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Offers Over, Offers Around – What Does it All Mean?

  • 4 years ago

It can be stressful enough when you’re house-hunting but if you’re new to the property game, the different phrases and even acronyms you’ll see on websites and property specs can be confusing as well.

When you’re looking for a new home, you want to know how much it’ll cost, but sometimes you see phrases like “OIEO”, ”offers over”, “guide price” and maybe even “offers over” if you’re in Scotland.

Do you need to pay any attention to these phrases? If so, what do they mean? Understanding them can help you to go into negotiations with a bit more confidence – or not even bother to negotiate at all.

OIEO, or offers in excess of

If you see a house on the market for, say £400,000, but the spec says “OIEO”, you’ll know that the sellers are hoping to get more than the estate agent has valued it at. The estate agent might think £400,000, but the sellers might be happy to wait for a couple of interested parties to get into a bidding war.

You don’t have to pay much attention to OIEO, especially if the property hasn’t had much interest. If you’re a cash buyer or you have your mortgage approved in principle and you can complete quickly, the sellers might prefer you over someone who offers a few thousands over their asking price. Many properties sell for less than the asking price, so your sellers might be delighted to get theirs after all.

The guide price

You’ll often see “guide price” on a listing as well and you might end up wondering if the sellers and estate agent actually mean the number that you see.

In short, they probably do, but they’re not 100% sure and they may want a few offers to come in so they can fine-tune it. Put in the offer that you’re comfortable with, as long as it’s not insultingly low, and see what happens.

Price on application

Very often seen in the windows of the more expensive estate agents, you might be forgiven for thinking that “price on application”, or “POA” means that if you need to ask how much the property is, you can’t afford it.

What it may actually mean is that the estate agent wants to see how many people register their interest, what their price brackets are and how proceedable they are. This can filter out less-than-serious buyers and save the sellers and agents a lot of time.

Offers invited

This is essentially the Gallic shrug of the estate agents’ phrases. If you see “offers invited”, then neither the agent nor the seller has much of a clue and wants house-hunters to decide for them.

You should offer the average of the asking prices that you’ve seen for similar properties in the area, modified by your budget and by any big advantages or disadvantages that the property or street has.

Ultimately, you’re entering into a negotiation, so as long as you’re not way out of the ballpark to start with, you can re-adjust and have another go.

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