What Does Offers Over Mean in Scotland and How Much Should I Pay

What Is Offers Over?

Offers over is…

Where a property is being marketed at Offers Over, it is less clear what price a seller hopes to achieve than where a seller is marketing the property at Offers in the Region Of  or Fixed Price.  For that reason, buyers tend not to be the greatest fans of ‘Offers Over’ pricing.  So what does it all mean and did ‘Offers Over’ not end when Home Reports came into play in late 2008? Read on!

Home Reports Did Not Kill Offers Over

Many people thought that Home Reports would kill off ‘Offers Over’ because the potential buyer knew what the house was ‘worth’.  Of course, the old adage that something is worth what someone will pay for it holds true in property too, and just because the Home Report says one thing doesn’t mean that a buyer won’t be prepared to pay more than that.

It Can Be an Attempt to Create a Bidding War

Pricing a property at ‘Offers Over’ can be an attempt to create a bidding war between potential buyers.  When the property market is buoyant or there is high demand for this type of property, Offers Over can often indicate that the seller or seller’s agent is hoping to generate multiple interested parties and then create a ‘bidding war’ for the property.

For example, if a highly desirable property in a good area is on the market at Offers Over £400,000 and the Home Report value is £450,000, this might indicate that the property seller is looking for multiple interested parties to bid against each other at a closing date. They will be hoping that this approach generates extra interest and competition amongst the potential buyers.

This level of interest can be, slightly artificially, inflated by pricing the property so low that people will Note Interest when they have no intention of paying anything like the full Home Report value.

Get Advice – It Will Pay Off

With properties marketed at Offers Over, more than any other asking price, it is essential to take expert advice as to what to offer. Obviously, the Home Report does give some clue but even in a Home Report the valuation is not an exact science and they don’t really take into account the effect of multiple Notes of Interest, closing dates or areas of very, very high demand where buyers can get perhaps a bit carried away.

At the most recent peak of the market in 2007, some properties were selling for as much as 50% over the asking price when they were priced at ‘Offers Over’. Most of these were given deliberately low ‘asking prices’ to generate high levels of interest and competition. It must be remembered, this was before Home Reports were introduced in Scotland and the picture has changed considerably since their launch in December 2008. When the market contracted in 2008 and 2009, Offers Over started disappearing. Without competition from lots of buyers, ‘Offers Over’ can actually have a negative effect on the likely selling price because it can look like the seller is looking for less than the asking price and also because buyers generally don’t like ‘Offers Over’ pricing: it’s a tactic for a seller’s market. As the market has recovered, Offers Over is once again in the ascendancy and, in 2018, the vast majority of properties in buoyant markets were marketed at an ‘Offers Over’ asking price.

So, How Much Should You Offer When the Price is Offers Over?

There is no simple answer: it does depend on a number of factors.

1. Is it Affordable?

Of course, you have to factor in how much you can actually afford. But even in the absence of any financial constraints, the main thing is to try and retain a sense of perspective and think about what the property is worth to you.  If you had to sell the house in a few years, would you likely make a huge loss if you overstretched yourself now and, if you did, would you regret that?

2. Consult the Home Report

The Home Report is, of course, a good guide too, but it isn’t an exact science.  You can of course also instruct your own survey by a Chartered Surveyor in order to get another opinion on value.

3. Seek Expert Advice

By far the best way is to take expert advice from a solicitor, or firm of solicitors, who has a lot of experience in buying and also valuing properties for sale. They can research past sales in the area and also give you a healthy dose of advice about the pricing tactics of the selling agent, based on their experience.

4. Consider the Location and Potential Levels of Interest

The level of interest in the property is something else that you have to factor in.  If the property appears to be ‘keenly priced’, in a very popular area and in a buoyant sector of the market, and there are 30 Notes of Interest in the property by the time that you offer at the Closing Date, you have to question whether all other 29 potential buyers are going to offer under the Home Report price.  The chances are that the answer is ‘no’, and that there will be at least one or two people who bid considerably more than the Home Report price to secure it: at the end of the day, it’s worth that to them, especially if they have lost out at a few Closing Dates and just really want to settle somewhere and stop house hunting. To see the latest property market update click here.

5. Think About What it is Worth to You

Ultimately, you have to make a decision as to what you think the property is worth to you and then try, really try, to stick to that. I used to ask buying clients for permission to remind them, the day before a closing date, what amount they had said they were going to offer when I had spoken to them at the time they Noted Interest.  Almost invariably I’d have to rat them out on the day before the Closing Date and remind them that they had said they wouldn’t get carried away like so many people do!  Some people would remember and back-off from offering so much, others would laugh, thank me for my concern and instruct me to bid more than they originally had said they would.  It happens on the morning that the offer is submitted too: as a solicitor, you’ll have the offer ready to go and then you’ll get a phone call asking you to add £2000 to the price, or something odd like £2153.53, just in case someone else has bid £2150 more than their original bid.  I would actually suggest writing down what you thought you were going to bid when you first saw the property, before you found out that other people were interested, and remind yourself of that at the Closing Date.

There is an old saying that you make your money on a property when you purchase it and not when you sell it. This is true. Your ability to develop the property with a view to a future resale will come down to your choice of property, a decision that is made at the point of purchase, not the point when you do the development work or sell it. Equally, another old expression states that the easiest money you’ll ever make is the money you don’t spend. For this reason, by not overpaying at the point of purchase, you are more likely to make some money on your investment when you come to sell it or, at the least, not to lose money at the point of sale.

Contact us for expert advice on offers over in your area. Just call us on 0345 646 0208 or email [email protected] for more information!


23 responses to “What Does Offers Over Mean in Scotland and How Much Should I Pay”

  1. martin avatar

    I made an offer. the seller told me my bid was the highest,one hour after the close. yet my offer was still turned down.strange.

    1. Robert Carroll avatar

      Thank you for your comment. It’s possible that other factors can come into play on an offer and that the highest offer won’t always be the one that’s accepted. It’s also possible that the seller wasn’t accurate with their information, of course! But Date of Entry, the buyer’s finance position (cash versus mortgage) as well as whether they have already sold their own property or have yet to put it on the market are among the things that a seller will take into account as well as the offer level.

  2. Bruce avatar

    Any indication of the current sale price via offers over price in the Edinburgh area ? ie 5% over ??

    1. David Marshall avatar

      Afternoon Bruce, and thanks for your question.

      At present, properties marketed at Offers Over are selling for an average of just under 5% above their asking price. Higher value properties typically fair a little better, with those over £500,000 achieving an average of just over 7% above their asking price.

      It’s worth pointing out that this figure can vary significantly from one property to the next though, and it’s certainly not unusual to see properties selling for 10% or more above the asking price. A number of factors determine exactly what that figure will be for a given property, including the seller’s marketing strategy, local market conditions and how motivated the successful bidder is.

      If you’re looking to buy and need any advice on how much to bid, or indeed on any other aspect of the buying process, do feel free to get in touch on 0131 202 5444 and we’ll be happy to assist.


      1. James avatar

        Presumably that “just under 5%” figure is also partly due to sellers setting the Offers Over price at a set amount below the home report valuation.

        Do you have figures that indicate the average amount over the home report valuation that properties get sold for?

        1. David Marshall avatar

          Evening James,

          As you say, it’s certainly not unusual to see the asking price set a couple of percentage points below the Home Report valuation when an Offers Over approach is used. To answer your question, during the fourth quarter of 2015 properties in Edinburgh achieved an average selling price that was 1.5% above their Home Report (HR) valuation.

          Again, it would be worth noting that there is substantial variance around that figure. In that same period, one in four properties sold in the Capital went for at least 5% above the HR valuation, with one in 10 achieving a selling price that was 10% or more above valuation. At the other end of the scale, roughly a third of properties sold were actually secured for slightly less than their valuation.

          I hope that’s of help, but do feel free to get in touch if you have any other questions.


  3. Stephen Linnen avatar
    Stephen Linnen

    I have seen a property advertised at offers over £105,000, with a home report value of £110,000. There is likely to be a closing date set. The property is in Carnbroe area of Coatbridge, what is the average % above home report value for sales in this area and what is likely amount required to secure the property?

    Clearly I accept this would only be an estimate and each individual case is different, just trying to gauge how much I should bid.



    1. David Marshall avatar

      Afternoon Stephen,

      I hope you’re well, and many thanks for getting in touch.

      I don’t unfortunately have statistics relating to the Coatbridge area, but on average you will tend to find that most properties are selling for within one or two percent of the Home Report valuation. Obviously a number of factors can influence the actual price a property achieves. In this instance, as you have indicated that closing date is likely, that means that you may well face competition from a number of other buyers and you will have to factor that in when considering how much to bid.

      As you correctly said, this will vary from property to property and every individual case is different. If you already have a solicitor estate gent in place, they should be well placed to give you the latest information on selling prices specifically in the area that you are looking and that can be invaluable information.

      I hope that helps, and best of luck with your house hunt.


  4. Rachel Buckle avatar
    Rachel Buckle

    I have viewed a property in Morningside, offers over £150,000, the flat is immaculate, and ready to let immediately, the HR is £150,000, can you advise me on how much you would estimate this flat to go for?

    1. David Marshall avatar

      Hi Rachel,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      As you would probably expect, it’s unfortunately incredibly difficult to provide a precise estimate for how much a specific property is likely to sell for. According to ESPC’s figures, on average, properties in Edinburgh are selling for 1.2% above their Home Report valuation at the moment, but there is significant variance around that figure. Just recently we saw a sale agreed for more than 30% above valuation for example, though such cases are still relatively unusual.

      If the property has been on the market from a shorter period of time, and if a closing date has been set, demand is likely t be higher so you should bear that in mind when considering how much to bid. Your solicitor estate gent should also be able to talk you through all of the latest selling prices specifically in the area that you are looking at to further help inform your bid.

      We actually recently published a video that you may find useful in which Robert Carroll, our Managing Director, discusses the Offers Over system in Scotland. You can find it at:


      I hope that helps, but please do feel free to get in touch if you need anything else.


  5. Stephen avatar

    Hi there.

    Been looking at a property in brunstane road south on edinburgh wuth offers over 225k hope report in 235k.
    There is plans to build on the green belt behind this property 1200 new homes on a new estate named new bruntane.

    Do you think this will de value this property ..
    And would it be wise to offer more than the home report valuation ? Please help

    1. David Marshall avatar

      Hi Stephen,

      Thanks very much for getting in touch. At the moment, we are seeing that most properties are selling for more than their original Home Report valuation, largely due to the simple laws of supply and demand. There are less homes on the market, but the number of buyers is still very high meaning that in a lot of cases buyers are having to spend a bit more than the Home Report valuation to secure their property.

      Of course the Home Report valuation is based on the value of a property at the time when the surveyor valued it and on market conditions at that time. You are quite right to look at future developments in the area as these can have an impact, both positive and negative, on the value of a property in years to come.

      It’s always hard to give advice on a specific case remotely. If you already have a solicitor in place to help you with your purchase, they should be able to give you a good steer on what properties are selling for and the potential impact of the development you referenced on the future value of the home in question. If you don’t already have a solicitor in place and you would like us to assist you, please do feel free to contact us on 0131 202 5444 and one of our team will be delighted to help you.

      Good luck with your house hunt and if you need anything else please feel free to get in touch.


  6. Stevie avatar

    I am buying for the first time in 30 years and have seen a property in Dalkeith for o/o 180k with a home report of 185k. It has gone to a closing date and there are 5 notes of interest. My lawyer has advised that to give us a chance of owning this property we should bid a minimum of 195k. but more if we can afford.
    The house is located in a small street where 3 similar properties have been marketed over the last 6 months but have not sold. 4 bedroom vs 3 bedroom property but do you consider the fact of bidding this amount over is good advice?

    1. David Marshall avatar

      Afternoon Stevie,

      Many thanks for getting in touch. As you already have a solicitor in place, it would not be appropriate for me to offer advice on your particular purchase, and indeed this would be very difficult to do without being able to properly research the specifics of your case. I can tell you, however, that in general terms most properties that are selling at present are achieving an amount that is equal to or higher than the Home Report valuation. If a property has been on the market for a shorter period of time, and if there are multiple notes of interest, this increases the likelihood that the selling price achieved will be higher than the valuation.

      I’m sorry that I can’t be of more help in this instance, but hopefully this information is of some use.

      Best of luck with your purchase,


  7. Tanya Older avatar

    Hi, want to offer on a property in Leith with an offers over £150,000 and an HR value of £160,000. I am totally in the dark as to what to offer and any advice would be appreciated.
    Many thanks, Tanya

    1. Jamie McBride avatar

      Hi Tanya,

      Thanks very much for getting in touch and apologies for the delay in replying. At the moment, we are seeing that most properties are selling for more than their original Home Report valuation, largely due to the simple laws of supply and demand. There are less homes on the market at the moment, but the number of buyers out there, like yourself, looking for a property is still very high, meaning that it is not uncommon that buyers are having to spend a bit more than the Home Report valuation to secure their property.

      It’s always a bit tricky to give advice on a specific case remotely like this and without knowing more. If you have a solicitor in place already to help you with your purchase, they should be able to give you a good steer on what properties that are similar to the one you are currently looking at in Leith are currently selling for.

      If you don’t already have a solicitor in place and you would like us to assist you, please do feel free to contact us on 0131 202 5444 and one of our team will be delighted to help you.

      Good luck with your property search and please do feel free to get in touch if we can help further.


  8. Geoff Dunne avatar


    We are an English couple considering relocating to Scotland, for a number of reasons but high among these are the beautiful scenery, the lochs and the mountains but chief among our reasons is the incredible value for money when compared to property in England. We are looking at up to £500K but are completely confused about terminology, your article above has been the most informative we have been able to find and we are very grateful to you for that, and equally impressed with your response to each and every one of the comments above. We now have a much clearer understanding of “offers over” but could you please help us to understand similarly, the vagaries , differences of “guide price” or “offers in the region of” and “fixed price” specifically can a lower amount be offered than that suggested and where a property has been on the market for a long time (some we have seen for 1, 2 or more years) can one offer less than the guide/fixed price?

    Many thanks

  9. Louise avatar

    Hi we are looking to buy a 3 bedroom house in a sought after area in the south side of Glasgow. Offers are over 125,000 and the home report valuation is at 135,000. A verbal offer made of 133,000 was turned down after viewing the property last night. More people have still to view the property and a closing date has been set for in a week´s time (suspected by our solicitor). As a first time buyer I am unsure as to what a good offer would be to secure the property? Also, do sellers often have a dominant hand in who buys the house? In the sense can the seller be informed of the potential buyer´s circumstance as a way to sway them to sell? As we are a young family and the sellers an elderly couple, they may want to sell for a family like they once were!

    1. Robert Carroll avatar

      Thank you for your comment and great questions. With regards to what might be deemed to be a good offer, that will depend on the amount of interest in the property, the expectations of the seller and also the accuracy of the Home Report valuation in terms of the market conditions. Different Home Report providers will have a different attitude to risk and it has to be borne in mind that they are produced by human beings so, although they are a good guide as to the likely market value, the Home Report valuation can sometimes be lower or higher than what the property actually ends up selling for. If there are a number of people bidding, this can affect how much the property will sell for as ‘fear of missing out’ will sometimes kick-in for some buyers. You really have to set an upper limit for what you feel the property is worth for you, in your circumstances, and ask yourself whether whatever you are considering bidding will both be affordable and also not expose you to risk if prices were subject to a drop or ‘correction’ in the next couple of years and you found yourself in the situation of having to sell and therefore make a loss. As for whether the seller has a hand in what is accepted, the answer is 100% ‘yes’! Indeed, it’s entirely up to the seller as to what offer they accept or, indeed, whether they accept any offer at all, no matter how ‘good’ it is. Experience does tell us, however, that sellers will most likely be swayed by the price, the Date of Entry proposed and also the buying position of the potential buyer (for example, do they still have to sell their own property or are they buying with a mortgage?). We hope that is helpful.

  10. Sam Mc avatar
    Sam Mc

    Hi, my partner and I are very interested in a house in the Scottish Highlands. Its home report value is £125K and it was on the market for £127,500, however, now we have been told the sellers won’t accept any offers less than £149,000. Is it normal to pay £24+ over the home report valuation and the original asking price? We are first time buyers and unsure if the seller is being reluctant to sell or this is normal.

    1. Robert Carroll avatar

      20 percent over the Home Report valuation is not unheard-of by any means. However, that would tend to be when a number of buyers have entered a bidding war with each other. In the absence of a very competitive Closing Date where multiple buyers are offering, it would in our experience be unusual for a seller to be expecting to achieve 20% over the Home Report valuation and almost 20% over the asking price. If there is anything we can do to help you with your negotiations or your purchase, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

  11. David scudds avatar
    David scudds

    Hi we are very new to the ‘offers over’ and have seen a property for £225000 I know it’s difficult to say but what would be the rough estimate we should be looking at to be near enough in the right ball park ?

    1. Graeme MacKay avatar

      Morning David, firstly apologies for the delay in replying. ‘Offers over’ can create a lot of uncertainty in the bidding process. There are many factors that need to be considered when judging what you should bid, such as, the area, the type of property, the demand for these types of property. For example, Houses in Edinburgh can go for between 5%-10% above the home report valuation. In other areas this may be less. Where I would start is find out the home report valuation and then using some of the online tools to try to see what similar properties around you have sold for. If you haven’t already decided on a solicitor for the transaction, then please get in contact with us and we can help you with this process.


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