How to write a seal bid

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Although some companies refer to their tendering process for contracts as “sealed bids,” the most likely way you will ever have to write one yourself is in relation to a property purchase. A “sealed bid auction” occurs when a property for sale through an agency receives offers from several interested parties. Rather than batting back and forth between all the prospective purchasers, the agent will ask each for his “best and final offer” and expect this to be submitted in writing by a certain date. You don’t know what the other bidders are offering, so you have to make the best offer you can without the risk of overpaying. There is no standard, legal format for such a bid. However, there are some general guidelines to follow.

Ask the agent to write the terms of the sealed bid auction to you in a letter. You will probably be informed of the auction over the phone, but the staff member who calls you may make a mistake, or you might copy down the information incorrectly.

Copy down the details of the letter you receive and make this the body of your bid. For example, the estate agent’s letter will probably have a subject line containing the address of the property. Make this the subject line of your reply.

Keep the language in the letter formal and brief. Address the letter to the person who signed the invitation letter. State plainly you wish to make an offer with your price in the opening paragraph. Type the letter on a word processor and highlight your offer price in bold. Do not make a bid to a round number. You can even include a random amount of pence. This method avoids two bids coming out to the same amount, in which case, the seller may place other conditions in order to decide to whom she wishes to sell.

Continue the bid by detailing your finances. State how much of the purchase price you will provide yourself and how much will be on a mortgage. State the name of your lender if you have been pre-approved for a mortgage. The seller does not have to accept the highest bid, but will accept the bid that demonstrates that the purchaser is in a position to buy and is not likely to pull out of the purchase.

Include the details of your solicitor in the next paragraph. Although this is not necessary, it shows the seller that you are serious in your intention to buy and have already made all efforts to prepare for a quick purchase.

Conclude with a paragraph that highlights your strengths and explain how you value the opportunity to live in the house, for example, by saying that you hope your children will be able to grow up in such a wonderful home. Add anything that you think might sway the seller to accept your bid even if it is not the highest.

Sign the letter and print your name in block capitals underneath the space for your signature. Make sure you deliver the letter to the estate agent bid before the deadline for all offers.

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