How to make an offer

Once you have found the property of your dreams, the next step is to make an offer.

If you are submitting your offer to Lancaster Samms (or any other agent) you can usually do so verbally, either in person or by phone, or on occasion we might request this in writing.

We are then obliged to pass the information to the vendor (the current owner) for consideration.

TOP TIP – It really helps to tell the story of what makes you a good buyer, highlighting why the vendors should choose you, and don’t always assume that just by paying the asking price will be enough.


Be ready – Knowing how much you can afford and being able to supply the evidence to confirm it (your mortgage agreement in principle or proof of cash) will show that you are a reliable, organised and serious buyer. Have your solicitor in place so you can give us their details at the same time as submitting your offer. If you haven’t got a solicitor in place then we would always recommend a local York based solicitor who specialises in conveyancing.

Chain free – First time buyers, buyers with no chain and buyers who have pre-arranged mortgages will often have a head start on most of the competition, especially where the seller is in a chain.

Time frames – If you are chain free and organised you should be able to complete the transaction quickly. Be sure to check if the current owners are in a hurry to sell or have been trying to sell for a long time. Speed is not always a priority for the vendors though. Some times it’s the old adage ‘patience is the virtue’ and so in some cases offering flexibility in time frames is better than being the quickest.

Price – Vendors will always want to maximise the price that they can achieve. Sellers who are not in a hurry to move are more likely to hold out for a higher price or asking price offer. We always aim to market the property according to market conditions so often the asking price (and in some cases more) will need to be paid in order to secure the property.
Be confident – Even if your offer is not at the asking price, don’t apologise. The offer is what you are prepared to pay for the property. Do what you can to add justification to the offer but at all times remember that it must be relevant to the property. The fact you cannot afford more doesn’t change the value of a house.

We are always transparent in our approach and will let you know if there are other people that are interested. Please be aware though that we are not obligated to reveal the levels of other peoples interest and are more likely to keep this information private in order to be fair to all interested parties.

Once your offer has been accepted, we will continue displaying the property but will be showing online as ‘sold subject to contract’ (SSTC). This simply means that the sale has been agreed, however is not legally binding until the necessary legal and financial work has been carried out.

There is still a long way to go from this point before you have the keys to your new home. The legal process has a tendency to take longer than first expected or hoped for. There is lots of paper work to do and this can take time.

TOP TIP – Every time something is posted out the progression stops until the paperwork is filled out and returned. Therefore always respond ASAP. Sitting on post for a week or so will slow it down by that much and if this happens 3 or 4 times, before you know it a month has gone. It is the same at the other end so once you have sent back any paperwork required, follow up with your solicitor to make sure they are carrying out the necessary next steps.

We hope this is helpful and keep your eye on the website for further tips and guides.