Chiltern Relocation


Eight Secrets to Winning a Sealed Bid

The TWO words that put fear into all house hunters: SEALED BIDS. Here’s how to stay calm and secure your dream home in eight easy steps…

You have found the house of your dreams, done the sums, put in your offer and have your fingers crossed. Then the call comes in with those dreaded words – the house has received multiple offers and is going to sealed bids. What to do? You do not have much more money in the budget and anyway you have never heard of anyone being successful when it comes to sealed bids.
So is it time to throw in the towel? Is it time to wave goodbye to all hopes of securing your forever home? Not if you follow Chiltern Relocation’s guidelines to winning a sealed bid. Over the last twelve years we have been involved in many sealed bid situations and we have always secured the property and this is not always because we outbid others.

Winning a sealed bid is not always about who bids the most. In many cases the successful bidder is the one who has taken the time to get all their affairs in order, is ready to proceed and demonstrates how serious they are about securing the property. To win you will need to have the following at the ready:

1. MORTGAGE: If you are not a cash buyer then your mortgage offer needs to be agreed in principle.
2. CASH FUNDS: If you are a cash buyer you’ll need to provide information on how long it will take to draw down the funds – showing you can work to the timescale required.
3. SOLICITOR: You need to have instructed a solicitor and be able to demonstrate that they can react quickly. Often sealed bids require a tight timeframe to exchange and it can be worth asking your solicitor to start the basic searches on the property.
4. SURVEYOR: You’ll need to speak to a surveyor who knows the area well and can give you tentative dates for the survey to be carried out.
5. INFORMATION ABOUT THE VENDOR’S NEEDS: Find out what the vendor wants – this is vital. If the vendors want a quick exchange but have not finalised their onward purchase then mirror their requirements in your offer letter. If they need money quickly, show them how you can your facilitate that.
6. GOOD RAPPORT WITH THE ESTATE AGENT: The estate agent often has a huge influence over which bid to take, make yourself into the most accommodating buyer the agent has ever dealt with and they will then bat for you.
7. YOUR SUMS: How much you are willing to pay over to secure the house? Make sure you and your partner are comfortable with the amount you are submitting. Remember a sealed bid is a once only opportunity to bid so make sure that your sums add up.
8. AN ODD FIGURE: Often sealed bids can come in very close and the way to make yours stand out is to enter an odd number. For example if you want to bid around £975,000 then enter a figure of £976,255

Once you have got all the above in place then it is time to write your sealed bid offer letter. In your letter it is essential to let the vendor know:
• Your mortgage or cash funds are at the ready – show proof of mortgage offer or bank statement
• The name of your solicitor, that they are ready to get going and – if relevant – that they have started on the searches
• The name of your surveyor, that they are at ready and the dates he/she can carry out a survey
• Your situation – use their position and requirements to your advantage by being agreeable to the vendor’s needs
• And finally the amount that you are bidding

If you ask any agent they will tell you it is not always the highest bid that wins. Think. Prepare. Be accommodating. And make sure you provide all the information above on the sealed bid document so your bid is taken very seriously.

If, after all the above, you are not successful then do not give up. Keep in touch with the estate agent and check regularly to see if the winning bid has reached exchange. All too often in sealed bid situations other candidates bid far too high for their means and are then unable to raise the funds or get the mortgage approved at that level. Show the estate agent that you are still keen and ready to go and it will put you in a very strong and reliable position to proceed if you are given the chance.


If you are in a sealed bid situation or have recently lost out on sealed bids and want further advice please contact Chiltern Relocation on 01494 672086 or email:


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Sharon Hewitt

Sharon Hewitt

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