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Buyer’s guide: How to make an offer

Even for experienced buyers, gauging an appropriate initial offer price for a property can present challenges. Submitting too low of an offer risks the seller questioning your commitment, while aiming too high risks overpaying.

However, negotiation involves more than numbers alone. Insight into the property itself, the motivations of the seller, and understanding of local market conditions can provide savvy buyers with advantages beyond simply offering a few thousand more or less than list price.

First consider comparable properties in your area—how similar homes are priced and time on market. If others languish unsold for months generally below ask, a lower initial offer is reasonable. However, an active market with many recent sales signals potential competition, suggesting an offer likely to prompt the seller’s interest.

A motivated seller, such as one relocating for a new job or expanding family, presents opportunity though not license for an extremely lowball bid. Instead, demonstrate your value as a qualified buyer able to close conveniently for the seller, with potential for an agreeable transaction.

Your circumstances impact negotiating leverage as well. As a non-contingent cash buyer from a sold home, some sellers, especially veterans, may accept a lower price to avoid risk and delays inherent to property chains. Pre-approval strengthens your position further.

Every transaction differs; rigid rules fail to fit all cases. As a guideline, some recommend an initial offer approximately 10% below list to signal interest while retaining room for compromise.

Anticipate one higher option price in case rejection or superior bids arise, but maintain sight of your maximum willing and able price. Deep affection for a home notwithstanding, painful realisation may come that negotiations fall through, necessitating new paths forward.

It is useful to remember that agents must continue reporting any offers received to the seller unless the seller requests anonymity. While new offer details may surface, agents need not divulge amounts. Open communication remains important regardless of outcome.

For additional sales guidance or to discover how our experienced team can assist you, please contact our office located at 32 Park Cross Street in Leeds, call us at 0113 222 4537, or email Whether you need pre-sale enquiries or real estate market advice, our team is here to provide assistance.