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How to make an offer on a private sale property

You like the look of the property you have just viewed and have already started working out where the couch will go, but how do you make an offer.

Here are some ways to make an offer on your dream home….

  1. Let the seller know (in person, via email, text message or by using HomeSell's non-binding 'Expression of interest' form) that you are interested in buying their property at x price with x conditions and x settlement date. The most common buyer conditions are approval of finance, title, LIM or property inspection report, however you can add in any conditions you wish provided the seller is happy to accept them. If the seller wishes to accept or consider your offer further then we recommend you complete a formal Sale & Purchase Agreement with your lawyer. We encourage our sellers to prepare a draft agreement containing their details, so check if they have this available. Once completed and signed, your formal offer is then forwarded to the seller’s lawyer. The seller will then accept, decline or make a counter offer. Simple!
  2. If you don’t feel comfortable talking price and terms with the seller directly, or are ready to formalise your offer, then you can go straight to your lawyer with the details on this brochure (plus a draft agreement if the seller has this available) and complete a formal Sale & Purchase agreement. This will then be sent to the seller’s lawyer who will notify their client that an offer has been received. Depending on the interest level for the property and the price offered, the seller may accept, decline or make a counter offer back to your lawyer. This process continues until you reach an agreement or decide not to continue any further.
Points to note:
  1. Both the buyer and seller should always seek legal advice before signing a Sale & Purchase Agreement or any written document.
  2. There may be two or more keen buyers for the property so the sellers will want to be in the position where they can consider both/all the offers at the same time and choose the offer that best suits. This in effect becomes a multi-offer situation where you are asked to state the highest price you are prepared to offer and any conditions you want met. The sellers will then consider both/all offers at the same time with their lawyer and may negotiate further with one party on the price or conditions, or accept the most suitable offer straight away.
  3. Some property sales are done in ten minutes while others take quite a period of negotiation. Once an offer has been made it remains ‘live’ until it is accepted, declined, counter offered by the seller or withdrawn by the buyer. It is courteous to respond to all offers/negotiations within 24 hours or an agreed time frame, however you may wish to add an expiry date to your offer if you need a response by a certain time/date.

There is no one right way to deal with the process of buying or selling a property, so choose the style that suits you best. Your lawyer will be able to help you with any step in the process.

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