Buyers have been warned not to treat the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to make ridiculous offers.
Speaking on a ‘Lessons from Lockdown’ Rightmove webinar, property expert Lucy Pendleton, said buyers who were genuinely interested in a property were shooting themselves in the foot by putting forward “silly” bids.
She also described the thinking behind the company’s furlough strategy and some unexpected consequences for the business.
She said that firms are bringing staff back from furlough based on the number of leads that are converting into viewings and sales.
This means the company’s wage bill won’t rise significantly unless staff can add value to the business “crazy” season in the lettings market is well underway as usual with high demand for rentals the way employees have been required to adapt during and after lockdown has given younger staff with excellent diary management the chance to shine.
She said: “There are a number of buyers out there, and we see them registering every day on Rightmove, who are perhaps looking for an opportunity, call it a fire sale or whatever they want to call it in this market.
“Interestingly, even in just the last five days, we launched a new build scheme, and we’d held off the launch because of covid. It was a very successful launch with houses at £2,350,000 plus. We had one buyer in particular who offered half a million pounds below the asking price.
“All the other offers were 97% plus of the asking price and then, sure enough, once that offer was rejected, they came forward and tried to increase their offer by £400,000 by which time the damage had already been done.
“It’s well within the rights of that seller to be apprehensive. In fact all trust had gone, so that’s a message we need to be sending to buyers. Don’t see this as an opportunity to make silly offers, incredibly low offers, as it might not put you in good stead if you actually want to buy this property.
“No vendor is going to listen to you if you’ve come in so significantly under the asking price. Don’t damage [your chance to buy] what is the perfect house for you just because you feel now is the time to flex your negotiation muscles without there being any data to substantiate your approach.”