Buying a property in London |
You view a property and the excitement builds. This is “the one!”
It has been on the market for a while and no one has bid on it.
So, you put forward an offer hoping to conclude a quick negotiation with the seller.
But then the agent calls you to say that not only has your offer been rejected. But another, higher offer has also been received and asks, “Are you going to increase your offer?”
Alarm bells start ringing.
“I might lose the property!”
“What should I offer now?”
“Hold on. Where has this other offer mysteriously come from? Is it real or is it a fake offer to try to get me to increase my offer?”
And so the thoughts start circling, but what I have described above is not uncommon. Unfortunately, a large part of the problem is how most buyers psychologically prepare for a negotiation. Or more accurately, don’t prepare but that is a much broader subject for another day. Let’s just look at this scenario.
Firstly, the estate agents work for and are paid by the owners. So they are legally obliged to achieve the highest price possible. They couldn’t be less interested if it is your ideal home or investment. They just want to achieve the best price from any of the “applicants”, which is estate agent jargon for you, the buyer.
However, they are legally not allowed to lie or make up fake offers. Unfortunately, there are some estate agents who are less than honest which is one of several reasons why they permanently feature in the list of the top ten most disliked professions.
In prime central London, I will say that I think the vast majority are honest and don’t make up phantom buyers. I have negotiated hundreds of millions of pounds worth of transactions and most of the times we have walked away from a negotiation where another party had suddenly got involved, they bought the property. Where they hadn’t there has been enough evidence to show that they were real.
If you do have doubts, then there are a couple of things you can do:
- Ask the agent lots of questions about the other party and then ask the same questions a day or two later. If the story changes then the offer probably is fake.
- Ask a friend to call the agents office and register as a buyer for the same type of property that you want. They should subtly enquire about the property in question – if the agent only mentions one offer then you know what is happening.
More often than not, the other offer will be genuine and it was just a buyer who was watching and waiting in the hope that the seller would drop his/her price. Your offer has simply forced their hand.
So, the biggest issue is the way you prepare for a negotiation. For the vast majority of buyers, the focus is invariably on how much they like the property and what their opening offer will be rather than creating a more comprehensive negotiation strategy.
This is something I discuss in far more detail in my book, The Insider’s Guide To Acquiring £1m to £100m Property in London, which reveals the tested and proven negotiation techniques, I have used to acquire some of London’s finest homes and investment opportunities for prices our members hadn’t thought possible. This includes having offers accepted that weren’t the highest put forward.
How to deal with Phantom Buyers
If another buyer offers on the property, it is not the end of the world. BUT, you do need to focus on what you can control which includes questions to guide the estate agent and the seller down the path you want to go.
Is this successful every time? Absolutely not. Anyone who tells you that they have “won” every negotiation is talking nonsense. However, by following the strategies and tactics revealed in my book, you can give yourself the highest probability of success and achieve terms that other buyers would have thought impossible.
But let me ask you this:
- Do you have a lot of experience negotiating property transactions?
- Do you know how to have first refusal on the best properties?
- Can you accurately value a property?
If you said no to any of those questions, would it be a bad idea to find the answers so that you can find the best property your money can buy and acquire it for the lowest price possible?
I offer a small number of complimentary strategy calls to answer your questions. These are 15 minute telephone calls where you can ask me any questions you like about the property market and we can discuss the biggest concerns or problems you have about trying to acquire a home or investment in London.
Of course, you may be concerned that this is just a sales call in disguise, but I assure you that you will not be able to enquire about membership to Mercury and I will not mention it. In fact, I guarantee it – if I try to offer or sell you membership to Mercury during the Strategy Call, I will give you £1000 or donate it to a charity of your choice.
In other words, the 15 minutes is devoted to answering your questions and concerns to give you an advantage over other buyers, sellers and the estate agents.
Buying a property in London? Contact Mercury Homesearch
If you are looking at buying a property in London and are open to discovering how to save yourself time, money and stress, you can reserve your free Strategy Call by emailing my assistant, email@example.com, or you can call 02034578855 (+442034578855 from outside the UK).