We are often asked by our clients whether they should withdraw their property from the market once an acceptable offer has been made. There are a number of angles on this subject which should be considered in the context of each specific set of circumstances.
Firstly, from an ethical perspective, it could be argued that once you have agreed to sell to someone, you have given them your word, and leaving the property on the market could be regarded as a suggestion that you would renege if a “better” buyer came along. This can encourage gazumping (where a higher offer is accepted over the original one).
Some vendors would not have a problem with this. However, in practical terms, it is often the case that once the original buyer falls away in favour of the new, higher, buyer, the new buyer feels the pressure is off, and they regret having offered more than the market price. Their offer is subsequently reduced (gazundering). This practice often serves to frustrate the vendor and even risks the sale. The first offer is usually the best offer!
However, there is no point in taking your property off the market if your buyer is not in a strong buying position or has a linked transaction. This latter situation reduces the saleability of your home to the saleability of any linked properties, over which you have no control.
So our advice is generally only to remove your property from the market, perhaps for a fixed period of time (say three weeks to keep the pressure on the buyer to perform) until you have confirmation from the buyer’s solicitor that they have no linked sale, and that they have their mortgage agreed in principle with sufficient deposit available.
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA
CEO – Oakfield Estate Agents