Dealing with Offers


Viewings are vital to the success of the selling process, although they cannot take place until an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is available. A viewing is an opportunity to show the property to its best advantage and ultimately sell so staff must be knowledgeable about the property and the neighbourhood. Once the viewing is over, feedback - either immediately or via a follow up call - must be obtained.

Qualifying Offers

When an offer is made, as much information as possible should be gathered about the circumstances of the potential buyer e.g. do they have a property to sell? Indeed there may well be a ‘chain’ of properties to be sold before there is a buyer without a property to sell. The agent is then obliged to submit the offer to the seller as soon as possible, in writing, so that the seller can make an informed decision about whether to sell.

An offer is made and accepted subject to contract, so neither party are committed until contracts are legally exchanged and negotiation can continue until that time.

Dealing with Offers

The party making the offer must be informed that the offer, with qualification information, has been forwarded to the seller in writing. An acceptable offer will be confirmed to all parties and their legal representatives. Under this circumstance, the property can remain on the market and open to viewings. It is generally good practice to tell interested parties an offer has been made and accepted subject to contract. If the property is to remain on the market, guidance from the OFT suggests the potential buyers should be told.

Dealing with Multiple Offers

In an active market, several offers on one property may be received, either before any offer is accepted or there may be additional offers made after an offer is already accepted. If more than one offer is received it becomes even more important to qualify the strength of each buyer and take the correct instructions from the seller. It may be necessary to tell potential buyers of higher offers so they can revise their bids. If a private auction appears to be developing, a time and place for best and final offers must be set.

Where a higher offer is received after an earlier offer has been accepted, the potential buyer making the new offer should be informed that a previous offer has been accepted. The new potential buyer must be qualified and their offer in writing forwarded to the seller. The buyer making the original accepted offer should usually be given an opportunity to revise their offer. It is the choice of the seller whether they accept a different offer.

Progressing the Sale

The progress of the sale needs continually checking. This includes keeping in touch with legal representatives, with the buyer to ensure mortgage applications are made and surveyors are instructed, with other professional that may be involved in the chain and keeping the seller informed.

If a sale falls through and an accepted offer is withdrawn, it is useful to understand why, inform the seller and establish whether the problem can be overcome.

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