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Buying a property before it goes on the market

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
19 replies 1.6K views
mljdamvpmljdamvp Forumite
9 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
Hello,
I am aware that a property nearby where i live will be going on the market soon, as the old lady who lived at the property has gone into a care home, her family has been at the property clearing it out and also had the local estate agent around taking photos etc so i'm expecting the house to go on the market very soon.
I am interested in buying the property as it has a far larger garden than my current property, but want to do so before it goes on sale through the estate agent and think the family may be interested in doing it this way as it will say them the estate agent fees.
Has anyone done this before and can offer advice on how i approach the family to let them no that i'm interested?
Cheers
Mike
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Replies

  • AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    If the agent's already preparing details, then I think you might be too late to work around them. Why do you want to, anyway? You don't pay the EA's fees, the vendor does. The agent will already have given a valuation, so that's likely the price you're looking at however you get there.

    B'sides, the agent may already have contacted potential buyers from their list.

    But all you need to do is talk to the family. If they're there, button-hole them. If they're not, leave a note. Chances are they've got postal redirection in place, so write to them at the house address.
  • zagubovzagubov Forumite
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    mljdamvp wrote: »
    Hello,
    I am aware that a property nearby where i live will be going on the market soon, as the old lady who lived at the property has gone into a care home, her family has been at the property clearing it out and also had the local estate agent around taking photos etc so i'm expecting the house to go on the market very soon.
    I am interested in buying the property as it has a far larger garden than my current property, but want to do so before it goes on sale through the estate agent and think the family may be interested in doing it this way as it will say them the estate agent fees.
    Has anyone done this before and can offer advice on how i approach the family to let them no that i'm interested?
    Cheers
    Mike

    Is there a possibility the sale is being used to finance the cost of the old lady's care?

    I'm not sure and others will be along to advise, but I'm wondering if the council may require the sale to be through an estate agent to ensure that the full market price is obtained and there's no chance the property is being sold suspiciously cheaply to a relative or friend, for a range of reasons.
    There is no honour to be had in not knowing a thing that can be known - Danny Baker
  • Thank you for your advice, im hoping to get a good deal on the property as i understand from the neighbour of the old lady that the family are keen to sell quickly. Im going to approach them and hopefully get in before they put it on the market (fingers crossed).
  • lisyloolisyloo Forumite
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    Why do you want to, anyway? You don't pay the EA's fees, the vendor does.


    I am on the other side of the sale (not this particular one).
    My MIL is in a nursing home.
    I would split the difference for a private sale e.g. 50/50.

    but I'm wondering if the council may require the sale to be through an estate agent to ensure that the full market price is obtained and there's no chance the property is being sold suspiciously cheaply to a relative or friend, for a range of reasons.


    I don't think a LA would be involved at this point if it's a private sale.
    It's possible the family may want to be able to prove that they sold at market rate though.


    As someone on the other side it's not something that would concern me.
    The sale of the property will last for about 7 years of nursing care and that's about 3 times as long as most residents last.
    Plus you can easily get historic sale prices from similar properties.
    Using an estate agent doesn't prove the deal isn't dodgy anyway !!
  • lisyloolisyloo Forumite
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    mljdamvp wrote: »
    Thank you for your advice, im hoping to get a good deal on the property as i understand from the neighbour of the old lady that the family are keen to sell quickly. Im going to approach them and hopefully get in before they put it on the market (fingers crossed).


    Do it and ask them if they'll split the difference on the estate agent fees.
    Don't see why they wouldn't be happy with that.
    It's a win-win.
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  • westernpromisewesternpromise
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    Of course the risk to the seller is that you save the agents' fees (gain: c. 2% of price) but sell to a lower bidder than the agent would have found (loss: < 20% of price), so it could be a very expensive way to save money.
  • lisyloolisyloo Forumite
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    Of course the risk to the seller is that you save the agents' fees (gain: c. 2% of price) but sell to a lower bidder than the agent would have found (loss: < 20% of price), so it could be a very expensive way to save money.


    Having read some of your posts, I am suprised that you think an estate agent could add 20% of value :-)


    In our case (blocks of similar retirement flats) the market value is pretty predictable and flats sell frequently as people die/go into care.


    I do find it hard to believe an agent could add 20%.
    I would certainly get valuations first, but I guess there is the risk of taking an easy offer and not testing the market properly.


    If you are using an estate agent? Can you accept a private sale if it's genuinely private? or do their contracts insist you pay?


    In our case the flats have a managment company so it's not uncommon for people to call the management company (big phone number on the building) if they want to buy a flat there.
  • ThrugelmirThrugelmir Forumite
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    lisyloo wrote: »
    Using an estate agent doesn't prove the deal isn't dodgy anyway !!

    EA will have a record of interest expressed, viewings and offers. Be obvious if underhand tactics are employed.
    "The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion ... draws all things else to support and agree with it." - Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626)
  • edited 11 July 2018 at 12:34PM
    lisyloolisyloo Forumite
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    edited 11 July 2018 at 12:34PM
    Thrugelmir wrote: »
    EA will have a record of interest expressed, viewings and offers. Be obvious if underhand tactics are employed.


    I can get professional valuations and look at historical sale prices.


    I remember my SIL getting a professional valuation for her divorce (one that was paid for and documented not a finger-in-the-air from an estate agent).
    Would this not be taken as evidence just as it would be for a divorce?


    Do you really believe an estate agent can add value?
    exceeding their fee?


    genuinely interested for my future sale
  • westernpromisewesternpromise
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    To turn the question around, the aspiring bidder here clearly thinks EAs add value, because he's very keen for it not to gio through an agent who might find a higher bid than his own.

    An EA should be able to get you a higher price, yes, and perhaps as much as 20%.

    One thing I have noticed recently is that complete wrecks seem to be as sought after as newly renovated places. If you didn't realise that, you might think that grandma's desperately tired, in-need-of-gutting semi needs to be discounted to sell, in order to reflect the cost of gutting it, when it actually doesn't.

    By way of example here's a house local to me. As I noted, it has an outside loo, no room upstairs for more than one bathroom, a 9' by 9' kitchen, and it hasn't changed hands in 92 years. This probably means it hasn't been modernised in 92 years either, hence the outside loo.
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3403965&page=1212#24224
    It's gone under offer - for £1.25 million - within two weeks, which is £50k over the asking price.

    Given that it needs everything doing to it, if you were the seller, you might have thought Well, I'll never get £1.25 million...I'll flog it to the nice direct buyer at £1.1 million instead, and save myself £20k in agency fees. If you had - you'd actually have lost yourself £130k.

    Nothing stops the vendor here from instructing an agent and saying Right, get me a bid that is higher net of your fee than this one I've already got, and I'll take your bid.
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