In a try-before-you-buy age, it’s tempting to resist accepting the first offer on your home. After all, what if a buyer with a higher offer is waiting just around the corner?
Whilst accepting an offer is always at the seller’s discretion, we’re here today to blow the tired myth of ‘never accept the first offer’ out of the water. Here are some clues as to when it could be right to say yes to that first offer:
1. Keen as mustard
Those who offer swiftly after viewing your home are usually the keenest. They are motivated, eager and ready to get the process moving. Find out their circumstances, if they’ve already sold or have been holding up their chain while they find their dream home, chances are they are keen to get those sales wheels in motion. Does this align with your situation?
2. Cash buyers
If the first offer you receive is from a cash buyer, think very hard before you turn them down – even if the figure they give you is slightly lower than the asking price. The benefits of a cash buyer mean no waiting for loan approvals or joining onto a fragile chain of buyers waiting on sellers and vice versa.
3. Left on the shelf
A new property launches on Rightmove – there’s a flurry of activity, clicks, scrolling and, hopefully, a skirmish for viewings. It’s a truth well-known that the first week after your home goes live is crucial when it comes to courting attention from potential buyers. Don’t be so eager to turn down those initial offers – you could face a lengthy wait on the shelf as newer properties launch in your area.
4. What’s happening in the local market
If homes are selling like hot cakes in your area, then perhaps you’re wise to sit on an offer. However, if the pool of properties in your local market is stagnating, you not only risk waiting around a long time for a buyer, but your home could devalue in that period, particularly if other sellers drop their prices.
5. Time and tide wait for no seller
Time is always of the essence in property sales, but all the more so when your circumstances dictate that you need a speedy home sale. Perhaps you are relocating for work, or you are looking to get your move completed before your youngest starts secondary school; can you afford to wait an unspecified amount of time for that second offer? Who’s to say it will be a better offer anyway?
6. Empty homes
Perhaps you’ve inherited a property, or you’re in the fortunate position to have moved out of the home you are selling. In theory, you can afford to be picky about accepting that first offer, right? Although time may not feel like a factor, leaving a house empty for long periods comes with its own set of problems. Council tax still needs to be paid, an un-heated home carries risks of damp or water damage from burst pipes, and there is the security risk of leaving a home unoccupied for a lengthy period. Ultimately, freeing yourself of the financial, maintenance and mental burden of an empty home may be worth accepting that first offer, even if it is a little lower than you’d hoped.
7. You care about who buys your home
We all know that a home is more than bricks and mortar. It’s memories, first steps, last breaths and all that lies in-between. If your first offer comes from a buyer who is well-prepared, in a good financial situation and is genuinely smitten with your home, would it be sensible to accept their offer? After all, knowing your home is in safe hands is a pleasure hard to quantify in pounds and pence.
The decision will always be yours, but it’s one you should make with an open mind. One of the saddest things you can hear, as an agent who cares deeply about their sellers, is “I wish I had accepted that earlier offer”.
Navigating the world of offers, bargaining and negotiation can be a daunting prospect, but it’s not a journey you need take alone.
Here to help you, surfing those waves is what our team at Wainwrights do best. Get in touch to book in your free valuation today.