Ensure you establish good communications with the estate agents to ensure that you become the agent’s and eventually the seller’s favoured buyer. Where possible make an effort to meet the estate agent to establish a friendly relationship.
Being ready to purchase will push you to the top of the estate agent’s list of people to call when a new instruction lands in your favoured area. It is also wise to obtain a mortgage agreement in principle, along with details of deposit funds.
To be in the best position when putting in an offer ideally you should have sold your house or be renting so you are ready to go.
Being chain-free not only benefits you as a buyer, but it means you can sell your own home as chain-free, which is attractive to other buyers.
If you are lucky enough to be able to buy a home without any borrowing, provide the agent with proof /evidence of these funds. It is surprising how many people say they are cash buyers when it turns out they are not and therefore if you can prove it in advance it definitely is a big plus when negotiating the price.
Search for your ideal property on the internet – and research prices.
Consider employing a buying agency to help you search for your ideal property. These agencies can often save you more than they charge, which averages around 3 per cent of the asking price. The buying agents will search for a property according to your specifications and can help with price negotiations.
Search for properties slightly above your price category to see what a little more will buy you. More importantly, you can keep an eye on those out of your reach in case they are reduced.
Double-check property particulars such as the length of lease if a property is leasehold, and planning permissions where it claims some have been granted. Sometimes agents get the information wrong so its worth checking.
If you’re buying in a new area, do research on the neighbourhood and on the prices.
Visit the area at different times of the day and night and chat to locals to ensure you get a feel for the area.
Find a reason to meet the sellers who own the property when you are making an offer on a property, as they will often feel more obliged to sell to you. Once a seller has got to know you, they are far less likely to act ruthlessly.
Auctions are a great source of renovation projects if you want a challenge so the auction houses are worth investigating as not all homes at auction are in a state of disrepair. It’s important to prepare properly before you set foot in an auction room.Auctions require a 10 per cent deposit on the day and you are legally bound to buy the property plus you need to complete and pay within 28 days or you lose your deposit.
Research what the owners paid for the property. Zoopla and Rightmove have details, or search on the ‘price paid data’ section of the Land Registry website. Compare this to the asking price today. The larger the margin, the more room there is for negotiation
New-builds are a great place to spot a bargain as some developers just want to move their stock and so, if a development has lots for sale, or just have one or two left in the whole development they may take an offer as they want to move on with other projects.
What counts as a ‘bargain’ will be different in every postcode. Whatever type of property is in surplus in a particular area is where you will find the best deals. The laws of supply and demand always apply.