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JoeDavola

Is There Any 'downside' Of Starting With A Low Offer?

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I've reached the point where I'm starting to view houses, and I'm wandering how low to start with offers (serious question).

Say a house is offers around £200K - if I start with a £180K offer and they think that's ridiculous, they won't stop listening to future offers, right? The EA won't refuse to deal with me any more will they?

So in other words is there any potential downsides to kicking off the proceedings with a low offer?

Perhaps this is the wrong forum to be posting this question in, but I guess there'll be enough people with experience of buying a house to pass on their experiences!

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I've reached the point where I'm starting to view houses, and I'm wandering how low to start with offers (serious question).

Right at the new peak of an insane bubble, one that the BoE is throwing everythingt at supporting ?

Really ?

Really ?

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Right at the new peak of an insane bubble, one that the BoE is throwing everythingt at supporting ?

Really ?

Really ?

I'm in Northern Ireland.

The house I'm thinking of works out at under £1200 per square meter, if that helps contrast with prices where you are.

We had one crash in NI, for the record I think prices are still too expensive, but I don't think we'll have a second crash in £ terms as it's become obvious they're not going to raise IR's in the forseeable.

Edited by JoeDavola

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I haven't bought a house, but I have made offers on quite a few houses (I almost bought one of them, but pulled out due to the uncertainty of Brexit).

I have made offers at least 20% under the asking price, and as long as you are polite and cordial.. it's no problem at all. Also, bear in mind that statistically your 3rd offer is the one most likely to be accepted, so you need to give yourself enough room to increase your offer to something your happy with.

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my experience was that it's not worth wasting your time going to look at a house you don't think is reasonably priced, vendors are pretty much conditioned to go for or above asking or at best a couple of percent reduction.

few people will take a hit of 10% once they think it is worth X, unless they are desperate.

I asked the agent who was selling my house the same question and he said he dismisses people who come in too low and does not take them seriously after that. Although conditions have changed since then I guess it depends how much time you have on your hands.

Nobody is going to be rude to you when you make a low offer but they may not want to waste their time with you in the future, which is completely understandable.

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I'm in Northern Ireland.

The house I'm thinking of works out at under £1200 per square meter, if that helps contrast with prices where you are.

We had one crash in NI, for the record I think prices are still too expensive, but I don't think we'll have a second crash in £ terms as it's become obvious they're not going to raise IR's in the forseeable.

That pretty much what they should be as a cheap build can be done for £800 m2 when done en masse.

I emailed an offer of 200k on a reposession house thats priced for 260K , it was sold for 210K in 2007 that got ignored, but got a response saying no thanks when offering 200K on one priced at 240K.

Somethings going to have to drastically change for sellers to be willing to drop this amount, and nothing is in the pipeline as S24 is too far in the future and interest rate rises are not going to happen for a very long time.

Edited by Crumbless

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my experience was that it's not worth wasting your time going to look at a house you don't think is reasonably priced, vendors are pretty much conditioned to go for or above asking or at best a couple of percent reduction.

few people will take a hit of 10% once they think it is worth X, unless they are desperate.

I asked the agent who was selling my house the same question and he said he dismisses people who come in too low and does not take them seriously after that. Although conditions have changed since then I guess it depends how much time you have on your hands.

Nobody is going to be rude to you when you make a low offer but they may not want to waste their time with you in the future, which is completely understandable.

Yea. It probably depends on whether it is a buyers or a sellers market. Around here (Cambridgeshire), it was definitely a sellers market before the Brexit. It now feels pretty stagnant, and there's a lot of uncertainty in the air, so I think it might just be tipping the other way..

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I've reached the point where I'm starting to view houses, and I'm wandering how low to start with offers (serious question).

Say a house is offers around £200K - if I start with a £180K offer and they think that's ridiculous, they won't stop listening to future offers, right? The EA won't refuse to deal with me any more will they?

So in other words is there any potential downsides to kicking off the proceedings with a low offer?

Perhaps this is the wrong forum to be posting this question in, but I guess there'll be enough people with experience of buying a house to pass on their experiences!

10% off as a first offer isn't that bad for some parts of Belfast. Where is the house? Has much around it been selling? How long has it been on for?

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I've reached the point where I'm starting to view houses, and I'm wandering how low to start with offers (serious question).

Say a house is offers around £200K - if I start with a £180K offer and they think that's ridiculous, they won't stop listening to future offers, right? The EA won't refuse to deal with me any more will they?

So in other words is there any potential downsides to kicking off the proceedings with a low offer?

Not really.

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IMO opinion if the market is such that offers of 10% below asking are considered ridiculous then it's definitely not a good time to be buying.

I've make all sorts of low ball offers in the past, and found that the reaction of the agent (and hence ultimately the vendor) depends entirely on how the market is faring. I've been laughed at for offers of 10% under, and encouraged to put offers in even when I've told them I'd be looking at 30% under asking.

It's a good way of finding out how the market is in your area.

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10% off as a first offer isn't that bad for some parts of Belfast. Where is the house? Has much around it been selling? How long has it been on for?

East Belfast.

Things are selling slowly, or not at all in some cases, but sellers are stubborn. It seems they're rather leave a house on the market for months/years rather than sell for 'less than it's worth'.

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East Belfast.

Things are selling slowly, or not at all in some cases, but sellers are stubborn. It seems they're rather leave a house on the market for months/years rather than sell for 'less than it's worth'.

I'd be happy to offer 10% off a house in east Belfast. I don't think you'll be laughed at.

Not too many places I'd be prepared to live there though.

Edited by 2buyornot2buy

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When I bought I used a mini stats approach. The average sold price was something like 93 % of asking price - so I'd offer 80-90% of asking giving myself some upwards room. This helped set a rough price range for me.

Obviously if it's going to be your forever dream home just go in 10% over to secure it!! (joke).

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It's a good learning experience. I've had to abandon my search thou, if I have to deal with any more estate agents I'll probably end up with some kind of ASBO. That will tell you how it went.

In London you are pushing for six figure discounts to secure any kind of decent price movement and sellers are just not interested at the moment, even though they are up 40% in 3 years. There needs to be a lot more pain.

I did do a bit of research (google) on whether it was even possible to get a vendor to drop six figures and I ended up on mumsnet where someone claimed that they managed to get an offer accepted at this level (it was dated from a few years ago)

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Not too many places I'd be prepared to live there though.

East Belfast is generally safe, and only a couple of miles from the city centre. If I remember correctly are you Ormeau area?

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First time buyers get stuffed because they're clueless and too nice. I did that, so don't be me ;) I've learnt since then and have held my own negotiating on a few places.


The downside is that if it's so low you offend the vendor.


You could be cute with low offers and test the water with something like "I'd be prepared to offer, but because of 'this' and 'that' I'm thinking around £X". That way you're not forcing the agent to pass on an offer and getting their back up too.


£180k offer on a £200K place isn't ridiculous, I'd say it was standard. Do your research on other similar places and I bet you'll be able to find justification for starting lower.


No matter what you offer, you'll always be told it's not enough. So make sure you have answers, be patient and level headed. To a decent agent it's all business and they'll reciprocate ... as well as attempting to squeeze every last penny out of you.


If you want a lesson in what not to do, watch Kirsty and Phil.

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My experience has been that putting in an offer under the ask price has been OK (as in it didn't seem to antagonise the agent or seller) if there is a rationale provided with it.

i.e. I would love to put in an offer of the full asking price but .... then list reasons why not (needs new boiler, needs new kitchen). Include the cost and why you feel that this should be deducted in the price i.e. "I have seen a similar house with a new kitchen around that price and I would not be able to pay the asking price as it would take me £5,000 to install one".

Obviously you will know the market better and what else is on offer. I'm in an area with lots of houses for sale so can play one off against the other.

Something else to bear in mind is that if you increase an offer both the agent and the seller know that you are negotiating. If they get you to increase it once then they think they can again. If you intend to use that agent again they know that your first offer can be adjusted. This isn't always a good thing.

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I'm Malone.

As much as I'd like to live there, it seems to be twice as expensive as the East! My own fault for not timing the bottom of the market correctly I guess.

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Auctions could be a place to look Joe, if you might find something you'd be happy with for cash then it would simplify matters on the offering etc. That said I've attended a couple of auctions and tbh the stuff I was looking for (4 bed+) was few and far between, but it depends on what you are looking for of course.

I would add that in my limited experience the asking price differences for places that require lots of work doing is generally not representative of the amount of spend required. This is worth bearing in mind at auctions as much of the offered stock is in poor condition.

If you can purchase the Land Reg title for the property (dunno if this is possible in NI) then you might get an inkling into the seller's position regarding outstanding finance etc. If someone has MEWed to the max they might knock back offers that others may be more relaxed about.

Good luck!

Edit autocomplete errors...

Edited by The Knimbies who say No

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I agree with fully detached...if the market conditions are such that making an offer at below the asking price results in you being black listed by the agents as a time waster then it is best to keep out of the market.

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I'm in Northern Ireland.

The house I'm thinking of works out at under £1200 per square meter, if that helps contrast with prices where you are.

We had one crash in NI, for the record I think prices are still too expensive, but I don't think we'll have a second crash in £ terms as it's become obvious they're not going to raise IR's in the forseeable.

I bought in 2012 in NI.... Made initial offer -15% of asking price and agreed at just below 10% 'discount'.

As I said at the time of purchase I was buying a home for the long term so I believed what I would 'lose' over the life of the mortgage wasn't worth worrying about.

FWIW I do think EA's expect an offer -10% in NI these days.

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