Making an offer on your first home

Published on
1 January 2021

You’ve looked around and fallen in love with a house that you’ve already started to imagine yourself in. Now it’s time to make an offer and see if you can reach an agreement with the seller, but what price should you bid?

If you’re discussing your first house purchase with friends and family you’ll probably get lots of conflicting advice about making an offer, but there are some key factors that can help you decide on your tactics.

The evaluation might influence whether you are prepared to match the seller’s asking price. If it has highlighted that some work needs doing on the house now or in the near future you might think that is a reason to make an offer below the asking price to reflect the extra expense you’re likely to have to rectify the issue.

Alternatively, if you believe that other people are interested in the same property you might consider matching the asking price straight away and in return asking for the house to be taken off the market.

You might also like to research similar house prices, using websites such as Zoopla and Rightmove to see the prices paid for similar properties in the area.

You can also check how long the property has been on the market because if the house has been on sale for some time the sellers might consider a lower offer.

Don’t forget that as a first-time buyer you are in a strong position. Sellers know that you do not have your own property to sell so they have a good chance of a speedy sale.

So if you’ve decided on your offer after weighing up all those factors it’s time to make your bid which will probably happen along the following lines:

  • You telephone the estate agent selling the property and tell them you want to make an offer and the price you are willing to pay.
  • You’ll then have to wait for the estate agent to discuss this with the seller. They might call back to accept the offer or if not you will be given a chance to increase your offer.
  • Make your offer in writing and make sure that you get confirmation from the estate agent.
  • Now’s the time to ask the seller to take the property off the market, to prevent other potential buyers from ‘gazumping’ you with a higher offer.