In an active, fast-paced market, like the one we have right now, demand from those looking to buy property outweighs the supply of homes on the market.
This is great news for sellers as it often means receiving multiple offers on your property.
However, this in turn makes life more challenging for buyers – when you’re constrained by budget, and therefore can’t increase your offer, how can you help stand out from the competition?
Here are our top tips to increase your chances of snapping up your perfect home:
If selling, get an offer first
If you need to sell your existing home in order to help fund the purchase of your new home, don’t forget that the first question most agents will ask you, often at the point of booking you in for a viewing, is whether you have a property to sell or not.
This question is vital for an estate agent because it helps them to better understand your position in the market and, ultimately, where you are in the process – because selling can take time.
When the market is particularly active, the chances are you’ll also be asked upfront whether you already have an offer on your property and, importantly, it’s worth knowing that any offer you make on a property is unlikely to be accepted until you do.
This can put you in a disadvantaged position that’s not at all ideal, especially if you’ve already fallen in love with a property.
Though this may seem unfair, think about the type of buyer you’ll want to get for your property. No doubt you’ll be keen for someone that can demonstrate how serious they are, that they’ve got the necessary financials in place and that you can be confident they’ll not let the chain down.
Have your Mortgage in Principle ready
No matter if you’re a first-time buyer or a well-seasoned pro, having your Mortgage in Principle (MIP) in place, and ready to show the agent if requested, is a crucial step towards making the best possible impression with any agent.
The reason for this is, quite simply, because it shows you’ve done your homework; not only can you afford the property, you’ve also taken the necessary steps towards securing the funds to pay for it.
As a buyer with their finances in order, you’ll essentially get a great big green tick from the agent, giving them confidence that you’re serious and ready to take the next step.
In the current climate, where agents are often having to limit the number of viewings a property can have per day, getting your Mortgage in Principle in place before you even start going on viewings is going to stand you in great stead with any agents you speak to.
If this is your first time buying a property, the Mortgage in Principle (aka Decision in Principle, or Agreement in Principle) is a certificate issued to you by the mortgage lender you’ve decided to use, showing how much they’re willing, in principle, to lend you.
Work closely with the estate agent
While the estate agent works for the seller, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do what you can to make them your best friend. Even if the property in question doesn’t work out for you, being on good terms with the agent might mean they give you the early heads up on any similar properties that come along later.
Also, remember that most agents have a lot of experience and have developed a knack for identifying a serious and motivated buyer over time. So be open and be transparent with them about what you’re looking for, particularly around your budget, timescales, and financial situation