Best and Final Offer – Scam or Genuine

by Readers Question

16:24 PM, 4th October 2017
About A year ago

Best and Final Offer – Scam or Genuine

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Best and Final Offer – Scam or Genuine

I viewed a “re-possessed” property yesterday which was in a state. The agent wouldn’t confirm, but from what I can gather, the previous owner died in situ and was probably not found for a period of time given the staining on the carpet and smell.

Apparently a couple of clients had viewed the property and offered, but weren’t in a good position to proceed so the banks rejected them. I offered today and within an hour had a different person from the agency contact me to say as they “have a few offers on the table, so were going to a best and final offer bid process ending tomorrow at 17:00”.

For some reason, I smell a “bluff” alongside the other more obvious smell!

What do people think of these games and have they had similar experience? I am a cash buyer and whilst my offer is £5k below what the agent said the bank would accept, I still believe it represents a fair offer.

After further research into the stains, I spoke to a “bio-hazard” company who confirmed that they shouldn’t be showing the property without warning people and taking suitable steps to protect themselves and clients.

To level the playing field, I’ve told the agent and suggested they must advise all interested parties. Let’s see if they were bluffing me, but are they duty bound or legally obliged to do this? What about the Bank/Solicitor, should they be advising clients?

Thanks Paul.



Comments

Neil Patterson

16:28 PM, 4th October 2017
About A year ago

Hi Paul,

I love your Bio-Hazard response!

You can't afford to believe anyone in a house sale so I would personally stick to your guns as you are not the one with anything to lose.

Plus if your original offer was completely unacceptable they would have told you so.

Monty Bodkin

17:17 PM, 4th October 2017
About A year ago

"After further research into the stains, I spoke to a “bio-hazard” company who confirmed that they shouldn’t be showing the property without warning people and taking suitable steps to protect themselves and clients.
To level the playing field, I’ve told the agent and suggested they must advise all interested parties."
I'm sure the agent will try especially hard to ensure your bid is the successful one for the poxy fifty quid commission they earn on a repo sale.

Annie Landlord

17:47 PM, 4th October 2017
About A year ago

Are you sure you want it anyway?? If the story of the death is known locally I can't imagine anyone wanting to rent it or buy it!

Paul Mullally

18:44 PM, 4th October 2017
About A year ago

To be honest, the death thing doesn't really worry me as it was 5 years ago. It was an elderly person and who really knows the history of all our homes! I actually quite like the place, but agree it won't be everyone's cup of tea.

I just got the feeling the agent was bluffing so figured I'd call him on it and see. If they do take the other bid (if it really exists), then at least the agent will feel uncomfortable in not telling them just in case I do. I laboured the point a little advising that if they didn't tell everyone, then they'd be responsible for the new buyer's health, their "unknowing" workmen, and public health as the contents must be treated as chemical waste and disposed of correctly. I had a quote of £1,500.00 to do this.

Let's see......

Alison King

9:38 AM, 5th October 2017
About A year ago

I have been in a best and final offer bid situation. I think it's quite normal in repossession situation and I prefer it because there is no chance of someone gazumping you the day before you exchange contracts, which has happened to me before with repossessions. It's the bank's obligation to get the best possible price in the shortest possible time. Just offer what you think is a fair price. If you really want the property offer a bit more than you think everyone else will and let fate decide.

John Dace

10:39 AM, 5th October 2017
About A year ago

Annie-Landlord - No one locally want to rent it?! 60 million people live in uk. All of them will die somewhere as did all their parents and grandparents and theirs etc etc. Most die in hospital or homes. Chances are several died in yours over the years. What kind of fragile minds are we evolving into?
On the subect of 'is it a scam' - just offer what you want to pay, or if a bit indifferent, a thousand less than youve already offered and if you get it - you will know it was a bluff. You can then feel extremely smug spending the thousand pounds on the clean up.

Paul Mullally

11:12 AM, 5th October 2017
About A year ago

I am tempted to offer a bit less!
There are 3 very similar properties available in the development albeit the one I'm interested in has the best view. I could get one of the others for £5k more than I've offered for the dilapidated one and with no hassle, so I'm comfortable.
I'm not worried about the death situation. My dad passed away in a hospice and my mum at home. I don't see why it would bother anyone.

Graham Bowcock

12:44 PM, 5th October 2017
About A year ago

Dear Paul

You have to assume that the agent has agreed the process with his client, the vendor; whether or not they have much interest from prospective buyers is academic to you submitting an offer for the property.

If you are genuinely interested in buying it then just submit what you think is reasonable. It doesn't sound like there is much need to overpay. If it goes for more than you offer then so be it - someone else thinks they can make more out of it than you can or, perhaps, they simply want to live there.

Informal tenders are not binding so if you are unlucky you could always go back with a higher offer which the agent is legally obliged to report to the client. What the client decides to do is a matter for them though.

Tenders are a bit odd with some people paying way more than you'd expect whilst others go for a cheeky punt.

Graham

Rob Crawford

13:38 PM, 7th October 2017
About A year ago

I am quite strict in how I approach estate agents. It's important to have a long term buying strategy, i.e. to purchase a property during the next two years rather than in the next four months time where you are rushed to beat an approaching milestone. Keep an eye on the market and when you see a good prospect do your viewing and make an offer. I don't negotiate beyond that. I don't increase my offer, it's always below market value and takes into consideration any renovation work. It's a maths calculation! I only make a take it or leave it offer! I will continue looking and making offers until acceptance. I have made some good deals on this basis and never get emotionally attached. I stay well clear of any "best and final offer" approach where the agent is acting on behalf of a lender during a repossession sale especially where a solicitor has to be engaged, surveys conducted etc at the buyers cost with no guarantee of being successful. I get extremely annoyed if I am not advised of this "best and final offer" approach prior to a viewing. If this happens I don't even enter the property. So Paul, you say the death was 5 years ago and the stains and smell are still there! If this is the case it will need a fair amount of work, possibly replacement floor boards/plaster etc. I think we can assume the property has been void of any maintenance for this period as well? - Taking the work required into consideration my offer would be well below market rate for the type of propert. If you don't want this work move on, don't get pressured or emotional into paying more than your calculation. To save time in the future, it's worth talking to estate agents and letting them know how you work - they will actually respect you for it!

Paul Mullally

14:37 PM, 7th October 2017
About A year ago

Dear Rob,
Thanks for your comments.

I submitted my offer in writing to the agent which wasn't increased from my original submission. I explained the basis of my valuation in terms of works required, it not being subject to survey, provided proof my financial position, provided solicitor details and finally my willingness to work to their timescales.

On the flip side, I made it conditional on written instructions being issued from the vendor to the agent to remove the property from the market and not to show or put forward any further offers from acceptance through to completion.

I calculated the cost of all works required to bring it back to a good habitable standard and is approx. 10% below market value. If I'm successful then all's good. If not, I'll wait for it to fall through.

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