Q. Are you able to give me advice on making an offer on a property I am interested in? I am slightly confused given the current market conditions as to what kind of offer is considered acceptable?

A. Prior to the credit crunch, an acceptable opening offer would likely have been around 5% below the asking price, which most vendors would be prepared for and would then of course negotiate up from that price. Indeed a year ago prices were non negotiable, with everything going for asking price and in some cases more as often there was more than one interested party pursuing a property.

Today however we find ourselves in a very different place. Offers as low as 10% below the asking price are not uncommon, and in some cases depending on the vendor’s situation offers this low have indeed been accepted. As a general guide in this market I would encourage buyers to make an offer on a property they are interested in, as even if its unacceptable it will at least open up the negotiation process which will help determine what kind of offer the vendor is likely to accept. It’s worth bearing in mind though that silly offers are generally not a good idea if you want to be considered as a serious buyer.