Seal it with a bid – Buying a house using a sealed bid

sealed bid

It’s a tough world out there and none more so than when you are trying to purchase your dream home using a sealed bid.

When you have found the house of your dreams, chances are that it’s going to appear in other people’s dreams too and in situations like this, when many offers are put on the table, the seller may decide to open up the floor for sealed bids.

Each buyer will be asked to put their bid in a sealed envelope to be delivered to a certain place, at a certain time in true nail biting fashion.

So when a house has received countless offers and is going to sealed bids, what do you do?

How do you win the sealed bid battle?

Contrary to what you might expect, it is not just about the number that you are writing in your secret envelope that could win the sealed bid battle.

The seller is under no obligation to go with the highest bid and in most cases, they won’t. They will go for the most credible offer that’s ready to proceed the fastest.

There are several things that you can do to put you in good stead to beat the competition and buy your dreamy new home with your sealed bid.

1] The odd number

More often than not, sealed bid offers come in extremely close with the generic house price numbers being chosen.

Try and make your offer stand out and pip your competition to the post, by adding on an odd number at the end. If you want to buy your house for £575,000, try entering £575,265 as your offer.

2] Do your sums

It’s easy in this poker game environment to be over ambitious with the figure that you enter into your sealed bid, particularly where emotions are concerned.

Do your sums and make sure that you can afford this figure. Remember, sealed bids are not legally binding.

Either the buyer or the seller can back out at any time before contracts are exchanged, but if you want the house, do your sums correctly at the beginning and put in a realistic offer.

3] Get all your ducks in a row

Have your solicitor not just in place, but already working. Tell the vendor, in your letter, that you have instructed a solicitor and that basic searches on the property have commenced.

Tell the vendor that you have your surveyor in place and the date that you have provisionally booked for the survey to be carried out.

Mark in your letter your proposed timings for exchange and completion.

4] Have your mortgage agreed

Always, make sure your mortgage is agreed in principle, unless you are a cash buyer. In the case of a cash buyer, let the vender know the timeframe for drawing out the funds.

5] Get personal

People have emotional attachments to a house. Particularly a seller who has perhaps lived there with their family for a number of years.

They want to know that you love their house just as much as they have. Writing about the parts of the house that you particularly love really could seal the deal.

6] Hand deliver your sealed envelope

Hand delivering your sealed bid to the agent just before cut off time will put you at the forefront of the agent’s mind, which can do you no harm at all.

The process of buying a house using sealed bids can be stressful, as with any house buying. The losing parties will regret not entering a higher offer and the winning parties may be left wondering if they have overpaid. The secrecy of the ballot is such that nobody will ever know.

This content was written by Quick Move Now
Published on 27th July 2017
Last updated on 3rd September 2018


Property Ombudsman Logo National Association Property Buyers Logo Chartered Trading Standards Institute Logo British Property Federation Logo


Quick Move Now
Interface Business Park,
Floor One, Unit 15,
Royal Wootton Bassett,

Get your cash offer now

9 Days
6 Hours
57 Minutes

You're currently offline