First and foremost you should have all of your finances and any paperwork/documentation in order before beginning your search for a new property. You should ensure you know exactly what your budget is, where the money will be coming from, and have all of this documented. For example, make sure you have the right amount of funds to put down a deposit, and speak with a mortgage advisor prior to your search, and get a mortgage agreed in principle. The last thing you want to do is start putting offers on properties that you can’t actually afford. Plus having the right funds, and being able to prove this, can put you in a favourable position with estate agents and sellers.
Building a good relationship isn’t necessarily going to guarantee you that property, but it can ensure that you receive the best advice possible when it comes to purchasing. It can help to meet them in person - go into their office, have a coffee and a chat with them about what you’re looking for - this can build a better personal relationship, rather than just speaking to someone over the phone.
Research the area, and other properties in that area. Understanding what other properties are worth in the area can help to give you a better idea of whether the area is going to be within your budget, what you may be willing to pay for a property, and whether or not asking prices are being over-valued. Having done this research, you can go into the process and start making offers with more confidence.
Once you have your finances in place, your research has been carried out, and you’ve viewed the property/properties you are interested in, you should then look at a bidding strategy.
At this point you should be aware of what similar properties in the area are worth, and what you are able to afford, so you should be able to have a solid bidding strategy for when putting offers in on a property. You can look at making an offer a couple of ways; you can either go in with a low initial offer, with the hopes that you may get a bargain, whilst leaving room for negotiation. Or you can provide your best offer in the first instance. This can show the sellers that you are very interested, and are serious about buying the property.
When you have fallen in love with a home, it can be very tempting to put in higher offers to have a better chance of it being accepted. However, you should never put an offer across that is outside of what you can afford, and try to avoid putting in offers that are way more than what the property is worth as you could lose out should you come to sell the property later on.
Now to actually make your offer. Remember, sellers don’t want time-wasters, so it’s important to act quickly when making an offer. This is where having a bidding strategy already in place will help you.
To make your offer on a property you can do this by either going in to see the estate agents, or by giving them a call. It is always advisable to provide your offer in writing, so whether this is discussed in person or over the phone, always follow this up with an email to have a record of what has been discussed.
Once you have made the offer, it is a case of waiting to find out whether it has been accepted or not.
At this point the estate agents will more than likely ask you some questions about things such as, finances; where the money is going to be coming from, and how quickly a purchase could be made, should your offer be accepted. This is why it’s important to have all of your finances in place and ready, as this will put you in a better position with the seller.
It’s also important to be as honest as possible with the estate agents and the seller. So, for example, if you are a first-time buyer, be completely open and honest about that. Don’t assume that this is a bad thing, this means that you have no chain so therefore, could make the moving process a lot smoother and quicker for you and for the seller.
The estate agent is required to pass on any and all offers they receive to the seller. It is then up to the seller to decide on which offer they would like to accept, if any. The estate agent will then advise you of whether your offer has been accepted or declined. It can be really disheartening when an offer is declined, but don’t let this put you off, and be sure to ask what the reasons for declining were as this could help you in future.
If your offer is accepted, however, this can be extremely exciting but don’t forget, this isn’t legally binding just yet. There is still a risk that the seller may pull out of the deal, but there is also still the opportunity for you to pull out as well.
During this time it is still possible for other people to put in offers on the property, so there is a risk of a higher offer being accepted. However, you can request that the seller stop marketing their property, which reduces the risk of this happening.
Keep in touch with the estate agent throughout this time to check the progress of things, and sometimes to prompt them to push things forward, if things seem to be dragging on.
Buying a home doesn’t need to be a daunting thing, and we hope that this guide has helped you to feel more confident about buying your next - or your first - property. If you do have any further questions about buying a property through Sutton Kersh, please don’t hesitate to contact our team today who are happy to help.