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Buying a property before it goes on the market

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
19 replies 1.6K views
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  • eddddyeddddy Forumite
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    It depends how 'business-like' the seller is.

    If I were the seller, I would listen to your offer, then tell the EA that I needed offers at least 1.5% higher than your offer (assuming the EA's fee is 1.5%).

    If the EA got a higher offer, I'd take it. If not, I'd go with your offer.


    (Again, if I were the seller, I'd make sure the EA contract was 'sole agency' or similar, so no fees are payable for a 'private buyer'.)
  • datlexdatlex Forumite
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    I have just bought a property that was in similar situation to yours. The property has been sold to pay an old lady's car home fees. It wasn't sold by the old lady's family but by the local council. If the lady had not given her family power of attorney they may have chosen to let the local council handle her affairs.
    Sealed Pot Challenge no 37, Attempting Frugal Living. Became debt free at the end ot 2016. Used savings from becoming debt free to put a deposit on a bungalow last year now working on becoming Mortgage free by overpaying. (without overpayment MFW date is 2036)
  • SlitherySlithery Forumite
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    If the family of the owner have POA then they are legally obliged to get the best price possible, this means putting it on the open market.
  • edited 12 July 2018 at 10:08AM
    lisyloolisyloo Forumite
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    edited 12 July 2018 at 10:08AM
    If the lady had not given her family power of attorney they may have chosen to let the local council handle her affairs.
    Well personally I'd choose deputyship over the LA (which Im doing right now).

    Thanks all for your thoughts, very pertinent to me as I've applied for deputyship.
    It will be going on the open market.



    It's actually highly unlikely that someone will outlive the cost of their private care fees (after pension income, attendance allowance and NHS contribution is taken into account).
    My MIL has a low-value flat worth around £170K and her care fees will be about £20K per year after £450 income per week is take into account. It's highly unlikely she'll outlive the capital (9 years) and that's someone with a low value property and no private pension, just state benefits/entitlements.


    If one gets a private higher offer, are estate agent fees usually payable?

    EDIT: Depends on whether it's sole agency or sole selling.



    I will be mindful that we get the former because being a managed block of flats it's entirely possible that someone who wants to live there calls the management company.
  • westernpromisewesternpromise
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    Right, but if such a neighbour-type of buyer only knew the property was for sale because the EA had put a sign outside, the agent would still claim the agency fee. You'd need to show that they approached you having not heard about it through anything the agent had done. That they have your contact details would help, of course. If it's physically doable there may be mileage in leafleting the other flats yourself before signing, to establish that you rather than they drew the property to the neighbours' attention.
  • CakegutsCakeguts Forumite
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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.


    The pricing for that house goes like this. £250k for the house and £1million for the location that it is in. This is a prime example of how a location can either increase or reduce the value of a house. So many people just don't get this.
  • CakegutsCakeguts Forumite
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    If the agent has been round taking details they may also have given some sort of valuation. If that valuation is higher than what you want to pay you won't get it if you offer low.
  • lisyloolisyloo Forumite
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    In our case it looks like the managing agent (firstport) has an estate agent brand (retirement homesearch). So anyone that saw the sign would not be private but via the "incumbent estate agent" related to the managing agent.


    I don't think we are obliged to use them, but as they have an on-site manager and the flat is empty it has significant advantages (I thought there was a reason she was keen to help).
  • westernpromisewesternpromise
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    Cakeguts wrote: »
    The pricing for that house goes like this. £250k for the house and £1million for the location that it is in. This is a prime example of how a location can either increase or reduce the value of a house. So many people just don't get this.

    Sure. The significance here is that a naive seller might agree to a direct sale without any marketing, thinking the property's value given its condition is obviously low. If they worked out the composition of the value as you have, they might realise that the house's actual condition is almost incidental to the value, do more to find out what that value actually is, and sell it for a six-figure sum beyond their initial expectation.
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