19 December 2019
You’ve finally found your dream home, so now all there is to do is hand over the money, move in and live happily ever. Trouble is, it’s not just your dream home, you’re sharing that dream with several other eager buyers. A bidding war is one of the toughest things you’ll face as a homebuyer but remember you're ready to win it, and yes, you can do it! So, here are our top tips to help you face the competition.
Be confident in what you want. Use the property price register to give you a better understanding of what properties are worth in the area. Then ask yourself, is the property worth this cost to you? If so, bring your bid to the estate agent, have them perk up and pay attention and let them know you want the property off the market ASAP.
Check-in regularly on the state of play with the estate agent — they’ll be happy to tell you how many bids are in and where the price is at — and let them know you’re serious.
If you’re renting or living at home and the other bidders have to sell their houses, use your low-maintenance status to your advantage. If the seller needs a quick sale, play up the fact that you’re not caught up in a buying chain. Let the agent know that you have full mortgage approval and your finance is in place.
Look for signs that other bidders are flagging or showing. If they’re raising their offers by large amounts each time, they may have quite a bit to spend but if they’re only offering an extra €1,000 each round, they may well be close to their limit.
If all of your bids have significantly raised the stakes, you’ll give the illusion that you have an unlimited spending capacity. That’s exactly what you want them to think, even if nothing could be further from the truth.
But at the same time, you need to be careful. Only bid within your budget or else risk driving up the price, not just for everyone else, but for you too.
Make your final offer conditional on having the house taken off the market. This may not always work but if it does it will reduce the risk of ‘gazumping’, where the seller accepts your offer but then backs out when they get a higher bid.
Be prepared to walk away if it goes over that amount. There is a limit to how much you can borrow and how much you’ll be able to afford, unless you’re a cash buyer. Walking away is tough but you don’t want to pay over the odds. There will be other houses out there and at least you’ll have gained valuable bidding experience for next time.
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