Bidding on a house - looking to go sale agreed - any advice?

Some advice needed. We have been bidding on a house for over a month in South Dublin. The house has been bid up a good bit above asking. We put in our latest bid on Wednesday and on Friday confirmed that we remained the highest bidders. I’m intending to ring in the morning to see what the story is but I’m unsure of how to proceed if we are still the highest bidders. Should I insist then and there that we sale agree or will that be even possible? How long should we be waiting between bids like this? The bidding process has been rather long (days between getting updated of new bids etc) so we would like to hopefully go sale agreed or if this is going to go beyond us, we’d like to know sooner rather than later so we can move on. We are first time buyers and as such don’t have much experience in this end of things.

Ring the EA this morning and give your last offer a firm deadline - say Wednesday at 5pm. Explain that it’s your best and final offer, that you are FTB, not in a chain, mortgage approved, ready to move quick, etc. This will achieve what you’ve stated you want. (ie shit or get off the pot). If you really want the house, increase the bid to the max you’re prepared to pay.

Tough call here as it looks as if bidding has gone up over the past month. In the agent or seller’s minds why would they not let this play out for another month? Gavras is right, your advantage is that you are a pre-approved ftb and don’t have a property to sell before you have the funding, tell them you don’t have any more time to waste on this and want an answer. Check one thing, ensure your pre-approval is for this specific property and not somewhere else for x amount. The under-writers are a nightmare and will put you through the process again if your approval does not relate to this house. Good luck.

This keeps popping up now on the forum. It’s the definition of bubble, if you’re strung out for another month, why not one month more: the presence of your bids (and others’) actually justifies the waiting process and creates the bubble expectations.

I’m not qualified to give advice. However it would seem that either buy now and fast, or decide to wait for the correction. The longer you carry on up the curve before jumping on the greater the risk you get burned by the crash that follows. Could be some time coming though, we’ve seen that before…

I wouldn’t give EA time limit, if sellers believes that he can get more he would be not pressed and if he doesn’t he would contact you soon to finalize sale. However if it is just poor EA service then call and ask for updates.

However if they do come back to you after long time keep in mind that your bid was above market price as obviously no customer overbid you.

Question, was the asking price an enticing one or was the asking price about right? Saying that your bid is above asking does not really give a lot to go on to know where you stand.

We went sale agreed after a lengthy bidding war, by asking the agent what it would take to close the sale, and telling her that we are sick of it and are not going to continue to leave our bid sitting there as a flame for more moths, and will move on to another property if a decision is not made in the next 2 days.

We payed a few % above the asking, and the asking was about right for the market at that time. The house up the road in better condition had been asking way less, but ended up getting significantly more. So asking prices can be deceptive. If you are the highest bidder, and you genuinely think your bid is good value for the seller (i.e. its not a bargain for you) then its time to put the pressure on for a decision to be made.

If you call the EA you are showing your hand I’d sit tight for today and text or call them tomorrow asking for an answer.

There’s no magic formula. I was in a bidding war - the house previously having lingered on the market for 6 months. Each time it increased I bid a little more - I never discussed my limit or gave any ultimatum to the ea. The only thing I told her was that I was ready to close asap. I didn’t phone looking for updates - just sat and waited and played it cool - despite feeling anything but. Every situation is different!

Thanks for all the advice everyone. We spoke to the EA this morning and we’ve just bid up a bit more. We’ve been patient to this point so just going to wait it out until the end of the week. It was suggested that the EA wants to get this sewn up asap now so hopefully she’ll pull the finger out.

+1 each negotiation has its own feel so no hard or fast rules. When you are offering more than anyone else’s - your real strength is the power to withdraw offer in writing (email). Going backwards and losing bids is not what vendor wants or EA. I was 10k ahead of underbider who sought time for 2nd survey . Told EA I’d be sending email at 4pm withdrawing bid and he would be under duty to inform underbider and the vendor could accept their bid . A couple of hours later , the message was left and deal on price was done. People never like going backwards when it comes to money .

I agree. If you increase the bid to get the EA’s attention every time that he goes quiet on you, you are merely encouraging him to stay quiet for longer.

Make offers in writing. The EA may filter out verbal offers but they are obliged to communicate every written offer to the client.

Actually, you might even send one saying “My offer until today was EUR x. I am now reducing my offer to EUR y.” (y being a little bit lower than x.) You could then go on to say “If this new offer is not accepted within 48 hours, I will reduce the offer to EUR z.” (z being much lower than y.) “Please confirm that you have communicated this to your client.”

How does that look, Pinsters?

Agents Alway say they want to wrap it up quickly, what they really want is to encourage more bids

I have done it before and would highly recommend time boxing bid. If someone outbids you, it would have happened anyway.

Time boxing is usually more effective the longer the house is on the market.

Looks terrible to be honest. Recommendations of this type of approach have been on the 'pin for years, I’d be amazed if it ever worked in real life.

It’s a sellers’ market. In a sellers’ market those type of tactics just make you look like a bit of a fool. Someone else will come along who isn’t playing silly buggers as far as the EA is concerned.

I agree - I suppose we’re just in a position where we have more capacity but just not sure it’s worth bidding this property up much higher but then we’d be gutted to see it go for 1k over what we say is our time pressured ‘final offer’. We don’t feel like we’re in a very strong position as we’ve no idea what capacity the under bidder has. Not sure if pressing the EA with a deadline will piss them off so having a real dilemma here. All your input has been really helpful but I’m not sure I have the confidence to put the EA under time pressure. What if he says fine and then just doesn’t come back - do you end up losing the house you really want? It’s important to note that this house has a few unique features that are particularly valuable to us that we haven’t seen in anything else in our price range. Again, any advice gratefully received.

Then there’s nothing you can do to control the situation and finish up quickly. In reality there’s plenty to be confident about. You’re an FTB with significant purchasing power. Realize this and you can start acting like it.

I would avoid the confrontational approach often advocated here in favour of the collaborative one. "Look how are WE going to close this sale… " but with non-arbitrary time pressure put on also "I have to know whether or not we are going to go sale agreed on this property soon because… " I told the EA that we had been in too many prolonged bidding wars and we would not be participating in another.

The EA will have no problem whatsoever ringing you if you withdraw and if you were the highest bidder, and if nobody else comes along, or someone pips your “offer”. Likewise you can pull out on Monday and “come crawling back” and put another offer in on Tuesday. You are not trying to date them, there is no shame in changing you mind.

Don’t worry about pissing the EA off. If you let them, and the vendor is in no rush, they will happily let your nice bid sit there as a floor to further bids for another month or two, and if nothing else comes along, they always have the safetly blanket of your never ending bid. Don’t make life quite so comfortable for them.

Saying all that, if its a house you really want, do try and collaborate to find out what it will take to close the sale. Is the vendor looking to close soon? Do they have a figure in mind? Are they happy to keep the house on the market for months to get the best possible offer? You may have to raise your bid to close the sale now, or take the risk that nobody else is going to come along.

The EA doesn’t get paid until it goes sale agreed (and they get the deposit cheque from which they take their commission only to be repaid if the sale falls through afaik (but open to correction on that))…so they don’t want it dragging on forever either. They’ll be particularly keen to close before month-end you’ll find.

+1 each negotiation has its own feel so no hard or fast rules. When you are offering more than anyone else’s - your real strength is the power to withdraw offer in writing (email). Going backwards and losing bids is not what vendor wants or EA. I was 10k ahead of underbider who sought time for 2nd survey . Told EA I’d be sending email at 4pm withdrawing bid and he would be under duty to inform underbider and the vendor could accept their bid . A couple of hours later , the message was left and deal on price was done. People never like going backwards when it comes to money .

I agree. If you increase the bid to get the EA’s attention every time that he goes quiet on you, you are merely encouraging him to stay quiet for longer.

Make offers in writing. The EA may filter out verbal offers but they are obliged to communicate every written offer to the client.

Actually, you might even send one saying “My offer until today was EUR x. I am now reducing my offer to EUR y.” (y being a little bit lower than x.) You could then go on to say “If this new offer is not accepted within 48 hours, I will reduce the offer to EUR z.” (z being much lower than y.) “Please confirm that you have communicated this to your client.”

How does that look, Pinsters?

Looks terrible to be honest. Recommendations of this type of approach have been on the 'pin for years, I’d be amazed if it ever worked in real life.

It’s a sellers’ market. In a sellers’ market those type of tactics just make you look like a bit of a fool. Someone else will come along who isn’t playing silly buggers as far as the EA is concerned.

I half-agree with this . It is a question of timing. Done at the wrong time , you lose credibility . Done at the right time under right circumstances - it can get maximise your chance of getting house. The EA is your friend . Chat to them, flirt with them, make them laugh. If your decent they will be decent . If your outbid your outbid, of course, but threats to withdraw timed right can bring things to a head . When you are out in front - all the time in the world reduces your chances, the strategy has got to be to force the pace or else you contribute to the very situation you’re trying to avoid !

At this stage you have received a lot of good advice.

The one thing I see is that you are afraid of upsetting the EA. Don’t be too worried about that. Most of them have thick skins. The last few years should have hardened them even more.

Just reading your messages, it is clear that you really want this house and have the capacity to pay more. If I can see this, I am 100% sure that the EA can see it in your body language. This is like blood in the water for a shark. And you are not just giving off a few drops - you can be seen from a mile away.

I hope I am not too harsh. I just think that your timidity has signalled to the EA that there is a lot more that he can squeeze out of you if he plays you right.

In all of your house search, did you make a relationship with any other EA? Perhaps somebody from a rival firm could give you some friendly advice about how to deal with this situation.

Well, thanks everyone - I’m delighted to let you know we went sale agreed last week! All your advice was much appreciated - let’s hope it closes now :slight_smile: