Four bidders on one house!!

Have been looking at houses for the past couple of years without finding anything we like. Recently saw a house in a nice area close to Dublin city centre - nice 4 bed detatched family home with potential. The house has been on the market for approx 3 months with plenty of interest, but no bids when we first viewed it. With the slowdown in the housing market we felt we might get a good deal. However there are now four bidders on the property, three of whom are cash buyers. The bidding is still substantially below asking but I’m suprised with all the negative sentiment at the level of interest. Could this be the only house around right now with four separate bidders?

Did the EA tell you there were new bidders? Sounds like the usual EA trick of phantom bidders, but there’s really no way to tell unless you are willing to walk away from the house. If it was me I’d call their bluff and not pick up the phone for a week.

Sounds like a tall tale from the EA to me

Get one of your pals to make a bid and see if the EA now tells you there are four bidders. If he/she doesn’t you know they are lying. To be fair I would say they are lying. Are you new to Ireland? Did you give the EA any reason to think you didn’t know the current market?
How much is the house? and where is it?

We are willing to walk away when we reach our ceiling but we’re not there yet. My feeling is that the bids are genuine as people perceived a relative bargain - what will be interesting is how many stick it out if the bids go higher - we’ll be well out of the picture before it gets anywhere near asking!

According to estate agent we were third bidder - fourth came in slightly higher a couple of days after us. Also we’ve viewed the house twice and there’s been plenty of other parties there at the same time.

Bertiebasher - I don’t think it’s fair to post details on the property while bidding is ongoing.

Not looking for address. Looking for area i.e. Dublin 4. In this case you can say price cause nobody know house.

bidding is ongoing Are you sure?

I doubt the EA is lying.
You answered the question yourself …

The bidding is still substantially below asking


We are willing to walk away when we reach our ceiling but we’re not there yet

The markets down, but not out.
Where the price is low enough to reflect value (and potentially a bargain), it does attract buyers.

Thats currently my job as an estate agent; lowering the expectations of owners, leading to a lower asking price. A low asking price always (well, nearly always) brings out the buyers.

I keep saying that the market is 15% - 20% below the height of the boom.
I am not talking guide prices, but the price at which people are buying.
But people ARE buying, just not in the same numbers as before because owners are reluctant to bring their prices down to where the market currently resides.

Incidentially, all this bidding is meaningless if the ‘sale agreed’ falls through. The price may look a bargain now, but from sale agreed to sold takes about 4 months, and theres a lot of buyers who get cold feet in that space of time. Even during the boom times there was a large proportion of sale agreeds falling through, now its over 50%.

There’s no right answer here.

On the one hand you haven’t reached your limit yet, so if you manage to get it for that or less you should be happy, regardless of whether you might potentially have gotten it cheaper.

On the other hand there’s a real chance that there aren’t any other bidders. EA’s have used this trick so much that it is now expected, and they have noone to blame for that but themselves.

If there hasn’t been any interest in it up until now, then I’d personally take the risk of telling the EA you’ve reached your limit (even though you might not have) and you’ll look elsewhere. Tell him if the other bids fall through to give you a call in a few weeks, but you may have found something else by then.

Now, that’s me, because I don’t really care, I’m always happy to walk. But if you really want this house then bidding up to your limit might be your only option.

Nobody can help you I’m afraid, but if you do a straw poll here you’ll get about 95% of people telling you the EA is lying to you. Cynical lot here on the Pin, but sadly that often makes them right.


Don’t be so surprised if the house is priced comparatively cheaper than other houses in the area, and the bidding is well below that asking price too. There will always be some demand, even in a crash, and that demand will always be attracted to the best available deal. If the house ticks alot of boxes in terms of bedrooms, garden, little need for upgrading, etc. then you could well get into a bidding war.

The problem for the marketplace in general is that there may be 10 or 20 similar houses for sale at higher asking prices, but the four possible buyers in the market are focussed on this one house.


In this market it is best to be completely blunt and don’t give the agents/vendor anything to feed off. In an auction the buyer loses, by definition.

You say you are willing to walk away - good.
Are you a cash buyer (on chain) - This will strengthen your bid further; make sure the EA knows this.

On the back of that, just name your price for the EA (no point trying to get it below your expectations if an auction is in process. Tell them that is your offer and that you are opting out of any auction.
Tell them not to bother getting back with details off other bids, because you are removing yourself from the auction. Tell them they can get back to you only if the vendor wants to accept, but warn that you are not waiting for the call and may have found something else in the interim.

I will guarantee that this will give you a win/win. You will either get the place you want at the price you are willing to pay, or you will avoid that falling knife. Remember, the key is to remove yourself from the auction process that the EA is trying to nurture.

Knock it off… I’m not saying that as an Admin, just as someone who doesn’t like senseless goading…

I wasn’t goading, I was interested in their opinions.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to reply and for the advice. We’re happy with the approach we’ve taken so far in bidding on the property and are very aware of avoiding a bidding war. We will walk away if it goes above what we perceive as the price worth paying.

I have been bearish on property for quite a while, but this viewpoint always has to be balanced when looking at a property you would consider living in for a number of years and which offers potential.

We are cash buyers which puts us in a strong position for either this or another property in the future.

My main point was suprise at the level of interest but then again given the property and the bidding level its understandable.

What will be interesting is if the bidding stops substantially below asking whether the vendor will accept or hang on.

I’ll keep you posted

Personal or professional… :laughing:


I can see your point reading back over what I wrote but typically I am blunt cause I’m pressed for time and therefore my post can be misinterpreted. I am working after all so I am pressed for time.

I would still love to hear how Mr A and BrianMac counter such an approach. I would bet they have methods, will they share them is the question. :wink:

Which exact approach are you talking about ?

This one—>

There’s nothing to counter.

Either the EA will sell it to them at a price they like, or they’ll sell it to someone else for more. Or it won’t sell at all.

If a buyer gives a hard and fast offer from which they won’t budge, then the EA can only put that offer to the seller and move on.

The trouble is most buyers don’t give a hard and fast offer, they may pretend that an offer is their final offer, but then they magic up another 5K when the need arises.

EA’s can hardly be blamed for not believing buyers who say they’ve bit to their limit. On the other hand buyers can hardly be blamed for not believing EA’s who say they’ve got another offer.

Both sides lie, all the time. I’m frankly amazed anyone ever manages to buy/sell a house.