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I had an offer accepted before COVID-19, should I renegotiate now?

Buying a house is stressful at the best of times, so there is no question that going through the process now during the Coronavirus is extremely difficult. If you had an offer accepted before stay-at-home measures came in, you were probably left feeling frustrated and anxious while the property market came to a temporary halt.

Another source of anxiety could be the economic forecasts that have regularly made their way to the front pages during the pandemic, including talk of a lengthy recession. When you add this all up together, it is only natural to think of its effect on property prices and ask, “should I renegotiate my offer?”

Reasons for optimism

As unlikely as it sounds right now, there are reasons to be optimistic with the new partial stay-at-home measures. The sales that were in place have largely remained intact and now that restrictions have eased, estate agents are primed to get the ball rolling again on these transactions.

There is still a shortage in available housing, which means demand will still be high. Many families still want a bigger home, empty nesters still want to downsize, and first-home buyers still want to make the most of record-low interest rates.

Should I renegotiate?

Legally, you are quite within your rights to renegotiate to a lower offer, but that isn’t the question. This is a moral dilemma, and one that is probably best understood by looking at it from the other perspective. If you are also in the process of selling your house, how would you feel if your buyer lowered their price?

In a recent online poll of over 40,000 people conducted by Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis, nearly 70% of the voters chose sticking with the same offer over renegotiating, indicating that most people feel the right thing to do is to honour your original offer.

Obviously, this is an extraordinary situation and there are a lot of difficult individual circumstances, you could be furloughed or you could work in a particularly vulnerable industry for example, however if your circumstances allow it, we recommend sticking with your offer.

There is also the risk of negotiations going badly and you losing the property, further delaying your move and backing up the rest of the chain while you search for a new home.

Is your property sale ready?

While the property market slowly starts moving again, use this time to ensure that your property is sale ready by completing the Property Information Questionnaire. It is proven to speed up property sales and allows your agent and solicitors to work more effectively towards completion.



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