Tip 1 – Be Financially & Legally Prepared
Once you have decided you are ready to start looking for a property or your next home, it is fundamental to start getting all your ducks in a row. This includes how you are going to purchase a property, including having a mortgage in principle in place if you are mortgage dependant, having your deposit funds ready, or understanding where any deposit funds are going to come from if this includes gifted deposits for example. This also includes having an understanding of solicitors fees and all the cost involved to make sure you have the funds readily available to go full steam ahead when you find the right property.
Too often, we speak to buyers who have decided they want to start looking at properties but haven’t started to make investigations yet as to whether or not they can actually obtain the required finance or checked affordability to understand exactly what they have to spend. This potentially could lead to disappointment all round if things don’t stack up!
Having the fundamentals in place regarding your finances and ability to show evidence of this to an estate agent when you wish to make an offer, shows your commitment as a buyer, and demonstrates the right behaviours that we expect to see from a motivated and committed buyer. This helps agents to put your offer forward in the best possible light by demonstrating your ability to follow through with your offer if it was to get accepted!
If you need help getting your finances in place, we can put you in touch with our preferred mortgage adviser who will get to work on getting you in a proceedable position, so you can out your best foot forward when you find the perfect home.
If you plan on doing this after finding the right property, you increase your risk of missing out to better buyers who are one step ahead, so the best advice we can give here is fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
Being organised and proactive with this is the key!
Tip 2 – Research Property Listing
As basic as it sounds, it is important to fully read a property listing. You would be amazed at how many buyers miss relevant information which is often found within the property listing advert, by not taking the time to fully read the description or analyse the information available.
Also, by understanding the main tick boxes that you are trying to accommodate and by making sure you are focussing on those, while also being aware of those you can compromise on will definitely help during the research phase of your search. If you are unsure on the location and need to do a drive-by, do this before arranging a formal viewing to avoid wasting anyone’s time, especially if you are considering a new area that you are not familiar with. By doing thorough research of the property you are wanting to view, you will manage your own expectations and mitigate any hidden surprises (usually) when you physically view a property.
Tip 3 – Never View Alone
If you are buying with a significant other, we cannot stress how important it is that you arrange viewings when you can both view together. Having the support of your partner and an extra pair of eyes and ears, and someone else to ask questions and discuss opinions with always helps. And a seller will usually question a potential viewers commitment and how serious they are if they only view on their own as opposed to viewing as a couple. Occasionally this is outside of your control which everyone will appreciate, but where it is, it is definitely worth trying to view together, as it will also speed up the process if you are indeed interested! If you are buying on your own, it is always worth taking a relative or a friend to get their opinion as having an extra pair of eyes also helps, and again demonstrates a good buyer behaviour that agents and sellers alike look out for!
Tip 4 – Be Thorough
At Harper Williams, because we do fully accompanied viewings, we find it works very well in getting prospective buyers to relax more, as it removes the awkwardness from both sides and creates an environment where viewers can take a thorough look without feeling like they are putting the owners out when the sellers are present. In doing so, it is important to leverage your viewing slot usually 30 minutes by taking a good look at everything on offer and asking the agent as many questions as possible that pop into your head, and voicing any concerns/ reservations or burning questions will all help to get the most of our viewing. This will also help the agent to understand more about what you like and don’t like to assist further with your property search moving forwards.
Tip 5 – Check The Bills
This is such an important tip at the moment with energy bills being high on people’s radar, but it is also worth asking about average bills, any service charges or ground rents payable, and also any recommendations for improvements that may lower your bills, such as a new boiler or adding insultation in the loft for example, which an agent should be able to answer or make sure they check with their seller and provide you with the correct information. Especially at the moment, it is important to make sure you get a good idea of what the monthly bills will be, and then double check this against your own affordability to make sure you are comfortable with these.
Tip 6 – Build Rapport
Having a good rapport with the agent and sellers where possible and trying to make yourself memorable by being open and honest and responding quickly with prompt viewing feedback for example will all help towards your cause when you are ready to make a serious offer. Both the agent and a seller are looking to sell a property for not only the best possible selling price but also to the most committed buyer, so by demonstrating the right behaviours that help to prove you are will help! Everyone is looking for positive signs that they are selecting the right buyer that is going to see it through. If you have been the buyer that hasn’t been willing to provide feedback to an estate agent to pass onto their seller after viewings, then when it comes to actually wanting to offer on a house you love, your commitment/ intentions may be challenged as your previous behaviours have made them doubt your commitment and credibility as a buyer.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a great place to start.
If you need any specific advice or help with your upcoming move, whether buying or selling, our friendly team would be delighted to help.
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