Becoming a first-time homeowner may seem like a daunting task, but with the right guidance, it’s a journey well within your reach. In this chapter, we will explore the exciting process of making an offer on your dream property and what happens once that offer is accepted. We’ll provide insights, tips, and information tailored to inspire and encourage you on your path to homeownership.
Who Does the Estate Agent Work For?
Before we dive into making an offer, it’s crucial to understand the role of the estate agent. The estate agent primarily works for the seller, their task being to secure the best deal possible for the property. This means they aim to get the highest possible price and the best terms for their client. However, as a first-time buyer, you have the opportunity to work with the agent to your advantage.
Making an Offer: Setting Your Price
So, you’ve found the property you adore, and it’s time to make an offer. You might have questions like, “How much should I offer? What if it’s rejected? Can I change my mind later?” Rest assured, it’s simpler than you might think.
Negotiating the Price:
- Asking prices are negotiable. Consider offering a price lower than the asking price, but do so thoughtfully.
- Research the prices of similar houses in the area. If similar properties sold for less, you might justify a lower offer.
- Check how long the property has been on the market. A longer listing period could lead to a seller accepting a lower price.
- Understand the seller’s priorities. A quick sale might make them more inclined to accept a lower offer.
- Obtain a mortgage in principle to show your commitment to the purchase. This increases your appeal as a buyer.
Remember, your status as a first-time buyer is an advantage because your purchase is not dependent on another transaction.
Making an Offer: Submitting Your Offer
Once you’ve determined your offer price, it’s time to submit it to the estate agent. You can do this in person, over the phone, or by email. Regardless of the price you’re offering, it’s beneficial to explain why you’re an excellent buyer and why your offer should be accepted. This can include details about your financial readiness, your commitment to the purchase, or any other relevant information.
After Your Offer Is Accepted
The thrilling moment arrives when your offer is accepted. However, it’s essential to clarify a few things with the estate agent to ensure a smooth process:
Subject to Contract (STC): Your offer is subject to contract, which means it’s not legally binding at this stage.
Survey: Your offer is also subject to a survey, a topic we’ll discuss later in this guide.
Taking the Property Off the Market: Request that the property be removed from the market to reduce the risk of being gazumped by another buyer.
Additionally, ask for written confirmation of the acceptance from the estate agent. It’s important to note that neither you nor the seller is legally bound to proceed with the sale at this point. This flexibility allows you to adapt if your financial situation changes or if you discover something about the house that gives you pause. However, it’s equally essential to convey your eagerness to the seller to reduce the chances of them backing out as well.
Making an offer on a property is a significant step toward realizing your dream of homeownership. By understanding the process, negotiating thoughtfully, and staying committed, you can increase your chances of having your offer accepted. As a first-time buyer, you have unique advantages, so embrace this exciting journey with confidence. In the upcoming chapters, we’ll delve into surveys, contracts, and more to ensure you have all the information you need for a successful home purchase.