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What Does a Best and Final Offer Mean When Buying a House?

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In today’s property market, demand for houses is high and supply struggles to keep up. This usually means that multiple people will view and want to put an offer in on the same property. In an attempt to pick a buyer fairly, and also to get the maximum money, sellers will sometimes ask every buyer to make their best and final offer.

Below we explain everything you need to know about the best and final offer method, how you can make your best and final offer and what happens next.

What is a best and final offer?

The best and final offer will be the highest amount that a prospective buyer is willing to pay for a property. Usually, all interested buyers will be asked to submit their best and final offer by a certain date, so the seller can consider each offer at the same time.

It is similar to sealed bids, which also require each buyer to submit their offer. However, best and final offers can sometimes be more informal and don’t require each bid to be submitted sealed in an envelope.

Why are best and final offers used?

Best and final offers may seem like a way to put pressure on prospective buyers. However, they are usually used as a straightforward way to get every buyer’s final offer. This can save time and stress by avoiding negotiating or a bidding war between buyers. They can also make it easier for the seller, giving them all of the information on each buyer so they can make an informed decision on which one they want to go with.

What’s a good best and final offer strategy?

The best and final offer isn’t necessarily only focused on price. All sorts of factors can make a buyer seem attractive to a seller, such as how quickly they think they can exchange contracts, how secure their financial situation is, and any preferences they have for the property.

You should get your mortgage in principle before you submit your best and final offer, so you can include that in your correspondence. You should also ensure you have a solicitor or conveyancer on hand and ready to go, so you can instruct them as soon as your offer is accepted.

You can also speak to the estate agent to find out how many people are interested in the property and will be making their best and final offers. You can also ask if any offers have been made previously and how much they were for. For example, if bids have been made and rejected at asking price, you’ll know that best and final bids will be above asking price.

Can I change my offer after submitting the best and final offer?

Your offer is not legally binding, so you can always adjust it if you change your mind after you’ve submitted your best and final. The sale will not complete until contracts are exchanged, so you have until then to update your offer, negotiate, or pull out of the sale completely.

Will the seller always pick the highest offer?

Sellers will not necessarily pick the highest best and final offer. If another buyer looks like they can move quicker, or they have a more secure financial situation, the seller may prefer to go with them.

The seller is not under any obligation to pick any offer at all if they don’t want to. If every buyer’s offer is unsatisfactory, they can choose to negotiate alternative offers or they can leave the property on the market for a new buyer.

Our best and final offer email template

There is no specific wording you need to use when making your best and final offer. It is not a legally binding process, and it will be similar to making any other offer on a property. You should first discuss your offer and financial situation verbally with the estate agent before following up with written confirmation.

An example best and final offer email template would include:

Dear [name]

I am writing to submit my best and final offer for [property]. My final offer, subject to contract and survey, is £[amount].

I [and my partner/family] am/are very interested in this home because of [reasons, i.e., the location, the property itself, etc.]. I feel I am in a good position to move the sale along quickly, or to whatever timeframe suits the seller. I have a mortgage in principle and have a conveyancer ready to instruct and proceed when required. I am chain-free so would be confident that we can reach the exchange date quickly once an offer has been accepted.

Should my offer be accepted, I would expect the property to be removed from the market, so we can continue to the completion date swiftly.

Thank you for considering my offer. I look forward to hearing from you.

With best wishes


Of course, your situation may differ to the above example. You should ensure that you give as much information as possible about your situation, especially over factors that will make you an attractive buyer i.e., you have plans in place that reduce the risk of the sale failing, such as a mortgage or you’re a cash buyer.

When you make an offer, you should always include “subject to contract and survey”. This confirms that the offer will only be legally binding once the contracts have been agreed and the surveys have been carried out with a successful outcome.

You can also use this opportunity to confirm any expectations that you have from the seller, for example, if you have already discussed what fixtures and fittings will be included or any information you need about the property.

SOLD.CO.UK is a leading online estate agent, selling your home faster than any other estate agent in the UK. With our flexible and transparent process, you can sell your home for free and we’ll even cover your legal costs. Get an online house valuation today or contact us for more information.  

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