While we normally recommend quoting a realistic asking price for property,
the final sale price must be a matter for negotiation in the light of individual
circumstances and the market conditions generally. If you could be interested
in a particular property, please come and discuss it with us. If you make an offer,
we can talk to our client, and usually an agreeable compromise can be reached.
A word of advice to would-be buyers – we strongly advise against discussing actual offers with the owners – by all means tell them of your interest, but say you will discuss the matter with their agent, we have the knowledge and experience to help reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.
This is the same advice we give to our seller-clients – if a visiting applicant wants to discuss an offer with you directly, please do not comment or commit yourself in any way – suggest they talk to our negotiator immediately. A better sounding buyer may appear a few hours later which will put you in a real quandary, but more important, we can investigate the strength and background to an offer so you have more reliable information to go on.
While on the subject of offers, estate agents have always been obliged to pass all offers to their clients right up to exchange of contracts but, in 1991, specific Orders and Regulations were made under the Estate Agents Act which cover this and other aspects of estate agency work.
Among other things, these require all offers to be passed on impartially and in writing. However, before submitting an offer an estate agent may well want to clarify the status of an applicant in two particular respects – the financial standing of the proposed purchaser and their ability to exchange contracts in an appropriate time-scale to suit the seller-client.
The Order in question says that an estate agent must take reasonable steps to avoid giving the client false or misleading information. An agent must not misrepresent the existence, or details of any offer, or the status of any prospective buyer.
This means there should be no difference in the way negotiations are handled with a prospective purchaser able to pay cash, than one relying upon the sale of a local property, or taking advantage of the agency’s financial services.
Accordingly, we will always let you know if they is another offer in existence when you first express interest in a property and will put your proposals to our client taking their instructions. We may be their representatives but the clients take all the decisions based on the background information you have given to us.