Ask the experts: homebuying Property.

It has been on the market for some time, but I’m worried about insulting the seller


My partner and I are considering offering less than the advertised fixed price on a property in Glasgow. A month ago, the property was reduced to a fixed price of £20,000 below the value given in the home report after 12 weeks with no sale.

Even with this reduction in price the property is still a bit more expensive than similar properties in the immediate area, so we would be worried about not getting our money back when we come to sell.

The property has never been sold before (it was built by the current owners) so it’s difficult to determine the real price. To offset our concerns about the resale value, we are considering offering less than the fixed price, but are concerned this will insult the seller and they will refuse any further offers from us.

Making an offer on property in Scotland is different from in the rest of the UK in that it’s not just a question of a quick phone call to the seller’s estate agent.

Instead, you get a solicitor first to “notify your interest” in the property and then to prepare a formal offer – which he or she signs on your behalf – before submitting it to the seller’s agents.

How much you should offer depends on how the price is advertised. If it’s for “offers over” the price given is the minimum offer that the seller will accept but bids over the asking price are expected.

But that’s not the case for property advertised for sale with a fixed price.

It simply means that the seller is willing to accept the first firm offer at the fixed price advertised.

It does not mean that you can’t put in an offer which is lower than the fixed price although you do need to be prepared to have the offer rejected (and your solicitor’s time wasted).

Given the property has been on the market for some time, there’s every chance that the seller will be prepared to negotiate.


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