House buying (part 3)

Having viewed a number of properties, and found one we liked, we decided to make an offer.

We started off with a figure below the asking price of the house we liked, on the basis that this gave us room to manoeuver during negotiations. The vendors then rejected this offer quite rapidly. Then we made our first mistake. We went back with a significantly improved offer almost immediately, and thereby revealed that we had greater funds than our initial approach had suggested (or so hindsight would imply).

The vendors rejected this offer too, and told us that they didn’t want to accept anything less than the asking price. We had already informed them that we wouldn’t be meeting their asking price as we felt that there was a small amount of work to be done on the house and so we would be deducting the estimated cost of the work from the asking price to create a new ‘ceiling’ on our offers. Their response was to give us a fourteen day deadline, after which they would be putting the house on the rental market.

We came to the conclusion that this was a ploy to rush us into raising our offer to something much closer to their asking price, and so we stayed quiet for those two weeks, and on the last day made them a slightly improved offer. As it turned out, they weren’t bluffing, and without even so much as explicitly rejecting our offer simply informed us that the house was being withdrawn from sale and let out.

Following this, we went back to the viewings.

Ten days ago, things took a turn for the better. We had already arranged a viewing for one house in Braintree, and Emma suggested that while we were in the area, we might as well view a couple of other houses. We arranged another viewing on the off-chance, and fell in love with the house. The following day, we made an offer, and this time, even though it was rejected fairly quickly, the vendors suggested that we were very close to an amount they would accept. We raised our offer, and within half an hour it had been accepted.

This was a complete contrast to the original property – rather than taking nearly three weeks to get nowhere, we had gone from initial offer to agreed price within the space of about four hours. Things were looking up.

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