1. Plan ahead and sort out your finances. Don’t go direct to a single lender without checking first with a whole of market adviser to see if better deals are available.
2. Decide what is important to you. Locations, property types and price are all important factors when buying your home. Be aware you may have to make compromises. Decide what is essential to you and where you can show flexibility. This will help you secure the right property.
3. Get ahead of the game and be informed. Check out our area guides, 3D tours, street view and property walk throughs and the ancillary details on property portals, in addition to property particulars. They contain lots of useful information.
4. Buying in an unsettled market. Interest rates and prevailing market conditions have a bearing on house prices. Before making an offer talk to the selling agent and make sure you have as much information as possible. This will assist in making the right offer.
4. Visit the local agents personally and build a relationship. Once agents know that you a serious buyer, they will ensure you are amongst the first to know about the best properties. If you are looking to buy and sell in the same area, choose an agent with a large market share.
5. Always view properties you like at least twice. You will take in far more detail the second time around. Walk around the immediate vicinity; you can get a far better feel for an area on foot. Visit at different times of day. You may even wish to speak to the neighbours to find out what they think of the area and what they are like.
6. Ask questions about the property you are interested in purchasing. How long has it been on the market? Has there been a lot of interest or offers? What is the minimum the vendor will accept? You may not get definitive answers but you may get clues that are useful when it comes to deciding how much to offer.
7. Think carefully before you make an offer. A cheeky offer might be considered in an unsettled market. You may get lucky and secure a property at a bargain price. However, an offer that is too low can cause offence and damage your chances of securing a property.
8. Make your offers as attractive to sellers as possible. The amount you offer is important but so is demonstrating your commitment. Provide proof of your ability to purchase at the time of offer, along with your solicitor’s information. If the selling agent makes a reasonable request for additional information, provide this immediately.
9. Carry out all the checks you so you can buy with confidence. This may mean a comprehensive survey plus reports from electricians, plumbers and other experts or it could be a thorough inspection you carry out yourself if you are an expert property buyer.
10. Consider the right time to buy. With interest rates dropping and properties prices down slightly, should you buy? We believe that it is normally better to act sooner rather than later. Your home is a long-term commitment, spikes and dips in the market even out and over a longer period the property market has always risen. Delay and you may never be able to afford your dream home.