A PROPERTY expert has revealed the times you shouldn't offer more than the asking price when buying a house.
A hot property market means many buyers are now having to pay more than asking price to secure a home – but this isn't always wise.
Paying too much for a home could be a mistake – in fact, there are some times you should pay less than the advertised price.
Andrew Simmonds of Bristol-based Parker's Estate Agents, said: "The market is very fast-paced but it's important not to get wrapped up in it.
"You have to value the house at what it's worth to you."
Before making any offer on a home, it is important to do your research – see what other similar properties in the area have recently sold for.
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Andrew reveals the four times you should not pay the asking price:
It's been up for sale a long time
If a property has been on the market for a long time, it could mean there are issues – after all, desirable homes get snapped up quickly.
But more than that, it could mean that the seller is more open to an offer as they want to get things moving.
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Andrew said to look out for properties that are listed with more than one or two estate agents too.
"It is a sure sign that the property is over-priced and a bid under the asking price might be successful," he said.
You can see how long a property has been up for sale when you search online portals such as Zoopla and Rightmove, which will display the listing date.
They will also indicate if a property has been reduced in price – another sign that the current owner is keen for a sale.
There are obvious issues
It might be marketed as an "investment opportunity" or a "fixer-upper", but a property in need of work could be a chance for a deal.
Andrew said: "If there is a thought in your head that the house has a problem and will need a lot of work, then take that into consideration and make a lower offer."
But it's not just homes in need of TLC that you make an offer on.
If a home is in an undesirable location – on a busy road or near a petrol station, for example – that is also likely to make it harder to sell, meaning the vendor may be open to a lower bid.
The seller needs to move quickly
A key question to always ask the estate agent is: "What position is the seller in?"
If the seller has already had an offer accepted to buy another home, they may need to move quickly.
Andrew said: "They won't want to miss out on their dream home – and in these circumstance, if you're also in a position to move quickly, they will usually compromise on price."
This is particularly true if the seller is moving into a new build home, as many developers now put time limits on how quickly a buyer must be able to move in.
You're in a good position
It's not always just about the money.
Sellers who get a number of offers for their property may take a lower bid if the buyer is in a stronger position.
First-time buyers are often desirable because they don't come with a property chain, and cash buyers are usually favoured.
Andrew said: "You might be able to bid under the asking price because you're in a good position.
"Then it's up to the seller whether they want a guaranteed move now, or risk waiting longer or having a deal fall through to get a bit more money."
To strengthen your position, it's a good idea to get a Mortgage In Principal before you start viewings – this is a letter which confirms that a mortgage provider is willing to lend to you up to a particular amount.
It should show the estate agent and seller that you are serious and your finances are sound.
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