It's hard to escape the news and that house prices seemingly are increasing and competition amongst buyers is fierce. We are certainly experiencing it first hand at Whiting & Barlow. Each property that comes to market is immediately generating viewings and subsequent offers. However, there are a few mistakes we see from potential buyers which may not be helping them secure their dream home.
We recently were interviewed by Cornwall Live to provide some insight into the current market conditions which can be read here
Currently, each property has about 4-5 potential buyers making an offer, which in turn are all submitted to the vendor on their individual merits. Given this heightened competition there are a few tips that we wanted to share to help you secure your dream home.
You may choose to just register your details and property criteria with the property portals but there is often a delay from the point that the agent is actually instructed to sell and the point the property appears online. So by registering with individual estate agents they may let you know about properties before the hoards come to learn about them. When registering with an estate agent; it is wise to be specific with your ‘needs’ but let them know about your ‘wants’ too. Too large a range will mean your email inbox might be flooded with properties that are never going to work for you, it also doesn’t help the agent and they may not take you quite as seriously. We have experienced buyers registering with the criteria “£200,000 - £650,000”, “Three bedrooms” and the “whole of Cornwall”. We will try and help them find a property but there could potentially be hundreds of properties that meet that criteria.
Finances are important, even at an early stage. If you require a mortgage, make sure you shop around for the best rates etc. It may be boring but this is a loan that you may have for 35 years. Most buyers will approach their own bank first and may leave it there. It is advisable to speak to independent financial advisors who have access to wider deals from a host of different lenders. It could make all the difference. The majority don’t charge for their advice to start with.
Make sure you are in a position to buy a property before you book to view. If you do like the house you go to see and want to make an offer the acting estate agent is going to need to substantiate your position. If you require a mortgage make sure you have your agreement in principle (AIP) and proof of deposit. Keep these in a format that you have ready access to and could be emailed at a moments notice. If you are sold subject to contract make sure you have details of the chain and your estate agent. The agent acting for the one you have found will want to check all of this. It is also wise to have chosen a solicitor/conveyancer before you make the offer. It all helps show the vendor how serious you are.
Be quick; this is arguably the hardest thing to accomplish as it is impossible to drop everything at a moments notice. But by following the above and registering with agents and being ready to view will all help.
When on the viewing there are questions you can ask the agent, or even the homeowner, which will help in determining the offer you may wish to make; ‘has there been much interest?’, ‘have any offers been made?’ and ‘is there a timescale the vendor is looking for?’. Then make your offer accordingly depending on the responses you receive, the closer your position matches the vendors the more likely you are to have an offer accepted. There is no hard and fast rule for the amount you should offer; the days of 5% below asking price are gone for a lot of properties. We would suggest (especially if there are competing offers): offer an amount you are prepared to pay but a figure that if it goes over you are prepared to walk away.
As agents, we know it’s tough out there for potential buyers but we are here to help. All estate agents want to help their client sell and for that they need buyers, so if you need assistance don’t be afraid to ask. Most estate agents can put you in touch with an independent financial advisor if you don’t know of one, they can assist with finding a suitable conveyancer and they should be able to answer any questions you have about a particular property.
We hope this helps but if you want specific advice or there is a question that remains unanswered then please get in touch, we don’t charge for advice!