I have two offers on my property, which should I choose?

Q: My property is on the market and I’ve received two offers: one is for the asking price but the buyers haven’t found a buyer for their existing home, and another which is slightly below but are ready to move now. What do you think I should do?

A: In this situation, the first buyers are not deemed to be what the property world calls proceedable. In other words, the buyers like your house and want to buy it, but they aren’t in a position to do so as they need to sell their existing home and they don’t have a buyer lined up for it yet.

The other buyer however, is ready to proceed straight away.

The first buyers should not be considered as a real possibility until they are proceedable. So you only have one genuine offer and, if there are no other offers on the horizon, I would accept the second offer at the lower price – assuming they won’t increase their current offer to the full asking price.

If the situation was slightly different, you might choose differently. For example, let’s assume the first buyers were under offer on their existing property and proceedable at the full asking price. This is known as ‘being in a chain’, where a buyer needs to sell their existing home and tie it in to the purchase of their new home.

Let’s also assume that the second buyer didn’t need to sell a property and therefore they were chain free, but they were asking less than your asking price and therefore less than the other buyer.

In this case, your choice of buyer would depend on your own circumstances. If you are in a chain yourself, in that you are tying in the sale of your house to the purchase of a new house, the reliability of your buyer becomes key. In order for you to secure the purchase of the onward house you have found, if you can demonstrate that the buyer for your house is in a good buying position and chain free then it will help strengthen your offer as you can show that the chain below you is relatively risk free.

However, if your buyer is reliant on the sale of their home in order to purchase your existing home, which allows you to purchase your onward home, then there is more risk that the chain could fall apart as there are more related sales attached to it.

In many cases like this, sellers will sometimes accept the slightly lower offer from the more reliable buyer if it will help their offer get accepted on their onward property.

If you have a question you’d like Jo to answer please email Jo.eccles@eccord.com or tweet her @joeccles.