Once an offer has been made, your estate agent will carry out checks on the buyer and then inform you both verbally and in writing of the details.
Whether or not you accept an offer is your decision, but your estate agent will be able to give you guidance on whether they feel there is an opportunity to negotiate. This is a critical time in the property selling process, and any negotiating may require several calls between you and your estate agent, and likewise between your estate agent and the prospective buyer. Do your best to make yourself available for calls, as any delays at this point could have a negative impact on the potential sale.
If you have several offers you should consider the position of the buyer as well as the offer itself. Estate agents will usually ask the buyer questions to evaluate suitability and help make a judgment on how ready they are to follow through with their offer.
Generally speaking, the estate agent will be looking to ascertain which of the following positions describe the potential buyer:
- Cash or unencumbered buyer: These are attractive buyers, as there are fewer obstacles that could hinder the process
- First time buyer: These buyers are not within a property chain, so they are less dependent on external influences
- Property on market under offer: These buyers are at an advanced stage in selling their existing property so should be ready to move relatively soon
- Property to sell on market: These buyers are also in the process of selling a property, so the sale of their property might affect the onward chain
- Mortgage agreed in principle: You can be assured that these buyers have sufficient funds to complete the transaction, and they have already taken care of one of the bigger tasks
- Property solicitor appointed: Buyers who have already appointed a property solicitor will usually be able to proceed quicker with the transaction
- Property to sell not on market: These buyers might be browsing or are yet to begin the property selling process. If they are dependent on selling their existing home, it could be some time before these buyers are in a position to move