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When you are outbid on a home

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  • It might not be the end. I bidded on what I considered my dream house and lost it as j was second choice. Then about 2 weeks later it was back on Rightmove as the buyer pulled out. I quickly offered again slightly lower and was accepted this time.
    I now live in said dream house 😀 so it might not be the end, just save it in your Rightmove account and keep an eye on it. 

    This!

    We were outbid and then got a call three weeks later to say it had fallen through as the potential buyer couldn't complete the money laundering checks and were we still looking. We made another offer and it didn't even make it back to Rightmove.
  • Among the helpful comments on this thread, there are some really quite unpleasant ones. It's clear from the outset that the OP is new to property buying, in that circumstance it's really not hard to be at least a little kind in our responses, is it?

    We decided from the outset on our recent sale & purchase that we wanted to be ethical about the way we did things. The astonishment this was greeted with by estate agents was amazing - and the first selling agent we went with basically ignored everything we said on this front - and was determined to encourage us down a route of for example under-pricing, with the expectation that we would then encourage a bidding war once we got offers in place. In spite of us saying repeatedly that this didn't sit well with us, they continued to tell us that was the approach we would take, and it was actually really hard work to get them to put the listing in place with the "right" price for the property!

    The first few offers we got were too low - well below asking, and we just turned them down straight with the feedback that the offer was well below the asking price, and our "in the region of" meant just that - not over £13k below our just-over-£200k asking price. Eventually one of those potential buyers came back with an offer £3.5k under, and we accepted pretty swiftly - the only reason for the delay at that stage was that we had two more viewings booked at the time and wanted to allow those people the opportunity to see the property and perhaps offer asking. Our then agent was open with the person who had the offer on the table and explained the situation, and also let the upcoming viewers know that there was already a competitive offer on the table. Once those viewings had happened we allowed a few days for further offers, then went back and accepted that "just under" offer - immediately asking the agent to take the property off the market. As far as we were concerned that was it - had either of the other viewers come back later with a higher offer, they would have been politely told that no, a deal had been struck.  The property we bought was just as well dealt with IMO. We offered at £14k under (asking price in the high £300k's), the sellers came back and asked to meet in the middle, we said yes, and that was that, property off the market, and no shilly shallying from either party thereafter. The mortgage valuation for our purchase came up a fraction below what we were paying, but that was a drive-by and so didn't take account of the various improvements in the property, so we were quite happy with that. 

    OP - there are decent people out there, hopefully the above, and some of the other replies you've got have given you some hope on that one. Lessons for the future are probably firstly not to get involved in a bidding war ubless you are absolutely resigned to the fact that once you do, it's "dog eat dog" - to negotiate with a seller in the first instance is one thing, but to then be dragged in to competing with other buyers for a property will frequently not end well. In the current market you may find it's not something you come across too much more anyway. I'd also say that no matter how much you might love a property (and trust me, I can completely understand that - had we lost out on our now home, I think we'd have had to step away from the option of moving at least for a while, as from the moment we saw the listing we knew we wanted to live there!) try not to set your heart on it 100% until an offer is actually accepted - as until that point there aren't really any ethics in play as such. 

    For now, I'd suggest you go back to the agents for the house you've lost out on, politely underline your position, and why you are a good buyer. Reiterate what you were prepared to pay for the property but caveat that with "in the market as it stands today", thank them for their time, and then walk away. If thigs change, and the current buyer drops out, your adult handling of the situation, and your politeness might make you stand out a little to be re-contacted. if you ARE re-contacted, be clear from the start that you expect an accepted offer to be just that - property off the market immediately and all parties to commence a move forward with the transaction with no games. This doesn't give you any guarantees about people's behavior, but it does at least mean you have been clear about your own position.  If you are re-contacted in a further few months, and the market has dropped a little more, then your caveat of your earlier figures would mean you'd have the scope to drop that offer a little if needed without that then also feeling unethical.

    Good luck finding a home that meets your dreams every bit as much as this one did - you may be surprised, sometimes life has a habit of working out for the best! 
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    she/her
  • jimbog
    jimbog Posts: 2,106
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    user1977 said:
    sheramber said:
    Being the first offer means nothing. The seller is looking for the highest bidder.
    I know that, and I appreciate that. I would have kept going until it was mine if I had the extra funds, but I don't.

    So, instead, I got to experience the ugly side of the home-buying process.
    It's not "ugly", it just means you can't afford your dream home. Go find another dream home. Maybe a cheaper one.
    From my perspective, it is one of the uglier sides of this process. Yes, I'm new to it, but this is a bad first impression of how it works.
    When I put the first bid on ebay I never imagine it will be the only bid and I don't find it ugly when someone outbids me on it 
    Gather ye rosebuds while ye may
  • jimbog
    jimbog Posts: 2,106
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    edited 20 September 2023 at 1:51PM
    I'm surprised there was a bidding war in this market, but don't get into bidding wars full stop. It's actually the seller's greed that's the problem.

    To be fair, it's the other buyer being so keen on that desirable property that is the other 'problem'

    also, remtmber it's just a house. A ton of bricks. It's not a home until you make it such.
    a ton of bricks in one location is very different that a ton of bricks elsewhere regardless of your efforts to make it your 'home'. The OP's desire for this pile of bricks rather than the others they've seen is a testament to this 
    Gather ye rosebuds while ye may
  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 12,573
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    And if I sell I don't promote a bidding war either. It's an ugly thing to do imo.

    In some cases a bidding war may be necessary - for example in cases where it is a probate property and executors have a duty to get the best price they can for beneficiaries, or similarly when a house has been repossessed.
  • Skiddaw1
    Skiddaw1 Posts: 1,982
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    @Dannydee333 house buying/selling really is one of the most stressful things ever. It's an emotional rollercoaster and no matter how you tell yourself to develop a thick skin and roll with the punches you'll still have meltdown moments (or at least that's my experience). All I can say is you WILL get there in the end. If this house wasn't The One there's a reason for it and (again based on my experience) you'll end up somewhere heaps better. Good luck and hang on in there.... :)
  • Skiddaw1 said:
    @Dannydee333 house buying/selling really is one of the most stressful things ever. It's an emotional rollercoaster and no matter how you tell yourself to develop a thick skin and roll with the punches you'll still have meltdown moments (or at least that's my experience). All I can say is you WILL get there in the end. If this house wasn't The One there's a reason for it and (again based on my experience) you'll end up somewhere heaps better. Good luck and hang on in there.... :)
    Ha ha truer words have never been spoken. You can't really detach yourself and it will test you in more ways than you ever thought and definitely make you an anxious mess! 
    I swore never to move again after the last one as that was 11 months of uncertainty and stress.
  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 20,798
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    edited 20 September 2023 at 3:28PM
    Skiddaw1 said:
    @Dannydee333 house buying/selling really is one of the most stressful things ever. It's an emotional rollercoaster and no matter how you tell yourself to develop a thick skin and roll with the punches you'll still have meltdown moments (or at least that's my experience). All I can say is you WILL get there in the end. If this house wasn't The One there's a reason for it and (again based on my experience) you'll end up somewhere heaps better. Good luck and hang on in there.... :)
    Ha ha truer words have never been spoken. You can't really detach yourself and it will test you in more ways than you ever thought and definitely make you an anxious mess! 
    I swore never to move again after the last one as that was 11 months of uncertainty and stress.
    I think I'd have collapsed in a heap long before 11 months! Ours was running beautifully smoothly until the final three weeks when one flaky conveyancer (for our buyers) nearly derailed the entire chain. Not sure whether us or our sellers were closest to tears by the time we finally got to exchange, and an exchange within three days of completion isn't something I'd recommend to anyone! 

    Edit to add - we are now three weeks post move in to a home we absolutely adore - and suddenly regret NONE of the stress! 
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    she/her
  • BobT36 said:
    You didn't even have an offer accepted though... No one was "supposed to" live there until the vendor actually ACCEPTED an offer (and put it as Sold Subject to Contract). Of course even then, you can still be gazumped, but that is indeed bad practice, but you weren't even there yet. 

    Have you ever used Ebay? Same thing. 

    Also 99% of houses the agents will tell you there's at least "two offers" (even if there aren't any) so if you go with your approach, you're never going to be able to make an offer on anything. 
    My 'supposed to live there' comment was to the other responder who actually did "gazump" someone, which I understand now is not the same as being outbid.

    Also, bidding for cheap stuff on eBay is not comparable to bidding on a home.
  • Emmia said:
    Emmia said:
    We put in a higher offer, gazumping someone... I'm sorry that someone else may have had their heart set on the property, but property is fundamentally a commercial/financial transaction... 

    It's probably best not to get too hung up on a perfect property, and if you offer, ask the seller takes it off the market as a result.
    I tried hard not to get too attached but it's not always possible, evidently.

    I don't mean to be rude but I think that's actually a terrible thing to do and I would not want that on my conscience. Not to mention, I'd find it difficult to go about my day knowing it was supposed to be someone elses home. I even find the word gazumping itself revolting. I only became aware of it a few weeks ago and as soon as I heard it and found out the definition; yuk.

    Or,,, perhaps I may actually find myself in the minority and that most people don't actually give a hoot who they steamroll in the process of buying a home.
    If you bought the house, at whatever price, you also may be buying something someone else wanted just as much (or more) as you did, house buying is fundamentally a transaction, like any other.

    I feel no guilt about offering more, the property was more than worth it. To give you an idea, I offered a higher amount of less than 1% of the selling price to secure the property. The sellers wanted a quick sale too and we were proceedable first time buyers, no chain, AIP in place... I also suspect there were issues with the other buyers proceedability (we viewed when it was already it was sold, subject to contract) so when we came along...

    Sellers can accept whatever offer they want, from whoever they like... some want more money, some want a quick sale, some want people without a chain, some won't sell to first time buyers, some want to sell their family home to people who they expect to live in it and raise their kids there.

    Do you have difficulty dealing with failure and rejection generally? How do you feel (for example) if you apply for a job, but don't get to interview, or get to interview but don't get the job, even though you thought you did well?

    Best of luck with your future hunt and purchase.




    I understand now there is a difference between outbidding and this horrible term gazumping. I think I can accept and get on board with the bidding side of things being anyone's game but under no circumstances will I ever try to steamroll someone's sale agreed.

    Although it is interesting you ask that particular question, because last year with a job I had invested a lot of time and hope in getting, including 5 interviews, a 2-day assignment, being promised the world and that I was doing great (it was in the bag, basically), and I still didn't get it. But that company genuinely was a shower of c*nts and the reviews on Glassdoor confirm that 100%. Really did dodge a bullet with that one... but, what did I do? It hurt heavily for at least a week and then I got back to it and eventually ended up with a genuinely better job with more money and prospects.
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