Should You Accept The First Offer When Selling Your Property?

Should You Accept The First Offer When Selling Your Property?

By Darren Oughton
Allsopp & Allsopp
Branch manager
Leamington Spa

Anyone putting their property on the market does so with the intention of selling it – that’s stating the obvious. And as a  seller, the excitement and most probable relief of getting that crucial first offer on your property is immense. But after the initial jubilation of your estate agent delivering the great news, there may follow a tinge of doubt. It’s the first offer – should I accept it?

While many sellers may be tempted to wait for a better offer, particularly if they have only recently put their house on the market, our advice would be – if you have chosen your estate agent carefully and wisely (which we would hope sellers have) then trust their advice and accept.

Your agent should be fully aware of what is happening in the market locally, and as the expert should be able to advise you on the most realistic selling price. It is, after all, their reputation that’s at stake.

Here at Allsopp & Allsopp in very buoyant Leamington Spa, we have an excellent rate when it comes to the percentage of asking price achieved. In addition, our average days for a property to be on the market are a fraction, if we are to believe the latest reports, of the current national average of up to 91 days.

Our figures speak for themselves ..

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There are agents who will deliberately over-value a property, which leaves the seller feeling uneasy about accepting an offer that doesn’t match the valuation or expectation.

Naturally, as a seller you want to get the best possible price for your most valuable asset – and our advice would be to always talk to your agent – this way there is no misunderstanding between the two parties.

Selling your home, particularly if you are doing it for the first time, can be daunting. However, we have a guide to selling on our website.

So – back to the offer. While many sellers may be tempted to ‘hold out’ for a better offer, I believe that a reasonable first offer needs serious consideration.

It is also important to find out as much as possible about the position of the potential buyer; ie do they have to sell a property in order to move, are they a cash buyer, are they in a chain, do they need to move quickly or are they flexible on a move date?

That said, it doesn’t mean that a first offer, if way below the asking price, should be accepted without negotiation. A good agent will always attempt to extract the best price from the buyer on the seller’s behalf.

To recap:

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  • Be realistic about your selling price in the first instance.
  • There is no need to accept or reject an offer straight away – mull it over for a day or two before making a decision.
  • Talk to and trust the advice of your estate agent.
  • Try and find out the position of the potential buyer.
  • If you do accept the offer, it is usually subject to the survey – which means that as long as the survey doesn’t turn up any surprises, the buyer will keep their offer.
  • The accepted offer is not legally binding until contracts are exchanged.
  • Some of the estate agency ‘jargon’ associated with selling and buying a property may need some explanation. The Property Ombudsman has this helpful sales glossary

For all your estate agency needs – pop into your nearest branch, visit us online or call our teams direct on 01926 338622 for Leamington Spa or 02476 627366 for Coventry.

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