With the stamp duty holiday extension confirmed, we’re expecting lots of properties to come onto the market in the coming months. However as a buyer, it can be very frustrating when a dream property that fits your requirements comes up for sale, only to be snapped up almost immediately by someone else.
There are, however, a few things that you can do as a buyer to boost your chance of successfully securing the kind of property you’re looking for:
- Be ready to move ahead with a purchase. When the perfect property comes along and there’s a lot of competition from other buyers, you’ve got to make sure you’re in the best possible position and can move ahead without any delay, which means getting your financial and legal ducks in line.
If you’re a cash buyer, make sure the funds are available. If you’re buying with a mortgage, speak to a broker or lender and ask them to make the preliminary checks to reassure you that there shouldn’t be any issue securing mortgage finance. Instruct a good legal company that can progress the purchase and any related sale quickly. Things like not ordering searches early can delay the legal process and the longer a transaction takes, the greater the risk of the deal falling through, so choose a solicitor or conveyancer with a track record of getting deals done.
- Research prices in advance. In order to make a sensible offer that also has a good chance of being accepted, you need to have an idea of how much a property is really worth. Look online at sold house price data for the type of property you’re interested in and also check regularly to see how quickly other properties in the area are selling – what’s flying off the shelf and at what price? Then, as soon as a property you like comes onto the market, you’ll be able to judge whether it’s a fair price, over or underpriced, before you even view.
- Register as ‘ready to go’ with agents and portals. Sign up to property portals and auction sites online so you get notified as soon as suitable properties are listed. Work out which local estate agents deal with the kind of properties you’re looking for and make sure they know you’re ready to proceed with a purchase. Let them know you’re prepared to view on a virtual phone call, even if the full details aren’t yet available, and give feedback on every property they recommend to you, so they learn what you do and don’t like and you can build a relationship. They’ll then be more likely to call you first when a suitable property comes up.
- Proactively seek out properties. Note the roads and even individual properties that appeal to you and then ask local agents if they’ve recently valued anything in that location or of a similar type. They may even be prepared to approach some owners on your behalf or drop leaflets in a specific area.
- If you need to sell a property to buy or invest, consider securing the sale first and/or moving into rented accommodation. While it’s not the right move for everyone, if you need to sell your current home in order to buy one or more properties and the type of property you’re looking for is in very short supply, you could position yourself as a more attractive buyer by getting rid of any related chain. So, if you’re willing and able to sell up and move into rented accommodation, that makes your onward purchase less complicated and may put you ahead of other potential buyers in the eyes of a seller.
If you’re having trouble finding a property investment or new home, get in touch with your local Leaders team and we’ll see what we can do to help. We can also provide recommendations for mortgage brokers or legal representatives.