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‘Offers Over’ system – is over

publication date: Feb 25, 2010
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Warners partner Scott BrownThe Scottish system of setting ‘offers over’ pricing on properties is unlikely to ever return to its peak 2007 level. According to Edinburgh solicitor estate agency, Warners, the Scottish property market has been fundamentally changed by the recession and the introduction of Home Reports – making huge ‘offers over’ premiums a thing of the past.

Warners believes that buyers and sellers are now more realistic, as they are able to use property valuations in the reports as a marker when judging how much to buy or sell a home for. Although ‘offers over’ prices will eventually return to the market as competition increases, sellers are unlikely to ever see a return to the peak scenario in 2007.

Scott Brown (pictured), partner, said: “Over the past year, we have seen offers over prices dwindle in Scotland as sellers chose to market properties using ‘offers around’ instead. This trend was helped by the Home Report legislation, which meant that prospective buyers could view the valuation of a property included with each report and make a judgement on how much to offer – rather than making a ‘blind’ offer.

“I don’t think that this has killed off the offers over system for good but what is changing is sellers’ expectations over the values for their homes. When the market was at its peak in 2007, many people would set a low ‘offers over’ price and would only accept an offer at least 25 per cent higher. It created confusion among buyers and meant that sellers had an automatic expectation for huge premiums. Greater transparency is helping sales, in the past 20 weeks at Warners we’ve achieved 263 sales, compared to 186 during the same period in 2008.”