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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, being as you lot have probably done a lot more house buying than I have, I could do with some advice.

We've found a house we want to buy. We've not done anything about that yet with the estate agent or seller.

We have a deposit, we have a mortgage sorted and it is well within what we can afford. So no issue there.

So, here's the question - what do we need to be asking/saying before/during/after making an offer for the place?

Are there any tricks or other ways of getting a better deal than simply offering just below the lowest price we think they will accept and working up from there?

We also want to move fairly quickly - apparently no chain on the house and we are effectively cash buyers. What's likely to cause big delays/problems? If nothing else I really don't like the idea that once I've shaken on a deal and agreed to buy at a price, someone else can still come along and offer more than me and ruin it, after money has been spent on solicitors, surveys etc.

Any and all good advice appreciated. Feel free to share the "you have to do this, otherwise this happens" stories.

TIA.

Digs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have bought around 6 houses in the last 10 years and are looking again at the minute. Biggest bit of advice I can give is exchange well before completion. Once you have decided a price, get the contracts exchanged as long as everything is OK. If you don't the buyer can pull out at any time, had this happen to us once when we were completing a week later after messing us about for 3 months on a small chain. Lost a lot of money in surveys etc and ended up without any were to live as we had sold ours and if we didn't complete would have lost our buyer so ended up on friends couches.

Also if you have a deposit you can't be cash buyers, unless you have the full amount. If your first time buyers that's not a bad position as long as you have a decent LTV. You see time and time again at the minute houses going from for sale to sold only to come back on the market a couple of months later once the mortgage company don't agree on the price, and they are been cautious at the moment with high LTVs.

Download Property Bee, you need to run it in Firefox. This will show you exactly how long the house has been on the market, any drops in price etc. Also use Rightmove for sold prices, if you click in the tab at the top of the page you can search for houses down the same street or area and use this as a guide of what to offer.

Good luck!
We're hoping to exchange within 28 days of agreeing sale.

Sorry, by cash buyers I mean we've got the mortgage signed off and ready to go. Our LTV is fairly small, bank wants to give us a lot more than we actually want, and deposit is about 20% of value. No issue on the value being lower than the mortage.

Thanks all for help so far. It's one of those things which is stressful and difficult the first time, hopefully it gets easier after this one, and this all goes smoothly!

Digs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Digs,
I've completed with a buyer in your position (I was the vendor) in 27 days, but the buyers spent a couple of days driving documents between the solicitors to make that happen. So it is possible, but very tight.
HTH
Simon A
Well, that's the aim, but we'll probably end up at a bit longer than that. But moving quickly hopefully helps us.

Digs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Bear in mind that the estate agents on both sides will get paid almost exactly the same amount whether you pay plus or minus 10k on the deal - for them the only thing of interest is getting things done and it off their books and into the invoicing pile. Using that logic, if you can convince your solicitor and theirs that you'll be in like a shot, and you won't mess them about over the survey you'll find that they'll work hard to convince the sellers to move.

I'd go in 10k under, state that unless the survey finds something serious you won't be haggling, explain that you're a cash(ish) buyer and that you want to move fast.

The flip side of all this is that within a month of moving in you won't even remember what you paid for it!

Good luck,

Ben

PS: You on the Easter trip this year?
Yes, on the trip.

Good advice on the estate agent. I have a bit of a plan for Wednesday afternoon, hoping to have a chat with estate agent and get them on side as best I can. I think they have advised the guy carefully, and he has priced it knowing exactly what he will sell for - the stamp duty threshold isn't a million miles from the asking price.

If it makes any difference to anything, the property is currently empty and ready to move into. I guess that makes a quick deal more likely, because for the seller it is either costing them money to pay a mortgage or they could have the money in the bank earning interest for them.

Digs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Well, our best offer just got rejected. The guy is living in a dreamworld, but it seems there's a lot of people like us who like the place and are offering him the same amount. Hopefully Amy's not too upset, but that's life.

I'm not going to lose any sleep over it, will wait and see whether it is still on the market in 6 weeks, it is costing him money to have it sit on the market, but having done the work himself I think he rates his own work more highly than the buyers do.

I reckon there will either be an offer accepted and then fall through when the surveyor finds the same problems we have, or the guy will keep rejecting offers for 6 months. There could, of course, be someone who comes along and gives him the asking price, but I doubt it.

I also realised that it was actually on the wrong side of town for me, and won't reduce my commute significantly - that was one of the selling points for us.

The search continues, meanwhile we'll be saving our pennies some more and see what happens to house prices. I am hoping for a good old fashioned double dip, whatever that is, and/or something getting reposessed...

Digs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Jack,

It's always difficult finding THE house. I have been very fortunate that each house I've bought has been the right one for me but I also don't develop any emotional bond with a property whereas many do, especially if you've done a lot of work on the property yourself.

The fact that you're willing to walk away at the first rejected offer is a sign that it probably isn't THE property.

The seller will get his price if he's in no rush to sell only if he has to buy another property then what he wants will also have risen in price.

Not much you can do except keep looking and Amy will fall in love with another property....that's women for you....so fickle :D
I think a lot of it is a fairly emotionally detached decision for both of us - we want the best house we can get that has parking for 2 cars plus garage, needs to be 2 big bedrooms and sensible reception rooms and kitchen. And we want all that for under £250K around the North and West of the M25 within range of a station that runs into London. That leaves a fairly short list of potential properties, so when you see one that you think logically will accept an offer at that level it is a bit annoying to find out they want almost the asking price and not much less. The stamp duty thing doesn't help - any house over the budget will cost us another £5K unless they do a deal on furniture and carpets etc, but even then it doesn't seem worth it.

There will be other houses, and we're under no time pressure to do it right now - the time pressure we were under was because we'd found a house that did all of that, the rejected offer isn't the end of the world, just gives us more time to build more deposit.

Digs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Jack,

It's always difficult finding THE house. I have been very fortunate that each house I've bought has been the right one for me but I also don't develop any emotional bond with a property whereas many do, especially if you've done a lot of work on the property yourself.

The fact that you're willing to walk away at the first rejected offer is a sign that it probably isn't THE property.

The seller will get his price if he's in no rush to sell only if he has to buy another property then what he wants will also have risen in price.

Not much you can do except keep looking and Amy will fall in love with another property....that's women for you....so fickle :D
I think a lot of it is a fairly emotionally detached decision for both of us - we want the best house we can get that has parking for 2 cars plus garage, needs to be 2 big bedrooms and sensible reception rooms and kitchen. And we want all that for under £250K around the North and West of the M25 within range of a station that runs into London. That leaves a fairly short list of potential properties, so when you see one that you think logically will accept an offer at that level it is a bit annoying to find out they want almost the asking price and not much less. The stamp duty thing doesn't help - any house over the budget will cost us another £5K unless they do a deal on furniture and carpets etc, but even then it doesn't seem worth it.

There will be other houses, and we're under no time pressure to do it right now - the time pressure we were under was because we'd found a house that did all of that, the rejected offer isn't the end of the world, just gives us more time to build more deposit.

Digs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Of course the other option to staying out for 2 years is to buy now and keep the house for 5-10 years. That is pretty much the plan.

The problem with big slumps is that, as we saw, nobody sells when they can see they are going to lose £20-30K even on a small place vs hanging on for 12-24 months and making/keeping all that extra money.

We could sell and rent somewhere, but that in itself has some issues, like losing a pretty good mortgage deal that we have and having to go with what the banks are trying to fob us off with now.

Plus for the amount it costs to rent even a tiny little flat down here, I could be paying off a mortgage on a nice house, easily. The flexibility is good, reducing the capital amount and therefore the money stored up in the house better, lower payments when the interest rates skyrocket, and if forced to sell less chance of negative equity.

Digs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #85 ·
Population increases over time, and continues to. Especially in the South East, there's more and more people per square mile of land.

Eventually supply and demand drives prices up, shortage of decent houses means the decent ones sell for more. What levels the pricing off or could reduce prices is people not being able to buy because they can't get credit. The banks are still lending people money, but they have tightened up on what they will lend.

In my opinion, you may as well pay the interest on your house instead of paying rent to someone else. Of course, that is very true of our current flat where rent is nearly £1K a month for new tenants, vs even repayment mortgage at approx £800. Interest rates can rise a fair old bit before interest only would get above £1K, currently about a third of that amount. Some people with lots of cash are looking at buying flats for cash because the rent pays better than the bank does even on large sums with very little maintenance.

Anyhow, we are busily discussing buying vs renting, which isn't really the point of the thread. We own a flat, and regardless what happens to the market, it happens to us as well. If our flat skyrockets in price, so does whatever we try and buy. Same in reverse. It's imaginary money until you have paid it all off and downsize.

Digs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #93 · (Edited)
There aren't many places in the country you'get away with £50 a week for a house. In London you're lucky if you can find 100 a week from a room. In mist places rental will achieve atleast 6% per Annunciation of the property value, usually more... so your interest is covered plus a bir for maintenance. Any capital increase is then yours to keep.
Where we live (and want to move to) the interest on a 25 year repayment mortgage is less than the rent. 2 bedroom flat is something like £900 per month, anything resembling a house is well over £1K.

Repayment mortgages cost about the same, perhaps marginally less, interest only is significantly cheaper than that.

Digs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #101 ·
Well, offer was very lowball, but we now basically know what they will accept, and the offer was rejected.

All we have to decide now is whether it is worth that. Annoyingly, it probably is. Even more annoyingly, it will stretch us further than I want to stretch, but it seems if you want to live either within or anywhere near the M25, you can forget about spending less than £250K. Which is a ridiculous amount of money, considering the bank won't give anyone a mortgage with less than about 20% deposit, maybe 15% if you are nice. 10% if you want to be bent over and have the interest rate forcibly inserted every month. Luckily that isn't an issue for us, but house prices seem to have just got to a point of utter madness.

I also have to have the patience not to go back and just offer them what we know they will accept and it is worth this afternoon. Because if we do that, they'll probably push for more.

I am particularly annoyed with people putting in offers, but they are unable to proceed. If my understanding is right, it means they are offering a price for the house, but don't have a chance of doing a deal any time soon. That's like me offering to buy your car off you for £50K and then telling you that I'll give you that some time in the next decade. If you can't buy, don't bid. It just wastes everybody else's time and makes a seller think their house is worth more than it is.

Digs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #103 ·
Offer now accepted. Interesting times ahead. It seems the "chain free" house that was being discussed at viewing is actually a short chain, but sellers seem to be in a position to go ahead.

Now I guess we find out whether everyone can do their thing in good time, and we can get exchanged as quickly as promised.

I am now quite excited by the idea of actually having enough space for our stuff, and the various vehicles, and a house we can actually improve and develop.

We do seem to have now entered a world of pain, that everyone seems to agree is stressful, annoying, frustrating and difficult at various points in the next few weeks.

Digs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #108 ·
At the risk of getting shot down in flames, I think John was alluding to the fact that women tend to get a lot more emotionally involved in the buying process then men... and that once you decide a place is your dream home, and you must live there, that walking away is not an option, your position on negotiations is thoroughly weakened.
Well intentioned diplomacy, but the simple reality is that it may be the case for you and Steph (and fit the stereotype) but as a stereotype doesn't really hold up to scrutiny. I know a huge number of women that if they softened their approach would get a better result, and their husbands are the soft and sensitive ones that get emotionally attached in this type of situation - gender doesn't really make much difference to personality. The advice is solid though - don't get emotionally attached, be prepared to walk away, and don't treat it like negotiating hostages.

BJ., on the other hand, is either trolling or just being a cantankerous old git with an outdated and quite sad view of women. Which isn't exactly a surprise in either case :) Then again, if he met Amy, he'd understand how amusingly wrong he's got it.

Digs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #110 ·
Which way would you rather it worked. Be logical, in a chain everyone excpet those at the start and those at the end have to have a pause - either the buyer can't buy yet, because the still have to sell, or the seller can't sell yet because they still have to buy. There may be points when the two collide - ie the seller has made an offer, and the buyer has sold - but then the people they are dealing with on the other side are the ones who are in limbo.

That is the way a chain works.

I will own up and say that we are the people who will be making an offer without having sold our house. That's because our current house is fine, we just fancy something a bit bigger with a bigger garden, but we aren't being forced to move. Therefore if we find a house we like, we will offer on it, and, if successful, then get on with selling ours. No seller is forced to take an offer like that, but equally is it fair to accept an offer on our house and then take a very long time before we find a place we are satisfied with?
I think there should be a system where estate agents have to own "holding pens" where people have to sell their house immediately, get put into the holding pen, then when they find a nice house to move into they are allowed to leave the holding pen. Or something like it.

The difficulty is that you can offer a million pounds for a house, unless you can sell your house then your offer is meaningless. In the current market there's a lot of people that can't sell their house, and when they do their house is not worth what they think it is.

Digs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #128 ·
So far today we have been screwed over by an estate agent and a mortgage provider. Is this really how it is going to be for the next month?

What utter tossers. Every aspect of buying a house seems to be a complete cocking mess. The only upside is that so far the solicitor hasn't had chance to cock anything up, and apparently isn't going to.

Digs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #148 ·
But a practical tip from me is if you can get directly in touch with your buyer / sender and build up a relationship, then you can chivvy your respective solicitors along.

Myself and Derek (my buyer) would phone each other, then agree to phone each other's solicitors within 20 mins, then talk again in the evening.

Janos
This one is a bit difficult - the sellers are an older couple and are moving for health reasons.

I really really don't want them to feel like they are under pressure from an 18 stone bald fella who knocks on the door one day to invite himself in for a cup of tea.

If I was the seller, I would want exactly what you did. Unfortunately as the buyer we can try, but they don't have to meet us ever if they don't want.

We have now resolved some of the issues with the memo of sale. The estate agent just didn't communicate anything to us. Because they are utterly useless, wet individuals that survive on commission from doing a bad job of selling a house and fail to act in the best interests of anyone in a professional manner. This means we are basically going to get into the deal, then when we do the inventory we are going to have to screw the seller over, because the estate agent hasn't explained our position correctly. Oh well, seller gets screwed for a few hundred quid. Ho hum. I can see why sellers get so pissed off with the goalposts being moved - the estate agent has just done whatever they can to get an offer accepted, even though it is not what we said.

Personally, I don't think I'll be getting angry about it. A few hundred quid in this whole process seems to be nothing. Which is annoying, because it is the first unexpected cost in a process that is going to have lots of unexpected costs.

Digs.
 
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