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I STR'd at the end of 2005, and started making cash offers at the end of 2008. So far no-one has accepted my 20-30% below asking price offers. On a very few occasions there have been counter offers, but generally the dialogue dies with the first offer. What makes it harder is that I'm picky buyer, after all I didn't STR to get a [email protected] house cheap, I STR'd to get a great house at a decent price.

Bottom line is that I'm no longer expecting an acceptance. The only way a seller will accept a 20-30% price drop in one bite is if they're a desperate, forced seller, and we need far more repossessions to get to that position.

The only advice I can give is walk away and wait for however long it takes for the market to do your negotiating for you.

I tend to agree with this. If someone is in the market at 30% overpriced to begin with then they are unlikely to have done a proper market assessment or convinced themselves that for some reason their place is worth more.

If I had what I knew was an overpriced property on the market and someone came for it it would just signal to me that there was something particular about it that they were interested in and I wouldn't lower unless I was forced to.

Getting a survey done is just throwing money down the drain unless you're getting some clear signals that they are prepared to negotiate, and anyone getting a survey done and showing interest is clearly just reenforcing the sellers ideas that the property is as desirable as they think it is.

Forced sellers is indeed where the action is.

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If you leave an offer open ended it gives them a warm glow inside because they think that if the worst comes to the worst they have your offer to fall back on but might as well try for more. You are also a bargaining tool to use against other people that might be interested. So I would never leave an open offer on the table.

Don't listen to me though because I'm useless at buying houses.

Leaving an offer open doesn't mean you aren't making offers elsewhere. And if you make a second offer through the same EA, they normally tell the first seller. In 2002, I had four offers out there at the same time. I left the offers there in case sales fell through and they needed someone to step in quickly.

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Leaving an offer open doesn't mean you aren't making offers elsewhere. And if you make a second offer through the same EA, they normally tell the first seller. In 2002, I had four offers out there at the same time. I left the offers there in case sales fell through and they needed someone to step in quickly.

If they needed someone to step in quickly don't you think they would have tried you even if you had not left your offer officially open? Then you could have reduced it even further because you knew they needed someone to step in quickly.

Like I say... I never manage to buy...

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Leaving an offer open doesn't mean you aren't making offers elsewhere.

Indeed. The vendors of this place have already given me the "we don't mind whether we sell it or not" line, despite going to a fair bit of effort to advertise it in various places, and with an agent.. yet when I mentioned we were looking at another place it was like they were hit with 1000 volts, weren't so laid back, and were asking lots of questions about the other places.

I think I'll have to sit down with them and ask them to give me the thought process behind their valuation, so that I can understand.

I'll leave an offer explaining how I arrived at the figure, and say that I'm continuing my quest for a property whether it's theirs or another.. then if they are secretly keen to sell they'll hopefully come after me, for fear of losing my offer.

Edited by exiges
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If someone is in the market at 30% overpriced to begin with then they are unlikely to have done a proper market assessment or convinced themselves that for some reason their place is worth more.

I would say that 90% plus of sellers haven't done a proper market assessment. The most they will do is a quick search on Rightmove or maybe flick through the local paper to check out asking prices. And then the EA tells them that a similar house nearby sold/was on sale at £XXXK. Generally because people rate their property, they add 5-10% on and that's the price.

There is a lag between the actual prices paid and the asking prices of about 3-6 months that most people bar EAs are unaware of.. When they came calling last year I thought I'd do well to get £450K, but EAs said I'd get £500K and I got offer at asking on day one.

EAs are probably straight with people these days. No point in having property listed that won't shift.

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II'll leave an offer explaining how I arrived at the figure, and say that I'm continuing my quest for a property whether it's theirs or another.. then if they are secretly keen to sell they'll hopefully come after me, for fear of losing my offer.

As long as you aren't fixated on a particular house, this is easy to do. Where I live now, all the houses are essentially the same, it's the location that matters. As I didn't care what particular street I lived on I just offered on everything that came up. All offers were on the low side, and I lost one really nice place, but I did get more or less what I wanted in the end.

With my first house that was a different matter. It was quite unique, ticked all my boxes and I offered close to asking price to make sure I got it.

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Indeed. The vendors of this place have already given me the "we don't mind whether we sell it or not" line, despite going to a fair bit of effort to advertise it in various places, and with an agent.. yet when I mentioned we were looking at another place it was like they were hit with 1000 volts, weren't so laid back, and were asking lots of questions about the other places.

I think I'll have to sit down with them and ask them to give me the thought process behind their valuation, so that I can understand.

I'll leave an offer explaining how I arrived at the figure, and say that I'm continuing my quest for a property whether it's theirs or another.. then if they are secretly keen to sell they'll hopefully come after me, for fear of losing my offer.

Well that sounds like they are motivated.

But I would never ask them to justify their price. To me that just sounds like you've got the cash and you're looking to them to justify why you should spend it. IMO you need to convince them that your offer at x% below is your absolute top whack that you can raise. There's no subjective issue of whether the property is worth more, cos that's where the money runs out.

If they come in later at 5K over, you can always magic up a "loan" from a mate, BOMAD to close the gap without looking like you sold them a dummy.

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But I would never ask them to justify their price. To me that just sounds like you've got the cash and you're looking to them to justify why you should spend it. IMO you need to convince them that your offer at x% below is your absolute top whack that you can raise.

I agree, thanks.

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them that your offer at x% below is your absolute top whack that you can raise.

Don't even mention that is at the limit you can raise. Make the offer, leave the offer, look elsewhere. Once the viewings dry up (and it happens very quickly right now), they will return unless someone has made a better offer. And when they do return offer less.

Edited by arrgee1991
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exiges I wish I had the answer, also trying to buy a second freehold business after selling the last one a few years ago.

One reply from a vendor just outside Tavistock, after telling him we would be cash buyers however our valuation would be 35% below his asking price.

"Get out, I've never been so insulted, get a bloody mortgage like everyone else". The business still on the market two and bit years later.

So from then on, we still put the low offers in, however we tell vendors/agents we can proceed with a mortgage.

Good luck

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Take a mate in a flash motor and well dressed - introduce him as a relative who's an estate agent who has come to view with you.

You make noises about really wanting to buy it - he then talks you out of it in a way that it appears like you think the vendors can't hear.

Feed your mate lines like 'there's loads of properties like this sitting around with people desperate to get out', 'I don't think you're going to get a good deal here', 'value it quite low because of the commercial element', 'I know you can afford the asking but I don't think you should' etc - last one is most important.

Make sure your friend only talks to the vendors in the most smarmy polite manner that suggest he's got no idea they've heard him rubbishing the property.

Leave with it appearing you've been talked out of it after putting up a spirited defence.

Then ring later, ideally to their mobile, somehow working into the conversation your relative thinks you shouldn't but you think *their* property is so nice would they accept an offer and ask them to think about it and call you with a figure, give them the impression any offer slightly less than asking you'd accept. You then need to quickly finish the call - do not allow them to talk figures on the phone say you'll be busy working away next couple of days and won't have time to think about 'call me in a couple of days - you've got my number'

When/if they call do *not* answer let is go to voicemail and ideally ensure beforehand your voicemail is full and you have a message about working abroad will get back to anyone leaving messages on you return blah-di-blah.

Then watch the missed calls rack up - need to brief the missus in case they somehow manage to get the landline (you never answer the landline in this period) that you're away and a very busy person she's sure you'll be very keen to get in touch.

If they keep calling you've got them chasing you - which gives you the upper-hand big time - they probably won't really realise the effect all their missed calls are having as they just pray to be able to even leave a voicemail - but it's always full.

In the meantime they could well be turning away other buyer's offers for more than you would want to pay but they've got everything invested in you because they believe you're the horse to back if only they can contact you.

At the right moment you've got to make contact and hit them with 'I wasn't thinking of paying anything like that, my relative thought you'd knock a lot more off than that' - by which point they've scared off any other prospective purchasers and won't have much choice.

If they really are just kite flyers this would all be a waste of time but, it sounds like they do want out.

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Take a mate in a flash motor and well dressed - introduce him as a relative who's an estate agent who has come to view with you.

You make noises about really wanting to buy it - he then talks you out of it in a way that it appears like you think the vendors can't hear.

Feed your mate lines like 'there's loads of properties like this sitting around with people desperate to get out', 'I don't think you're going to get a good deal here', 'value it quite low because of the commercial element', 'I know you can afford the asking but I don't think you should' etc - last one is most important.

Make sure your friend only talks to the vendors in the most smarmy polite manner that suggest he's got no idea they've heard him rubbishing the property.

Leave with it appearing you've been talked out of it after putting up a spirited defence.

Then ring later, ideally to their mobile, somehow working into the conversation your relative thinks you shouldn't but you think *their* property is so nice would they accept an offer and ask them to think about it and call you with a figure, give them the impression any offer slightly less than asking you'd accept. You then need to quickly finish the call - do not allow them to talk figures on the phone say you'll be busy working away next couple of days and won't have time to think about 'call me in a couple of days - you've got my number'

When/if they call do *not* answer let is go to voicemail and ideally ensure beforehand your voicemail is full and you have a message about working abroad will get back to anyone leaving messages on you return blah-di-blah.

Then watch the missed calls rack up - need to brief the missus in case they somehow manage to get the landline (you never answer the landline in this period) that you're away and a very busy person she's sure you'll be very keen to get in touch.

If they keep calling you've got them chasing you - which gives you the upper-hand big time - they probably won't really realise the effect all their missed calls are having as they just pray to be able to even leave a voicemail - but it's always full.

In the meantime they could well be turning away other buyer's offers for more than you would want to pay but they've got everything invested in you because they believe you're the horse to back if only they can contact you.

At the right moment you've got to make contact and hit them with 'I wasn't thinking of paying anything like that, my relative thought you'd knock a lot more off than that' - by which point they've scared off any other prospective purchasers and won't have much choice.

If they really are just kite flyers this would all be a waste of time but, it sounds like they do want out.

LOL - Have you actually done this? I suspect not.

I've had situations like this twice when buyers have brought their "surveyor" father on the second viewing. It is normally the bloke who does this. They then ask about lead piping (in the library by Colonel Mustard perhaps), crawl all over your loft, ask when you had electrics checked etc. The wife/girlfriend is normally cringing in the background at all the nonsense knowing that we aren't buying it at all.

Then due to all the issues, the bloke announces he is prepared to offer 10% less than the offer you told him you were considering...

I wouldn't mess people around playing games. Maybe they are deluded in thinking that they will get near asking prices, but acting as above will just harden their resolve.

Edited by arrgee1991
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Well, I had the vendor on the phone yesterday.. ended up being on the phone over 2 hours. I explained to him that while his house is very nice, and we'd be happy to live there the numbers simply don't add up. When viewed as a business it's overpriced, when viewed as a house it's overpriced and given it would take two people to run the business (and therefore unable to make their fortune elsewhere) the business has to pay for the property, and can't at that price. He didn't care, even though equally priced properties had double the turnover/profits.

Fortunately I had a stack of properties to hand, that he knew of, that I could reel off as examples why his was overpriced.. but I was met with "I don't mind if we do sell or not".. to which I countered with "But you've gone to the hassle of advertising it with various people, and have had lots of viewings. If I wasn't bothered, I wouldn't have gone to that trouble". He then suggested lots of his business was cash-in-hand and therefore that affects the appearance of turnover/profit.. To which I countered that I've only his word for it, and besides the same would apply to the other properties I'd shown him, so that's irrelevant.

To cut a long story short, he's willing to knock 5% off the price, whoop-de-doo. So that's a no go. I was looking for 25% (15% if I was generous). Allegedly, he's got some relatively wealthy friends, and thinks he's flying with the eagles.. his mates have sold theirs for top whack, so why can't he.

As all vendors are, he's sure the market is just about to pick up, "we're pulling out of the recession now".. I gave him a 3 minute potted lecture on why we really really aren't even at the bottom yet, let alone coming out. The gist being "why do you think the BoE has rates at 0.5% ? and yet prices haven't gone up"

Get this though, he was telling be about the other party that is interested.. They have a house worth the same as this property, but knowing full well they won't be able to sell it are going MEW half the value of it then rent it out, then get another interest only mortgage for a quarter of the new place, and borrow ther other quarter from BOMAD.. With funds that tight, it's going to be interesting to see how they handle voids, damage etc. to their rental.. and then rate rises.. which will happen.

Edited by exiges
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Get this though, he was telling be about the other party that is interested.. They have a house worth the same as this property, but knowing full well they won't be able to sell it are going MEW half the value of it then rent it out, then get another interest only mortgage for a quarter of the new place, and borrow ther other quarter from BOMAD.. With funds that tight, it's going to be interesting to see how they handle voids, damage etc. to their rental.. and then rate rises.. which will happen.

Sounds like you might be able to pick up this property/business for a pittance from the receivers in a year or two then.

Edited by mikthe20
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AN EA acting insulted is just a negotiating tactic.

It isn't when the EA has failed to come back to you but the house is now being marketed at a price lower than your original "insulting" offer. Seems to happen quite often. They genuinely take it personally.

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It isn't when the EA has failed to come back to you but the house is now being marketed at a price lower than your original "insulting" offer. Seems to happen quite often. They genuinely take it personally.

I had a long argument once on another forum, in which I insisted that surely nobody would be stupid enough to turn down a reasonable offer from someone on the grounds that they had started with a low (or as they put it, 'silly') offer. Several people came along and said that not only would they, they actually had in the past, because according to them a low starting offer meant that you were not a serious buyer, didn't know what you were doing, were likely to cause problems later on in the sale etc.

I have no idea if they actually have any evidence for the idea that low starting offers means the buyer is more likely to cause trouble later on or whether they were just trying to justify the fact that they had got snotty and cut off their noses to spite their face.

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Well, I had the vendor on the phone yesterday.. ended up being on the phone over 2 hours...

By spending two hours on this it looks like you are really interested and it's just down to price. He is going to hold out for as much as he can. Simply tell him what you are prepared to pay and walk away. Don't go back. He can come to you if he wants to sell.

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By spending two hours on this it looks like you are really interested and it's just down to price. He is going to hold out for as much as he can. Simply tell him what you are prepared to pay and walk away. Don't go back. He can come to you if he wants to sell.

To be fair he did most of the talking, he does like to bend my ear. Conversely one could argue that as he entertained me on the phone so long, even after rejecting my offer, that he's still keen to sell..

Edited by exiges
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Am I reading this on the HPC website ? This site is all about buying property for the right price, not some emotional purchase because "we must have it", that's what got house prices where they are.

Not only that, if you read above you'll see it's also tied to a business, which generally have guidelines regarding valuations (ie. multiples of turnover etc).

Did you read what I wrote ? Objectively it has the same value as other homes/businesses.

The fact I'm tied geographically, something other buyers may not be, prevents me from buying the others.

There is no such thing as an objective valuation - the value to everyone will be different.

A house might be worth 200k to you, but worthless to me as it's next door to my ex-girlfriend who I never want to see again.

A house in Somerset might be just what I'm looking for, but in the wrong part of the country for you.

This website is indeed about buying property for the right price, but that price is not objective and so is not the same for all of us.

If the sums don't add up FOR YOU, don't buy it. If they do, do. Personally I don't think you have any hope whatsoever of talking somebody down 30% who doesn't seem particularly motivated to sell.

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There is no such thing as an objective valuation - the value to everyone will be different.

Then what do property valuers do ? (witty comments aside)

There can be factors that affect positively, negatively an individuals attitude towards a property, but it is possible to approximate the market value of a property based on it's peers, which could be seen as an objective value.

Edited by exiges
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