Bribe-to-buy, sweet talking & cash in the bank: the lengths home buyers go to revealed

Sellers’ market means onus now on buyers to market themselves better
Bidding wars lead average buyer to have offers declined on three properties & pressure to get on ladder leading to purchase mistakes
Many buyers failing to get the basics in place – including a mortgage in principle and good credit rating

New research from QualitySolicitors the leading network of high-street law firms reveals the lengths buyers are going to in order to secure a property.

And the poll indicates that the days of the seller baking bread and brewing fresh coffee to make their home more appealing are long gone – the onus is now all on the buyer!

With property prices set to soar following the General Election, 88% of buyers say they put in lots of effort to make themselves appealing to the seller, including:

  • Bribe-to-buy: Over one in 20 buyers (6%) admitted to offering the seller or estate agent a bribe to sway them into accepting their offer and a further 7% say they baked a cake or bought flowers to impress the seller!
  • Sweet-talking property shoppers: Over a quarter (26%) said they made conversation with the seller and were very polite
  • Smart dresser: First impressions count for a sixth (14%) of buyers who make sure they look the part to impress the seller
  • Cash in the bank: One in five (22%) will provide proof to the seller of cash in the bank to demonstrate they’re a good buyer

Surprisingly, despite these creative approaches, many buyers fail on some of the basic first steps that turn them into a ‘good buyer’ for the seller, with 72% failing to check they had an excellent credit rating, 59% not bothering to secure a mortgage in principle and 74% failing to get a solicitor in place to help them move things forward quickly.

Missing out in a rising market

Forgetting some of these basic steps perhaps indicates why the vast majority of buyers (70%) had offers declined on at least one property, with the average buyer having offers declined on three properties.

The poll also revealed the average property search took four months, with 20% taking five months or more. As property prices are predicted to rise by 8%[1] in 2015, this literally costs buyers £1,000s and runs the risk of them being priced out the market during the course of their property search.

Panic buys

The pressure of the rising property market means nearly a third (29%) settle for a ‘make-do’ home because they ‘can’t afford to be too picky’. A further 8% admit the purchase was a ‘panic buy’ because they didn’t want to miss out or even a mistake they wish they hadn’t bought.

Richard Carter, conveyancing expert at QualitySolicitors Martin Tolhurst comments, “In a sellers’ market, the onus is on the buyer to make themselves as appealing as possible. It is surprising to see so many buyers not getting the basics right, such as checking their credit rating or getting a mortgage in principle in place. Flowers and sweet talking are all very nice but many sellers just want to know you have the cash and experts in place to get things moving quickly. Unfortunately, as you miss out on properties it is natural to start to panic which can then lead to rash purchasing decisions. At QualitySolicitors, we offer free-first advice and advise any buyers looking for advice on how to make themselves as ‘marketable’ as possible to sellers to get in touch.’

Notes to Editors

The QualitySolicitors housing market buyer behavior research was conducted in March 2015 by OnePoll and asked over 500 respondents, who had bought a property in the last 2 years, for their views.

[1] Prediction by Stephen Smith, director of Legal and General Mortgage Club

About QualitySolicitors:

  • Launched in 2010, QualitySolicitors is a group of law firms across the country working as part of the QualitySolicitors brand. Only one firm per local area is selected to become a QualitySolicitors partner. Customer feedback forms an integral part of the selection process.
  • QualitySolicitors’ national network of lawyers consists of over 100 branches across England and Wales.
  • QualitySolicitors lawyers are experts in their fields dealing with both consumer and SME legal matters. QualitySolicitors offers a personal, local service but with the assurance of a recognised national brand.
  • QualitySolicitors’ website address is
  • In 2011 QualitySolicitors secured equity investment from Palamon Capital Partners, a private equity house with a £700m fund.

Expert legal advice you can rely on,
get in touch today

Please let us know you are not a robot