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  Advice on making an offer for a house    

An estate agent will be trying to get the best price for for his client(the seller) especially since their fee is a percentage of the sale price. They may also have slightly overpriced the property in the first place so get the business.

So it's very common that the buyer may decide to make an offer below the full asking price, which the estate agent is obliged to inform the seller of.

As a buyer you shoud do your own research and compare other property prices in the same street or area. Ask questions. How long has the property been on the market is important. If the property hasn't sold quickly then it may be overpriced. Ask the reasons why they sellers are selling. They may be very keen to sell quickly due to their own circumstances. Ask the estate agent what you think the seller may accept. You may not be the first person to make an offer!

Ask the sellers if there are any problems with the property. Are any repairs needed? What ere the neighbours like? Anything you can think of really.

As a prospective buying make yourself appealling to the seller as you can. If you are selling another property you may want to have yours already on the market which shows serious intent. If your not in a chain(not selling your own property), perhaps you are a first time buyer, you will definitely be attractive to the seller as chains can really slow the process down and complicate things.

So armed with all that information the buyer can make a sensible offer. This may be accepted or possibly the sellers will come in with a counter offer. Usually the offer is made "subject to contract" and is not as yet binding. There may be issues arising, for instance, after the survey which may involve making a revised offer.

Sometimes when the market is buoyant or a particular property is very desirable you may have to pay the full asking price. In some cases the estate agent may go to a process of sealed bids and the property may go for well above the asking price!!

In Scotland the process is a little different from England and Wales
Checkout this guide here Making an offer for property in Scotland