What Does ‘Offers in Excess Of’ Mean?


Buying a property can be a stressful endeavour, especially when you’re faced with many unfamiliar expressions used by estate agents. One such term is ‘offers in excess of,’ which you may have encountered and wondered what it meant. In this guide, we’ll explain the offers in excess of meaning and clear up all ambiguities surrounding this expression. Keep reading to avoid further confusion!

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What Does Offers in Excess Of Mean?

The term ‘Offers in Excess Of,’ or ‘OIEO’ for short, is used to express the acceptable minimum price on property listings. In plain words, the OIEO is the starting point, meaning the estate agent will only accept offers higher than the ‘offer in excess of’ amount. For example, if you see £300,000 OIEO or £300,000 Offers in Excess Of on a property listing, you should bid more than £300,000.

Although an offer below this amount could be accepted, it’s very unlikely, as the OIEO is the minimum amount the vendor is willing to accept—the ‘in excess of meaning’ lies in that all offers should exceed the specified amount.

DID YOU KNOW? In the UK, most properties are put up for sale in the spring. Consequentially, most people move into a new property in August, so the ideal period to find a buyer and go through with the purchase is from early spring until the end of summer.

Why Are Properties Listed with ‘Offers in Excess Of?’

Although we’ve defined the term ‘offers in excess of,’ you may still be wondering why estate agents use this terminology. Below, you’ll find all the different reasons why agents choose to do so.

Market Testing

The offer in excess of meaning can still be ambiguous when estate agents use the expression to test the market value of the property. What do we mean by this? Well, sometimes agents list the OIEO lower than the asking price so they can see how much more potential buyers are willing to offer.


Property location is another reason for listing a property as ‘offers in excess of.’ If the property is in an area with differing property values, it might be difficult to value how much it’s actually worth.

Garner Interest

Real estate agents usually want to garner higher levels of interest in the property they’re selling. If this is the case, the OIEO property meaning becomes their main focus—by making the property price flexible, agents encourage a bidding war among the interested parties.

If there’s a war, there’s interest, meaning the value of the property is rising and vendors can get the asking price or even sell above house value.

Quick Sale

Another possible reason for listing an OIEO property is getting a quick sale. In case vendors are in urgent need of money, they’ll want to sell their property as quickly as possible. By implementing the offers in excess of meaning, they ensure they’ll get at least one offer above the listed price and be able to sell quickly.

DID YOU KNOW? Although there are regional variations across the UK, the average British citizen moves home every 23 years—quite a long time to live in one place! However, this wasn’t always the case—in the 1980s, people moved more frequently (on average, every 8.63 years).

Can You Offer Less than the ‘Offers in Excess’ Amount?

When we defined the offers in excess meaning, we said this number signifies the acceptable minimum, but you may still be wondering if you can offer less. The answer is yes—you can make an offer below the OIEO price.

However, remember your offer can be quickly declined if there’s a significant interest in the property. If you’re okay with rejection, don’t hesitate to place your bid!

On the other hand, if the property has been on the market for a longer period of time, you might get lucky and have your offer accepted. The offer in excess is sometimes priced too high to get better bids, so the vendor has no other choice but to accept your offer.

Getting a Lower Bid Accepted

We need to emphasise that even if you know what does OIEO mean and you’ve decided to make a lower bid, you need to make your offer stand out to have a chance. It’s a good idea to have a mortgage in principle ready to prove to the vendor you’re ready to make the purchase immediately!

Also, it’s always a good idea to be honest—you can talk to the estate agent and ask if they’re willing to negotiate. We believe this is one of the essential questions you need to ask when viewing a house.

DID YOU KNOW? Some experts claim 85% of UK properties are sold for less than the asking price, so you can’t lose anything by making an offer below the asking price. On the contrary, you can get a great deal on your new home!

Key Takeaways

The ‘offers in excess of’ expression is used to signify the acceptable minimum price a vendor is willing to accept.
Properties are listed as OIEO in areas with differing property values or when agents need to generate more interest and sell quickly.
Buyers are free to offer less than the ‘offers in excess of’ amount if they believe their offer meets the objective value of the property.
The best places to use ‘offers in excess of’ are auctions and open houses.

When Should You Use ‘Offers in Excess’?

The offers in excess meaning is a double-edged sword, as you can either entice a bidding war, generate more interest in the property and drive the price up, or end up overpricing your property and turning away potential customers. In such cases, the sale can take a long time, and you may end up selling for less than the property value.

However, there are two situations where listing your house as OIEO is recommended:

  • Auction – When a house is up for auction, the seller wants to achieve the highest possible price. Listing it as ‘offers in excess’ serves as a starting point for higher bids.
  • Open house – At an open house, people tend to compete against one another and make multiple offers. The vendor only needs to choose the highest offer and make a quick sale.

Once you know what does offers in excess of mean and when it should be used, you can implement it in the sale of your property regardless of the type of house you’re selling. And if you’re a buyer, you’ll know what to expect too!

DID YOU KNOW? In 2022, the average house price in the UK is £274,000, showing an increase of £24,000 from the previous year, when the average house price was £250,000—one of the highest changes ever registered.

How Much Should You Bid on an ‘Offers in Excess’ Property?

If you’re looking at an OIEO property, even if you understand the offer in excess of meaning, you may wonder how much more you should offer. Well, there’s no hard and fast rule as to how much you should offer for a property.

You should inform yourself about property prices in the area and consider the property’s objective market value, but you should ultimately offer what you believe the property is worth.

Each property is worth as much as the buyer is willing to pay, so consider your budget—look into getting a mortgage and how much you’ll be approved for, add that amount to your savings, and make a bid. Vendors will look at every offer, so don’t let the OIEO property meaning scare you off—you might become a homeowner!

DID YOU KNOW? Mortgage lending in the UK is on the rise—in 2021, £316 billion were borrowed in mortgages. In 2020, only £249 billion were borrowed, indicating the property market is blooming again after the pandemic.

Final Words

The property market is a complicated place, and the different terms and abbreviations used by estate agents can be confusing.

Hopefully, this guide has managed to clear up some of the confusion by defining what does OIEO mean, when it’s used, and how you should approach it. The next time you see such a listing, you can consider it with more confidence!


What is the difference between in excess and offers over?

‘Offers in excess’ means the vendor is accepting only offers higher than the specified price, while ‘offers over’ means the vendor would prefer to sell the property for more than the specified price.

What does the in excess of mean?

The ‘in excess’ in the expression ‘offers in excess of’ signifies the seller is only accepting offers exceeding the specified amount.

What does offers in excess of mean in Scotland?

The offers in excess of meaning is the same everywhere in the UK, so it means the same in Scotland as it does in England, i.e. only considering offers higher than the stated price.

Why do estate agents put offers in excess of?

Estate agents often list properties as OIEO when they want to make a quick sale, or to test the market and see how much potential buyers are willing to pay.


As challenging as she looks, Kristina loves to question things. Her analytical skills give us a fresh look at markets, products and services and her experience as a real estate agent keeps our related topics up to par.

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