When is it okay to accept a lower offer on your house?

Why on earth would you accept a lower offer on your house if there is a better one on the table?

Of course, a high offer is great, but if you have the luxury of receiving multiple offers on your home or if you receive an offer below the asking price, you should also consider other factors.

The lower offer is from a chain-free buyer

Around one in four house sales fall through before completion in the UK. Often, this is due to property chain problems. A chain is where the sale and purchase of multiple houses depend on each other. So if one person has problems, this can result in delays and withdrawals further down the chain.

If you have an offer from a chain-free buyer, that’s great news! They are not reliant on selling their home to purchase yours, which means the risk of delays or a failed sale is much lower than if you were to sell to a buyer in a chain. However, when a sale collapses, it causes stress and expense for everyone involved. Avoiding this hassle could be worth accepting a few thousand pounds less than the asking price or other offers from bidders who are not in such a favourable position.


The lower offer is from a cash buyer

A chain-free buyer is not always a cash buyer, but a cash buyer offers the advantages of both. So if you’re holding an offer from this type of buyer, congratulations — you’ve found the holy grail!

Not only will you avoid the disruptions caused by selling to a buyer who is in a chain, but there’s also no need to worry about their ability to secure a mortgage. Cash sales are typically much faster than those that involve a buyer seeking finance. Problems with getting a mortgage approved are the number one reason why house sales fail. Even if the sale goes through, many people experience delays due to requests for extra paperwork, such as proving self-employed income or applying to multiple lenders to secure an agreement.

You need to move fast

Whether you need to relocate for a new job, are facing financial difficulties or going through a divorce, waiting around for a better offer might not be an option.

If you want a quick house sale, it may be necessary to compromise on price. Selling to a cash house buying company instead of an individual buyer has the advantage of not paying estate agents or legal fees. This will soften the blow of a below market value offer. What’s more, if you choose a genuine quick house sale company, the sale will be guaranteed and can be completed in as little as seven days. However, selling on the open market is far from a sure thing. The buyer may change their minds (up until the exchange of contracts), struggle to get a mortgage or experience property chain problems, resulting in a failed sale and further delaying your move.


The market is slow or slowing

Sellers can be inundated with offers when buyer demand is high. But if there are more houses for sale than buyers looking to purchase them, you may need to lower your expectations on price. This is also true if a buoyant market is coming to an end and a drop in demand is predicted in the near future — refuse an offer and you could be waiting a long time for another.

Weigh up your priorities. Can you afford to wait for the market to improve before selling? Or will a slow sale jeopardise the purchase of your dream house? Accepting a lower offer for a quick sale may be the right decision, but refusing it could mean a lengthy wait to find another buyer.

If you have more than one offer to consider, weigh up the pros and cons of each one carefully. Yes, the price is important, but can you afford the stress and expense of delays or a failed sale? Sometimes a lower offer is the best one to accept.

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