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How to buy a house in today’s busy market!

So you have been saving and saving for your first home or maybe you need to make the move to a bigger property for your growing family. Whatever your reason, I thought I would share my top tips for securing your perfect home in this competitive market. You have probably read about demand for homes outweighing supply at the moment, so it is important that you get prepared so you are in the best position when you view something you are keen to buy.

1. Research the area

First thing to do when trying to buy a property is to know exactly what you are buying and where you are buying. If you are moving to a new area this is particularly important. What amenities do you need to be near? Do you need to be in catchment for good schools or close to a station? Are these ‘must haves’ or ‘like to haves’? This will help you establish what sort of property you can buy in the area with your budget. Most people start this process online but we also recommend registering with local agents early on.

2. Register with local estate agents 

Building a relationship with local estate agents means you will be at the forefront of their mind when they bring a new property to the market and will give you the best chance of seeing it as early as possible. Often agents will call their keen, qualified buyers about new properties before they even go online so this is the best way to make sure you are ahead of the game.

The other benefit of having a relationship with local agents is that you can utilise their knowledge to your advantage, they are the property experts after all. Understanding the information behind the property, for example knowing how long it has been on the market for & the reasons for the sellers move can help you try and negotiate the best price for the property. Determining the vendor’s motivation behind the may also help to work out if the property is right for you or not.

3. Get Financially Prepared 

In today’s market, we are seeing a lot of interest on houses and experiencing viewing days where we are fully booked from 9am – 5pm with back to back viewings! Making sure you are absolutely ready is paramount for the agent to be able to put forward an offer in its best possible light. If you require a mortgage, make sure you have spoken to an Independent Financial Advisor to ascertain your affordability before you start viewing. We recommend First Thought Financial, who are based in Rickmansworth. They are a whole of market brokers and have access to preferential rates so you will have much more choice than if you just go through your bank. Having a mortgage in principal is something that a lot of agents ask for when you make an offer on a property so make sure this is in place and ready to be used if necessary. Click here to request a call from First Thought Financial and get the ball rolling.

4. Can you be chain free?

This will not apply for everyone but being in a chain free position is always going to benefit you over other potential buyers. Being chain free means where you are not dependent on selling a property meaning you can be more flexible on timescales which may suit the vendor. If there is no lower chain then from the agent and seller’s perspective there is less that can go wrong and the likelihood of the sale completing increases. We understand that a lot of buyers won’t be chain free and this doesn’t mean you will always miss out! If you are dependent on selling a property before you buy just make sure you have a proceedable buyer or a complete lower chain in place to put you in the best position.

 5. Stay positive! 

The current market is extremely competitive so you will most likely be going up against a lot of potential buyers. Making offers on properties and losing out can be disheartening but it is crucial to stay upbeat. If your purchase is to fall through or you do not get your offer accepted there is always going to be another house that comes along that you love just as much!

If you are thinking about moving home or would like some further advice on the local market, don’t hesitate to call me on 01923 776400.

Luke Holden