, explain to them your financial position and that you are not prepared to pay over a certain limit. It might help if the EA is not a chain or just a small family typr run agency where they are more likely to give you more time and try to assist you as much as possible.

If the EA is marketing many or all of the properties that you are interested in, then you should be able to arrange to see them all in the same day unless they are one of those EA's that always do block viewings or times to suit them. If you can't see them all at once, then view them all when you can and make the offers after you have viewed them all.

We have many cash buyers and investors putting in offers around 25-30% BMV on several properties a day. 99% get rejected, but there is always one that will accept. You just need to make enough of the 'cheeky offers'.

Good luck.

Seriously 25-30% off true market value, thats massive, and how do you take it when they come out with that? How does it go down with the vendors? Presumably they are pretty difficult conversations!

Edited by southeast

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The number of properties that Estate Agents are successfully selling is at, or near historic lows. Last year alone there were over 1.1 million marketed properties that Estate Agents failed to sell. In this market it is not potential buyers that need to prove that they are 'serious buyers' but rather Estate Agents that have to prove that they are 'serious Estate Agents' and vendors who have to prove that they are 'serious sellers'. BTL'ers put in offers at -30% (and even -40% and -50%) below asking price as a matter of routine.

In the 1990s house price crash my brother and a number of friends, who wanted to buy at the time, developed an approach whereby they would identify 3-5 houses that they would be happy to buy (if the price was right) and put in -20% to -40% below asking price on all those properties at the same time. They all ended up with fantastic properties and fantastic prices. Yes, it annoyed the hell out of some of the Estate Agents, but a thick skin and persistent business like manner made that an irrelevance. If any Estate Agents became particularly stupid about it then direct contact and dealing with the vendor was the solution to that, and usually got the Estate Agent back in line. Since then my brother, his friends, and I have always used a version of this approach when buying property. You do, of course, have to work at making the approach work for you.

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I'm a first time cash buyer. I've been looking at flats in Camberwell, SE London, for the last 6 months. There are a number of flats available for around £300k and all are with the same EA. For obvious reasons I'd prefer not to pay more than £250k so I'm thinking about making serial "cheeky offers" to the vendors of the flats and seeing if anyone bites. My only concern is that as I'm offering quite a bit below asking price the EA may decide I'm a time waster and may not be keen to let me view any new flats that come on the market with them. Does anyone (especially EAs) have any views on how I should play this?

I see no issue in offering what you think a place is worth to you. Just say you would offer £300K if the place was worth it, but it's only worth £250K in your opinion. Why not view all the flats and then offer accordingly. As for being a time waster, if you are a cash buyer with no chain then there is a chance that one of the vendors would be happy with the offer, especially if they were considering reducing the price.

Remember the agent is going to act as if the offer is so derisory the vendor won't consider it, but just ask them to put it forward and say it is open for a fortnight for them to think about. If the vendor gets no viewings they will reconsider. I have got my last two places with that approach with so-called derisory offers.

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  • 277 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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