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When you are outbid on a home

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  • You've mentioned ProperyPal - so you're in Northern Ireland OP? 

    (Just in case it influences people's answers, different market etc.) 
    In 1915, the lock millionaire Cecil Chubb bought his wife Stonehenge. She didn't like it, so in 1918 he gave it to the nation.
  • Martico said:
    I've just read through the thread - kudos to @Dannydee333 for taking feedback onboard and reassessing with humility and humour. Many people might push back and get defensive. Good luck with your next target
    Thanku. I did initially feel a bit defensive about some stuff but I'm glad I now understand the difference between outbidding and gazumping.

    The former I'm okay, with, the latter, nope.
  • You've mentioned ProperyPal - so you're in Northern Ireland OP? 

    (Just in case it influences people's answers, different market etc.) 
    Spot-on, yes. It's the Northern Ireland market I'm talking about here.
  • So sorry you have had this experience. 

    I was very anxious about my purchase as my vendor was overtly greedy and I wondered if I'd be gazumped before exchange.  Up until exchange anything can happen. 

    Good luck!
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  • YoungBlueEyes
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    edited 21 September 2023 at 9:53AM
    You've mentioned ProperyPal - so you're in Northern Ireland OP? 

    (Just in case it influences people's answers, different market etc.) 
    Spot-on, yes. It's the Northern Ireland market I'm talking about here.
    I’m not sure it’ll make much/any difference cos people can be ratbags no matter the country, but you never know. 

    Edit - Scotland is different, different playbook up there. 
    In 1915, the lock millionaire Cecil Chubb bought his wife Stonehenge. She didn't like it, so in 1918 he gave it to the nation.
  • 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! 
    That was a dreadful way for the first agent to approach the process. Could you not have chosen someone else at that point? Or I guess it could have been more of a hindsight thing where it all happened then you didn't realise how dodgy they were until after it was done and dusted.

    Appreciate you sharing your experience in such detail. I also appreciate the acknowledgement that I do not want to screw anyone over in the process, such as usurping a home from someone who's already engaged in a sale agreement. I couldn't live with that on my conscience and to be honest, I find it difficult to comprehend how anyone would actually want to live in a home that they got in this manner. I certainly wouldn't, and it's an absolute certainty that I will never be responsible for doing that to anyone.

    I already told the agents to come back if anything changes. In fact, they were the ones who suggested it to me and I agreed. One thing I fear is the idea of being engaged in a sale or perhaps even having already completed and moved to a new home, and then they come back. Just like the theoretical scenario you outlined above, where they come back in a few months; well, for one, I don't plan to wait around that long and two, if the worst case were to happen and they came to me after I'd already completed on another home, I would be bitterly disappointed. I imagine that situation would have the potential to make someone very deeply bitter about that particular event in their life, one that would burn internally for quite some time. Unless, of course, the home you completed was even better. Although I sense that it would still be rather enraging either way.

    I noticed the one I lost is still not at "sale agreed" or "under offer" yet. Which is what generally happens on PropertyPal when homes reach those statuses. The listing stays there, but it's relabelled with one of those statuses and the price removed.
    Oh the first agent said all the right things until they'd got our signatures on the contract, then it gradually changed. we just kept saying no, and explaining that it just wasn't the way we did things. I really enjoyed being told by a guy half my age that "it was just the way things were done" - and employed precisely the same patronising tone in return when I responded with "not by us, it isn't".  The second agent - who actually sold the place - was a completely different picture. Understood our outlook from day one - cautioned us that it was relatively unusual, but said that he wished everyone would take the same approach as it would make the property market nicer to work in, and then actually gone on with trying to sell the place with an open, honest approach. 


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  • Hi,

    Dannydee333 if you wait a couple of months until Zoopla/Righmove update their Sold For table you will see what it went for.
    Maybe another 2 grand offer and it was yours, but then again could've gone another 10 grand.
    Good luck in the future, happy housing.

  • I offered the asking price for a home that I believe to be up there with my dream home territory. I went straight in with the asking price as I didn't wish to play games or be an a-hole.

    Last week I had a short 'bidding war' when someone else attempted to outbid me twice, and then I won that with what was my final bid. I didn't have the means to go any higher. I was the first person to offer and was hoping that offering the asking price to be respectful to the seller would be in my favour.

    Today someone else viewed the property and has outbid me yet again. Only this time, I'm no longer in a position to play the game. I have a financial ceiling at the moment that limits me from going higher, otherwise, I would.

    As a first-time buyer, this is my first time engaging in and experiencing this kind of thing. My initial reaction to being outbid is one of disappointment mixed with disgust. I feel like it's a distasteful thing to do, "outbidding" someone like this. They don't care that that person may have their heart set on that home - which I have/had - and then someone comes along and decides they going to steal their joy from them.

    What I'm really saying is, regardless if the other person simply wanted it the same way as I did and decided to take the opportunity to themselves, I personally would feel discomfort knowing that I did this to someone else and I just hope that I can keep my moral compass intact throughout this process (i.e. not be responsible for causing similar hurt to another individual).

    I might get told that it's just the nature of this business and that it's nothing personal, etc., but that will not change the way I feel about it - to come along and steal a home purchase from someone, well, I think that's a bit of scummy thing to do and as it stands I can sleep easy at night knowing I have not done this to someone.

    How do people deal with this kind of loss?

    And yes, I know I can't have lost what I didn't have, but I did lose out on an opportunity to seal the deal on a home I truly desired, and it stings.

    My advice to you would be don’t always rush in with a bid. When we sold our home the first viewer a first time buyer was the first to offer immediately after viewing!! this meant all following viewings the estate agent had the ability to tell all the other viewers, someone had put an over offer bid in . We have also experienced this viewing, so hold off a little and don’t rush in with your offers :)
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