Dealing With Competing Offers.

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One of the biggest fears for anyone buying a property is being gazumped. You might not think it in a challenging market, but there are still occasions when more than one buyer is interested in the same property. Particularly when that property is a unique home. This happened last week when we agreed a sale, then someone who had viewed through another agent put in a higher offer. This is an awkward situation for everyone. Often the owner is stuck between ‘being honourable’ or getting tens of thousands of pounds more for their house. For some people it’s a no brainer: take the money. For others, sticking by their agreement runs the show. But for most owners, it’s not such an easy choice. Even less so when it happens within a couple of days of accepting an offer before the sale has progressed. For the buyer who thought they’d secured their next home, it’s extremely frustrating. While they might be able to rationalise that it is not the owner’s fault, they are nonetheless thrown into flux around the property they were looking forward to calling home. And then there are the latecomers who just offered higher. It’s easy for us as an agent to get upset at the prospect of losing a sale, but it’s key to remember that those people are simply looking for a home as well. It can be easy to demonise them and the other agent for muddying the waters, but we all know what it’s like when you see the home you really want: you will do all you can to get it.

So the challenge last week was to essentially remember that everyone is human. Of course it’s all annoying and uncertain and unfamiliar in different ways for each of the people involved, but it really helps to acknowledge that none of them are evil. The English system of buying and selling property allows this to happen, so it is sometimes going to happen. And in the end, after many conversations, lots of listening and lots of all round cool-headedness, our buyer agreed to increase their offer and the owner stayed with them.

Obviously we are delighted, not just for ourselves but for our buyer who has secured their next home, and for the owner who has not had the sweetness of achieving a higher price soured by ejecting their original buyer. In our experience, no matter what the financial upside, sellers rarely actually enjoy doing that.

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