Sealing the deal

Published: 17/10/2013 By Peter Barry

When it comes to securing the house of your dreams, just how much over the asking price are you prepared to go? With houses flying off the shelves across much of the capital, the sealed bid is back with a vengeance and desperate house hunters need to dig deeper to secure their chosen property.

Some London estate agents have reported that almost half of the properties on their books have been sold via sealed bids over the past few months. However, this doesn’t necessarily reflect an over-inflation of asking prices – it is merely a reaction to a market that is flooded with potential buyers, many of whom have already been stung by losing out on properties.

Purchasers are paying over the odds in order to secure a property and ensure it is removed from the market. However, it’s not just the monetary offer that tempts sellers to favour a particular purchaser – a sealed bid is a whole package that demonstrates a purchaser’s ability to move quickly, stay the distance and come up with the cash. Typically, the offer should include the following, in writing:

  • The offer
  • Details of mortgage lender (if mortgage offer has been received)
  • Details of solicitor
  • Details of chain, if applicable, or current circumstances (ie if renting, this could be favoured)
  • Flexibility with exchange and completion dates
  • Any other relevant information
Sellers who are lucky enough to attract a number of offers over the asking price should keep their wits about them. Whilst it’s easy to be swayed by the potential extra cash in your bank account, you need to take the whole offer into consideration and try to gauge the seriousness of the intention. This is where your estate agent should be able to give you some advice – they will have met all the interested parties and should be able to ascertain whether all offers have been genuinely made. When a sealed bid situation comes into play, people can act rashly to get ahead of the game. At this stage, you want a serious buyer who has made an offer that they feel comfortable with and are able to see through to conclusion.

At the end of the day, property purchases can often hang by a tenuous thread so if a purchaser can secure their dream property by offering slightly over the asking price – and a buyer achieves more than they hoped for – a successful conclusion will result in happy homeowners all round.

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