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Property Buying Help & Advice
Whether you're a first-time buyer or an experienced homemover make sure that you're getting enough bang for your buck with our property buying pearls of wisdom.
Buying property is undoubtedly the biggest financial commitment you'll ever make, so preparation and planning is key to house shopping bliss.
Choosing An Estate Agent
Don’t restrict yourself to just one agent! Signing up costs nothing, so there’s no harm in registering with as many firms as possible. As your search gets down to the nitty gritty you'll only end up dealing with the agents that are right for you, so don't feel daunted by the prospect juggling multiple realtors. Certain firms specialise in specific types of properties, or price ranges, so look around for the one that suits your needs.
Filter Down Your Search
It's incredibly tough to compare 'similar' properties in areas that range notably in price, so it's best to reduce the size of area that you’re looking. Sporadically hunting for properties in too wide a catchment area can prove time-consuming and produce few results. Although you have to be flexible - weighing up what you want from your new home and setting yourself a timescale in which to find a property will simplify your hunt.
Take Photos During Viewings
There's no shame in snapping away while viewing potential new homes, so don't feel cheeky or embarrassed if you're planning on whipping out your phone (just double check that it's ok to with the estate agent first). Photos act as a brilliant reference point when comparing properties, especially if the houses you've viewed are starting to blur into one. It’s easy to fall in love with a place and forget to be practical, photos may draw attention to anything that you may have earlier overlooked.
Get the Most Out of Viewing A Property
Don't be afraid to view a property as many times as you need to, it doesn't pay to feel awkward about going back a number of times, making an offer is a huge commitment and you have to be sure. Your first visit should be during the day, this will give you a chance to explore the garden and allow you to see if there are any external structural issues that need addressing. If you feel like traffic or noise may be an issue, arrange a second viewing for around rush hour.
Respond Quickly to New Listings
The best properties are in demand as soon as they hit the market. So if you like what you see, take time out to arrange a viewing for that day. The sooner you view the property, the better - you'll stand a much greater chance of securing the house of your dreams if you're one of the first people to step through the door.
Look Past the Cosmetics
If a property is decorated badly, cluttered or cosmetically dirty it can put a number of less clued-up buyers off. As long as the property is structurally sound, try your very best to visualise the house as you would have it. If you're willing to spend a little bit of time and money you can transform an unsightly property into your dream home. If you can't find the right size home, smaller properties are affordable alternatives, especially if you’re willing to add an extension or a loft conversion.
Don't Arrange too Many Viewings in One Day
Don't arrange to view more than 3 properties a day. It takes time and energy to view a house properly and viewing too many will only leave you feeling stressed and frustrated, forcing you to overlook a potentially great house, all because it was the last one your agenda. It's similarly important to allow more than enough time to view each property, if there's a room you want to re-visit, make sure to ask and don't be afraid to mention it.
Making An Offer
One of the hardest and most important decisions homebuyers face is how much to offer for their potential new homes. Do you put in a high offer and risk wasting money? Or put in a low offer and risk losing your dream home? This is something that can only be determined when all factors are considered and you have a better understanding of the seller’s circumstances. Lower offers are usually accepted if the house has been on the market for a long time, if the seller wants to sell quickly, or if you're the only person who has expressed interest in the property.