Savills plc

09/14/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/14/2021 01:50

More than just price: how to be succssful when bidding for a rural property

In a competitive market where there is a shortage of farms and country properties available to buy it is more important than ever as a purchaser to make your offer as attractive as possible to the seller.

While in the majority of cases it comes down to the highest price, there are other factors to consider which might just help set you apart from the competition and increase your chances of success. Here are our top tips for constructing an offer which could stand you in the best stead when offering for a rural property:

  • If appropriate arrange for any surveys required to be completed prior to making an offer. This removes the need for submitting an offer which is conditional on the results of the survey and removes a degree of uncertainty for sellers.

  • If it is within your means to do so, offer a flexible date of entry. Some buyers could be looking for a prompt completion and others might prefer a delayed date, particularly if they don't have a property to move to. But be mindful that most sellers will seek a prompt conclusion of missives (if the property is in Scotland) or exchange of contracts (if it's in England) to give them the security that the transaction will go through.

  • Keeping your offer as straightforward and unconditional as possible will improve its attractiveness to the seller. There are a number conditions one can impose as a buyer, particularly with larger properties involving land and other diverse assets, but the fewer demands you place on the seller the more compelling your offer will be.

  • Instruct your solicitor to draft the offer specific to the property and remove irrelevant clauses to demonstrate your intent, rather than simply submitting an 'off the shelf' document which has the potential to aggravate the seller and agent.

  • Be transparent about your financial position and provide the seller with evidence that you have the required level of funding in place. If your offer is subject to bank lending exhibit a copy of your loan agreement in principle. If it is subject to a sale, having an agent instructed to sell your own property is a big step in the right direction.

  • Ask the agent handling the sale if there is anything else beyond price which could win favour with the sellers. For example, it may well be there are certain fixtures which are of sentimental value to the seller and offering to let them remove them could be very well received. With larger, more diverse properties one could offer a financial incentive for any future development which may occur.

  • Demonstrate to the agent and seller leading up to the point of offering that you have done your homework on the property and surrounding area. This will reassure the seller you are taking a genuine interest.

  • Taking professional advice from a respected buying or search agent will show your commitment to a purchase and also provide reassurances that you are being appropriately guided through any complexities which the sale may involve such as leases, grant schemes and employees, and so on.

  • To help build up trust with the seller, be open and upfront about your circumstances - they are more likely to be flexible. A client recently accepted the third ranking offer because they were young new entrants to farming and they wanted to give them a 'leg-up'.

  • Many country properties have been held in the same ownership for several generations and there can be strong emotional attachment. In the right circumstances a personal letter accompanying the offer outlining your vision for the property can be reassuring to a seller that you are the right people to be the next custodians.

Further information

Contact Luke French or Louisa Over

Contact Savills Rural