I8.208 The purchaser
The open market excludes no one1 and should be regarded as open to anyone who is willing and able to make an offer2. A willing purchaser is a person of reasonable prudence who would not rush into the sale without first obtaining all the relevant facts3, a description which has been approved by the House of Lords4. HMRC describe a prudent purchaser as one who would not be willing to go beyond a price which, on normal commercial principles, would give an appropriate return for the money5. In the case of domestic property, the return could be either the use of the property, the receiving of income therefrom, the capital sum realised on a sale, or any combination of these.
Judicial references to the characteristics of the seller and purchaser have been made to emphasise the objective nature of the valuation. Neither party is to have attributed to him characteristics which would prevent him from selling or buying at the best reasonable price obtainable. However, because everyone willing and able to make an offer is to be taken into account in ascertaining the best price available, there has always been difficulty in ascertaining to what extent this includes the bid of a person who, for one reason or another, would pay much more than anyone else. The question was first raised before the courts in Clay6, where the deceased owned a house worth £750
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