‘Fixed Price’ is one of pricing prefixes that you will come across if you are buying or selling a house or flat in Scotland.
The general perception is that if a buyer offers the full fixed price then a seller will accept that buyer’s offer. However, it’s not quite as simple as that and this article attempts to explain what you should know if you are thinking of selling your property at a Fixed Price or if you are looking at buying a property that is being marketed at a Fixed Price.
Where a property is marketed at a Fixed Price, the suggestion is that the seller will accept an offer for the full asking price. Of course, other factors in an Offer are important to property sellers. For example, Date of Entry will often be important, as well as whether the Offer is subject to other conditions such as the buyer obtaining a damp survey or a roof survey.
Even when a property is marketed at Fixed Price, however, there is no guarantee that an offer for the full asking price will be accepted. Buyers need to remember that, regardless of the asking price, it is always the seller’s decision as to whether they accept an offer and from whom.
In a very rare case (I’ve come across it only once), the reason for rejecting an offer might just be that the seller didn’t like the potential buyer’s personality and didn’t want to sell to that person. There might be a couple of interested parties and the seller decides to sell to the person who makes the lower offer because they like them better, something I’ve seen before too where an elderly lady liked a couple who were first time buyers more than an investor who was interested in re-developing her flat.
More often than not, however, a buyer who offers the full asking price and satisfies the seller on the other conditions of the offer too, such as date of entry, will end up securing the property.
From a buyer’s point of view, it can be worth offering less than the full asking price initially because often a seller’s agent will have advised that the Fixed Price be set at a level that leaves them with a little bit of ‘wriggle room’ in case a potential buyer does offer less than the asking price. This is far from guaranteed to be acceptable to a potential seller though and, as with everything, the level of interest in the property as well as a seller’s circumstances for selling will affect their decision about whether to accept a slightly lower offer or whether to hold out for the full asking price.
A good solicitor firm will be able to advise you on the likelihood of being able to get away with an offer that is lower than the Fixed Price after speaking to the seller’s agent to determine the amount of interest in the property.