Sleepless nights worrying about putting in a bid
For Jamie Moran, it’s an Irish characteristic to listen to the agent that is marketing the property. But it can be a mistake.
“We do believe the estate agent more than we should,” he says, urging people to remember that estate agents act solely on behalf of the vendor.
Nonetheless, he advises building up a rapport with the agent to try and get a feel for why the house is on the market.
“It’s about understanding as much as possible about the seller. Is it a forced sale, is it an executor sale, is it going to auction?”
In this volatile market, Karen Mulvaney of The Buyers’ Agent says some people can be inclined to sit on the fence, and wait to see what happens with a house, rather than putting in a bid.
“There can be lots of interest but no-one is brave enough to put the first bid on,” she says, adding that she disagrees with such an approach.
“You need to put an offer forward,” she advises, noting that while the bid may not buy you the property, you will be kept in the loop and the vendor may come back with an acceptable counter-offer. Otherwise, the house might go sale agreed before you even realise.
Put your bid in writing is another piece of advice, while in this market, asserting that you are a cash buyer or have financing in place, can distinguish you from other bidders, even if they bid more than you.
And what of that old trick of a house always having a bid on it?
It sometimes seems like a house never comes on the market without having a bid on it and the cynical could suggest that a fake bid marginally below the asking price puts a nice floor on the bidding process.
However, in our experience at least, that isn’t always the case and we have come across a number of properties that are languishing on the market with no offers.
When there’s no bid on, the advice from Mulvaney is to “bid early and bid low”.
“You’ve nothing to lose by testing the market at below asking price,” agrees Moran, although both agents say that it’s more likely you will come up against other bidders, given the dearth of supply in popular areas.
In this regard, if you do find yourself in a bidding war, Mulvaney’s advice is to keep a check on any increase in your offer, as the days of €5,000-€10,000 hikes are gone.
“You need to make sure that you don’t jump up in giant bids,” she says, adding that other bidders will likely take your lead and follow suit in small increments.
Indeed, if you check the property price register you will see houses sold for awkward figures such as €403,000 or €522,600.