Q. I have two offers on my property; one is cash and chain free and for the asking price and the other for more than the asking price but the buyer, although he has his property under offer is in a chain. Of course the extra money would be nice but the cash is tempting and uncomplicated. What shall I do?
A. An asking price cash offer is always going to be the best option on face value. Being chain free too would also likely seal the deal for most sellers. However, I would always recommend a thorough investigation of a buyer that claims to be ‘chain free and cash’. Is it real hard cash or are the funds coming from a sale of a property in the background somewhere? A simple letter from the bank can verify this. Also where is the cash? If it is located overseas there can sometimes be delays in moving the money given the tightness of the money laundering regulations now, the buyer will have to give evidence to their solicitor of where the money has come from. Many sales complete every day that are part of a chain and financed with mortgages and these buyers knowing that they don’t have the edge of a cash buyer are often more on the ball and realise from the start they are at a disadvantage. This is likely to be the main reason for them offering more than the asking price, a useful tool to help in swaying a sellers decision after all we all know – money talks. Ultimately the decision rests with you, but your agent having met both buyers and gleaning as much information from them both should be very useful in advising you of their professional opinion on which buyer you should run with. Of course if timing is not an issue and finances are, then running with the higher offer is an option, but if you are under pressure to complete quickly then the cash offer is the natural choice. Do remember that despite everything the sale is not legally binding until exchange of contracts and either buyer can easily walk if they chose to, so opt for the buyer that seems most committed to the purchase or appears most excited about the property. Someone that has an emotional attachment is likely to be the one that will keep going despite obstacles further along the line.