Buying and furnishing my first home

Hi, I am a first time buyer about to make an offer on a house. Any advice on the percentage of my offer price to the asking price? I see on some reports that the average offer price is 94% of the asking price. This shows that the sellers are always asking too much. If the asking price is £200k, would an offer of £188 sounds unreasonable? If my final offer price is £188k, shouldn't I start even lower to allow some negotiation?

Anyway, as a new buyer, I would need to furnish the whole house. My list include beds and matresses, sofas, dining table and chairs for the furnitures and fridge, freezer, washer and dryer for the white goods.

I would appreciate advice on how to tackle such a big purchases, for example:

1) Should I buy all furniture from one shop in order to get better discounts (do I have stronger bargaining power for buying more) or should I look for individual deals (like reduced items in Argos, IKEA, etc)

2) Any advice on the best places should I be looking for the furnitures and the white goods?

3) Should I wait for sale? If yes, when do they normally have sale. (I always see bank holiday sale, but my friends told me that some stores have sale all year round)

4) Any ideas of the delivery leadtime for the furnitures?

Any advice would greatly be appreciated.
Mark Hughes' blue and white army
«1345

Replies

  • I'm afraid there's no blanket advice on making offers.

    You have to make a judgement call based on your budget, the circumstances of the seller (are they keen to sell, has the property been on the market for a while?), etc etc

    As a rule, you shouldn't offer the asking price, and never offer more than you can afford. Never get involved in a "race" with another buyer. If you suspect that's what is happening, make your final offer then walk away.

    Always have at least two properties on your shortlist, so that you're never tempted to "fall in love" with any one house and offer far more than is reasonable.

    personally I'd only offer 90% of the asking price in the first instance, rising to 95% at the most.

    Don't ever believe a word the Estate Agent tells you. hey're acting in the interests of the seller, not you. If they tell you there's another offer, don't be panicked into upping your offer above your maximum ceiling.

    It's a buyers market (tonnes of properties out there), so you call the shots.

    Oh, and don't forget to ask why the vendor is selling, how long it's been on the market and how long the lease is etc.

    Never tell the vendor or the agent what your maximum budget is, and never tell either party what you reall think about a property. Always be polite, but never be enthusiastic - even if you like a place.

    As for white goods, the internet is your friend, check on line at sites like kelkoo and pricerunner etc
  • kamarankamaran Forumite
    75 Posts
    Start of between £180K and £185K and work your way up in steps of 1K or £500, although dont expect to get the deal done for £188K - buyers are expecting as much as they can get, just because your 'in the know' about asking selling prices it doesnt mean the vendor and other buyers are.

    Don't buy ANY furntiture until you exchange contracts as the sale can still fall through before this time. Even if you pay more for the items it means you have somewhere to put them! Imagine buying a new sofa perfect for your new living room, but that living room doesnt turn out to be yours. That will mean both heartache and very expensive storage bills.

    Buy the furniture where you like it, the only places that offer discounts are ones like DFS and Furniture Village but they tend to have year round offers anyway. In my opinion the original prices are artificially high to begin with. Bulk buying discount isnt really something to consider unless your going to one of the above or an independent manufacturer.

    If you buy bits and pieces from various retailers you may get better deals but it may not all co-ordinate when you get it home. I shopped around for weeks (make the most of the time between having your offer accepted and exchanging contracts) to find things I liked.

    Best places for homes in my opinion are IKEA, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer. All 3 have excellent websites. For white goods, try Curry's or Comet and then buy online using https://www.pricerunner.co.uk to find you the best deal on your chosen items.

    If the sales are on and you have exchanged contracts go for it. If not then wait, no matter how much money you think you might saving! Summer Sales are generally starting in the high street over the next few weeks.

    Furniture normally takes 14 days for smaller items and 6-10 weeks for larger items (sofa's). White goods can normally be delivered within 7 days.

    I know its very exciting for you, but the property market is a very cut throat place so take one step at a time.

    Good Luck!
  • river_kwairiver_kwai Forumite
    141 Posts
    Any idea how much should I set aside for the furnitures and white goods that I have listed? I am not asking for a specific price, just a rough idea for me to budget.

    I am budgeting £5000 for convencancing cost, is that enough?
    Mark Hughes' blue and white army
  • kamarankamaran Forumite
    75 Posts
    Your solicitor will prob charge around £500 + VAT, then theres 1% Stamp Duty on your purchase price + land registry £150, local search ~£250 etc. Your solicitor will give you more of an indication when you have instructed them to complete the sale.

    How much you need for furniture etc depends totally on your taste. Its like saying "I want to buy a car (or even a house!) how much money do I need?". Go to the High street see what you like and make a spreadsheet to help budget
  • zag2mezag2me Forumite
    695 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Photogenic Combo Breaker
    ✭✭
    kamaran wrote:
    Best places for homes in my opinion are IKEA, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer. All 3 have excellent websites. For white goods, try Curry's or Comet and then buy online using https://www.pricerunner.co.uk to find you the best deal on your chosen items.

    Yeh, I would go into comet or curries find what you want, then go onto the internet and find it cheaper :) places like https://www.unbeatable.co.uk are great at box shifting items cheaply.

    I also found alot of cheap stuff on ebay, such as my double matress.
    Save save save!!
  • John_M_BusinessJohn_M_Business Forumite
    565 Posts
    ✭✭
    river_kwai wrote:
    Hi, I am a first time buyer about to make an offer on a house. Any advice on the percentage of my offer price to the asking price? I see on some reports that the average offer price is 94% of the asking price. This shows that the sellers are always asking too much. If the asking price is £200k, would an offer of £188 sounds unreasonable? If my final offer price is £188k, shouldn't I start even lower to allow some negotiation?

    Sounds like a reasonable starting point. It's definitely close enough to asking to be taken seriously.
    river_kwai wrote:
    1) Should I buy all furniture from one shop in order to get better discounts (do I have stronger bargaining power for buying more) or should I look for individual deals (like reduced items in Argos, IKEA, etc)

    No. With most nationwide / international chains unless you buy damaged / display items there is no room for manoevre. The smaller the brand / chain, the more likely the discounts. Personally, I prefer to set a budget for each major item, and then look around (mainly using the Internet) for good prices and interesting items. One place I think you should definitely consider is https://www.sofasofa.com - they have a great range of sofas at good prices... although the cheap ones are cheap, the mid and expensive ones are really good quality (same goes for Ikea). I wouldn't touch Argos stuff with a barge-pole unless you want to replace it in a year or two.
    river_kwai wrote:
    2) Any advice on the best places should I be looking for the furnitures and the white goods?

    Furniture - Sofa Sofa, Ikea and then specialist online stores are good places to start. White goods - try online. Use Kelkoo www.kelkoo.com to find the best deals. Almost always better than high street retailers or their online shops.
    river_kwai wrote:
    3) Should I wait for sale? If yes, when do they normally have sale. (I always see bank holiday sale, but my friends told me that some stores have sale all year round)

    On the essential items (like a Fridge) it's useless to wait. On others - the choice is yours. If you're happy to spend a month sitting on cushions before getting your sofas, great - if you want to have them NOW, then don't.
    river_kwai wrote:
    4) Any ideas of the delivery leadtime for the furnitures?

    For stores that stock 48 hours. For direct sale / built to order - up to 6 weeks.
    CarQuake / Ergo Digital
  • river_kwairiver_kwai Forumite
    141 Posts
    The vendor has just reduced the asking price to £189 950 even before I put my offer in. Having just reduced their price, would they accept an even lower offer? I am wondering would the vendor adjusted their expectation for a lower offer (they have just reduced 10k, would they accept an offer another 10k lower?) I am tempted now to offer £175k, increasing to a max of £180k if they refuse my first offer. Does this sound reasonable?

    To summarise, the house is originally posted for £200k, now reduced to £190k, and I am offering £175k (£180k max).
    Mark Hughes' blue and white army
  • donsainidonsaini Forumite
    69 Posts
    sounds very reasonable, and sensible
  • meanmachine_2meanmachine_2 Forumite
    2.6K Posts
    river_kwai wrote:
    The vendor has just reduced the asking price to £189 950 even before I put my offer in. Having just reduced their price, would they accept an even lower offer? I am wondering would the vendor adjusted their expectation for a lower offer (they have just reduced 10k, would they accept an offer another 10k lower?) I am tempted now to offer £175k, increasing to a max of £180k if they refuse my first offer. Does this sound reasonable?

    To summarise, the house is originally posted for £200k, now reduced to £190k, and I am offering £175k (£180k max).


    Personally I'd offer £180K, making the vendor think that it's as a result of the lowering of the asking price.

    Alternatively, you could wait another 3 months and get it for even less - that's if you're prepared to take the risk.
  • NickMidgleyNickMidgley Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    river_kwai wrote:
    The vendor has just reduced the asking price to £189 950 even before I put my offer in. Having just reduced their price, would they accept an even lower offer? I am wondering would the vendor adjusted their expectation for a lower offer (they have just reduced 10k, would they accept an offer another 10k lower?) I am tempted now to offer £175k, increasing to a max of £180k if they refuse my first offer. Does this sound reasonable?

    To summarise, the house is originally posted for £200k, now reduced to £190k, and I am offering £175k (£180k max).

    If they've only just lowered their price, they might not be overly impressed by offers substantially lower than the new asking price. Certainly start low -£175 - £180k seems reasonable enough - but they may hold out for more than £180k...
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