Any Estate Agents willing to give away tricks of the trade?

Any house we are interested in seems to have bidders. Which I can well believe. I don’t think the existence of the bidders is phantom but I expect the value of the existing bids may be exaggerated. After all, the EA is acting for the seller.

In our current case the EA says there are 2 bidders left. I believe this. But maybe not the bid amounts.

Can Mr. Anderson or other industry insiders disclose what exaggeration, if any, is standard. I was considering offering 5% below reported highest bid. Should I offer lower?

Kids need roots. Prices will drop. But I don’t care. We are buying a home for the next 20 years.

Any anecdotes from other stubborn buyers would also be welcome. Especially anyone who went below stated bid and were successful. Or others who got beaten to the “prize” and whether the house sold or not.


House is for sale for 12 months. First offer comes in after one month. Second offer doesn’t come in until 11 months later. EA pretends both offers are currently on the table. In reality, person making offer 1 has long since fecked off and EA doesn’t even have his phone number any more.

went in last October at 240K on a property listed at 275K. We were told someone else had bid 260K and, after much debate with the other half, eventually entered into a bidding war that got close to asking. Having been told our final bid was close to being accepted, we were told there had been one final bid from the other party and the property had gone sale agreed at 280K in early November.

Agent came back to me in February to say the deal had fallen through and asked whether my offer was still on the table. I told them my original offer of 240K was, but he turned me down flat.

House is still on the market.

I’ll maybe bid 200K in another few months.

This was a one-off, 6-bed house down the country, 10 minutes from my wife’s parents and, as such, almost perfect location and price wise. But what you have to remember is that there will ALWAYS be another house. There are 300,000+ empty houses in Ireland. Wages are falling and the cost of borrowing is going up. House prices are going only one way - down.

I can speak from experience now and say never get involved in a bidding war, regardless of how perfect you may think the property may be.

Why do you believe this? Nearly every person I know who bought a house was told there were other bidders that mysteriously dissappeared.

I bid on a house 35k below my max price I was willing to spend (55k below asking)
The next day I was told another couple were interested and had bid 5k more than me.
So, I went up to 40k below asking.
Of course, this other couple then also outbid me.
As it happened, I became very concerned when I found out about a road upgrade which had a number of proposed routes running by the house. Not wanting a motorway in my garden, I left it.

Needless to say, house is still for sale. I can only assume he was trying to get me up to a price the vendor would accept.
House has been on sale for 3 years

Heres one for ya, if you are suspicious tell the EA to get real and f*** off with the bull and go straight to the vendor and if that doesnt work you have 319,999 more to choose from also approach you local bank manager and see if he knows of any properties for sale from people who may be in trouble.

Which means that there were more than 2 bidders? And the house is still for sale? If this is the case then what it should tell you is that any less than the asking price won’t be considered. What it should also tell you (providing the EA is telling the truth) is that if there are two “bidders” then there are two offers so chances are a bidding war is already in place.
Your best bet is to sit back, keep in contact with the EA and see what transpires between the two existing bidders.

Slightly different here in that a house we loved went on the market in March. It was exactly what we wanted.

It was asking €425. We offered €325. Long story short, we were outbid and the house went (according to the estate agent) for €352. Our final offer was €340.

The house is now sold and the new owners have moved in, so there were actually other bidders!

We have now paid a booking deposit on a cheaper, but equally suitable house. I’m glad we were outbid.

I was contemplating this query for some time and arrived (independantly) at this very same conclusion.

The problem is you can never really know how genuine a bid is.
Even if you physicially see the person bidding, you can never tell if its a friend of the owner or anything like that.
It is impossible to authenticate.

So the only thing you can do is stick to your price, safe in the knowledge that, although you are eager to buy, the market is trundling on in your direction.

It’s also important to be honest with yourself.
If you see a property that you believe would achieve 240k (in the current market) and you put in a low bid then it will either :
a) Attract other bids.
b) Attract owner-resistence.

Probably the best solution is to put in an offer below what you believe it to be worth, thus allowing some room for other bids (wheather genuine or not) or owner negotiation.
Ultimately - set your limit and stick to it.

Has anyone ever actually done this?

I can only imagine the bank manager in question will politely tell you that it’s not how they do business.

Unless of course, you already know him and are a cute hoor yourself and can give the cute hoor nudge and wink.

The worst thing he can do is say no to you and you may be presently surprised if he happened to know someone trying to shift a rental property that suited your needs, its a long shot but none the less worth the asking.

agents try to push through sales at any possible price to get commission. imagining that they frustrate sales makes no sense.
they spend more time in a falling market deflating vendor expectations than trying to bid up buyers.

Many real bids fall through, either through lack of finance, or because the vendor takes so long to accept a bid and his solicitor takes so long to transact that the market has fallen further and the buyer wants out. And what is a bid but a mere non-binding expression of interest, a gesture towards a price that a buyer might pay should the mood take him one day? I could bid for every house in Dublin from my keyboard today.

Houses are shifting for me in Dublin much better than last year. Nowhere near boom volume but still shifting.

Without price transparency the process is stressful. But price transparency is a legislative problem that could have been fixed many years ago had there been sufficient public will to do so.

The truth is- in the absence of a property sale price database you will always be dependent on about four sources to know what to pay:

a) What the sellers agent tell you!
b) What you own agent tells you- and they may feel conflicted if they believe their livelihood to be dependent on higher prices.
c) Your own intuition.
d) Auction results, if published.

My reccomendation to everyone is the same- Do not purchase until you can be fairly confident this economy has hit rock-bottom; until the national budget is close to balancing; until they have introduced all the taxes they need to do so; and made all the cuts the need to do so; and until there is jobs growth.

On the way up you might risk paying a little over bottom… but to me that risk is more palatable than paying significantly over bottom on the way down.

Not only this- for the right to assume this risk, say on a price of 300k- you need to buy a ticket for circa 12k (called stamp duty) from the government for the privelege.

It seems to me that purchasing a property at this moment in time compromises personal mobility at a price of 12k and of property risk.

Rant over. But my main point is that a publicly accessible database would at least help me to satisfy myself when prices have bottomed- and so the help the market to move.

Thank you everyone for such considered replies.

Whatever about the supply of empty houses, its the empty-headed like me who matter. We seem to be in ample supply. At least enough for the VIs to drip feed the market and keep it over-priced.

A property database is pie-in-the-sky. Can you imagine the vested (but bankrupt) interests that would move against it? Myhat alone would mobilise half the dail. And the damage it would do to this website would be devastating. TUG and Myhat on the same side.

This country has been sacrificed for the benefit of the rapacious developers, politicians and VIs. Economic treason indeed. And so it continues. I have little faith that it will ever be different. The last surviving organ in the body of Ireland will be its disfunctional housing market. Every other organ will be shut down first. Every policy since the crash started has been to artificially support the market. NAMA, 12 month amnesties, rolling up of developers liabilities etc. And not a drop of blood. Not a brick disturbed. Not even a protest march. An opposition just waiting in the wings to increase their salaries without disturbing the status quo.

So I do not think I can wait for the day when a house reaches its proper value. I am mortal. My family is mortal. I am angry. Angry enough not to bid.

Lay off the crack pipe…

Anyone ever tried to lower their bid? I’ve always been tempted to do it.

Me: I like the property and pending full survey we’re happy to bid €240k
EA: I’m afraid the asking is €320k and we have an offer in at €280k
Me: Oh I didn’t realise there was another bidder! Let me talk to the wife and reappraise our offer
EA: Good man

< Next day >

Me: Yes, we talked it over last night and we both decided we really love the house and would hate to see it slip out of our hands so we’re changing our offer to €235k
EA: Yes, you see … wait a minute, €235k? But the bid is at €280k and yesterday you bid €240k!
Me: I know, I know, its crazy but we just really, really think the house is perfect for us. I couldn’t bare to think what Mary would do if we lost out on the bidding.
EA: I’m not sure you really grasp the concept here …
Me: Let me know if the other bidder ups their offer.
EA: I will.

< Next day >

EA: I’m afraid another mystery bidder has just emerged on the scene bidding €285k. Do you want to up your offer of €235k?
Me: Absolutely. I guess I can stretch to €230k but that’s my limit. Don’t try and hustle me further …
EA: I don’t think you really understand …
Me: Okay, okay, enough with the smooth talk. I can see you know how desperately we want this place. I’ll go €225k and that’s it.
EA: I accept.

Not an EA but sold a few houses privately in the good days and often had bidding wars. I do not believe it is in an EA interest to invent bids. They are on their 1.5-3% comm. I think they are happy to accept any offer that guarantees them their cut. An extra 20k is only going to net them a few hundred euro extra. Not worth the hassle when they could lose a sale. Hence I have always sold myself. I have experience of buying a house where a dozy EA had significantly undervalued it. I offered him an on the spot offer on condition he gave me a reply from the vendor that day. He duly did and i secured the house. Subsequently I met the vendor and he told me that the EA had told him he had received a really good offer and should accept immediately. He told me he did but was not in any hurry to sell at the time but felt pressured by the EA. None the less he was none too happy with the EA.

Imagine you are a nice person and an EA that must be a conflict. Although you are doing the best for the client, you are shafting the other party with all the smoke and mirrors. I reckon some must be seriously depressed at the moment with no sales and the game being up.

As walt kurtz says, “they lie. They lie and we must be merciful to those who lie…the nabobs.”

Viewed two houses last week and ea claimed both had offers on within 10% of asking.

So the EA said there were two other bidders, what do you do then, do you walk away, or do you call his bluff and put in below the alleged offer? I did that and lost out and also walked away a few times out of frustration. I really don’t believe EA’s are lying all of the time, just most of the time. It doesn’t make sense putting off buyers in a depressed market.