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How do I make an Offer on a House?

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Buying a house in Bracknell can be a stressful experience for the first time buyer, but it needn’t be that bad!

Like anything else you buy, whether it be a house, a car or a newspaper, there is a contractual relationship between you and the seller. Of course, given the relatively insignificant price of a newspaper it won’t surprise you that the contract terms are simple and the documentation is limited. It will normally consist of an advertised offer price for sale. You pay the sum requested and in return you’re given a newspaper and a receipt to prove you have purchased the paper.

Houses, being somewhat more expensive, require more detailed contractual terms that are agreed between you and the seller and then are detailed in rather more detail by specialist legal representatives. For this reason, it is generally good practice to use a specialist solicitor or licensed conveyancer for the purpose.

Before solicitors are instructed you must first agree terms. At Duncan Yeardley we will guide you through this process. In simple terms, the property of your choice will normally be on sale with a guide price. Interested buyers are invited to view the property and undertake any inspections they consider prudent. When they are satisfied that the property is all that they are looking for and that they can afford to buy it, they may decide to make an offer. This might be above the guide, or below it. You get to decide.

Discussing your offer with us prior to making an offer in writing may be useful and save some time. However, once you decide to make a formal offer to purchase it is best to make it in writing. Address it to the estate agent acting in the sale and include within it any relevant terms as well as your offer price. You should also include details of the property you are offering to buy, your name and address, your solicitor’s details, any time frame you would like to stick to (e.g. ‘exchange of contracts within 6 weeks of our agreement subject to contract’) and any other terms such as the need for a mortgage, the amount of cash deposit you have and whether you have another property you need to sell. The more information you can include the better.

Bear in mind that if you are competing with other buyers in Bracknell for the home of your dreams, the more comprehensive your offer and the more advanced you are in terms of instructing a solicitor and obtaining an ‘in principle’ mortgage offer, the more attractive your offer will be to the owner. Once the owner has decided whom she wishes to sell to, solicitors will be instructed in accordance with the terms agreed. In England and Wales offers for the purchase of ‘land’ are usually made subject to contract which means that the offer made and the acceptance of it are not legally binding until ‘exchange of contracts’.

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