When it comes to placing an offer on a dream home the best results are often achieved when buyers pull on their own market research and maintain a good relationship with the agent.
The agent is the link between you and the seller and their ability to offer key information is invaluable.
By asking the agent for some help with your offer, you may be able to sweeten it up with terms that appeal to the vendor.
For example, some vendors prefer a long settlement that enables them to search for their next home.
Having a firm idea of what the property is worth is important. Savvy buyers needn’t tell the agent how far they can stretch their budget to, but having a discussion about the lower end of your ball-park range can give the agent confidence that you’re serious.
If the property is scheduled for auction, the agent is unlikely to encourage pre-auction offers from any buyer who doesn’t have a good sense of the appropriate value.
One of the best ways to have such a conversation is to discuss other comparable sales.
The agent’s perception of how one property compares to another is important because that will have been most likely discussed with the vendor, too.
If the contract is not available, all is not lost. Some agents (particularly in regional markets) will be prepared to take verbal offers or ‘Letters of Offer’ (a non-legally binding ‘intent to buy’ letter).
The key thing to be aware of is how the offer will be handled. A verbal offer isn’t a ‘real’ offer and some agents will use a verbal offer to validate their price expectations and buyer interest level. Buyers should never discuss an offer on an auction property unless they feel assured that the vendor will be prepared to accept a suitable offer prior to auction.