With the advent of the internet and property portals such as OnTheMarket.com and Rightmove, finding a property to buy has never been easier. It is also worth registering directly with us as we often have clients who prefer us to adopt a ‘low key’ approach to marketing and their property details will not appear on our website or any other property portal.
With a multitude of photographs, floor plans, Google Earth and Street View it is possible to buy a property from your notepad or mobile phone.
But sooner or later you will have to view the property and come into contact with agents, lenders, financial advisers and surveyors.
You might think that with all of the technology that helped you to find the property that you want to buy, that the process of buying property was now considerably quicker.
Unfortunately the system of buying property (property transfer) hasn’t improved in the past twenty years and in some instances it is actually worse.
Choose Your Advisers Wisely
Seek out Independent advice in all areas and ask lots of questions. It truly is worth doing homework before you engage advisers and agents who you will be spending the next who knows how many months with. Deal with the people that provide you with good service. If they can not answer their telephone or emails move onto someone who can. If you catch the slightest hint or scent of poor service ditch them.
Prepare a short list of your requirements and write down all of the reasons why you want to move and what you want to buy.
Bear in mind this key word COMPROMISE. The ideal house doesn’t exist. Have priorities but decide which ultimately comes first and what has to be sacrificed.
For the buyer: Leave enough time between viewings. Don’t take the children, in laws or parents on a first viewing. Don’t view property that you have no intention of buying just to add to the list. Sellers can invest lots of emotion leading up to and after a viewing appointment. Please be courteous and provide honest feed back for us to relay to the seller.
For the seller: Prepare your house for the viewing. Make sure you have hoovered, tidied the sides and removed all old furniture and waste. If you haven’t properly prepared your house, the potential buyer may be seriously put off. For your waste? Get a professional to clear the waste.
Should I have a proper survey on my purchase?
If you require a mortgage seriously consider having a proper survey independent of the Mortgage Valuation. When a Mortgage Valuation is carried out the valuer works for the lender. A Mortgage Valuation is not a survey and neither is it to advise you if the price you are paying is fair or reasonable, even though you have paid for the valuation. Visit this website for mortgage advice.
When you have a combined mortgage valuation and buyers survey the surveyor is now working for two clients at the same time, you and the lender. The question we ask is who comes first you or the lender? We know of a situation where a valuer valued a property at nil for the lender and recommended not to lend but still carried out a full survey for the buyer valuing the property at the full agreed purchase price.
In this instance because the surveyor recommended not to lend the buyer had to find another lender and pay a second lot of fees.
While it is initially more expensive to take the independent route (lenders and some financial advisers are earning commission by recommending the lenders combined survey and sell the idea as a cost advantage) it could be to your ultimate advantage in the long run as an Independent Survey is confidential to you and not shared with the lender.
The alternative is to have a combined mortgage valuation/survey arranged through your lender.
This may not be confidential to you and could allow your lender sight of a survey that they have not paid for. The survey report could then be used as the basis of their lending decision which may not be to your best advantage.
Making an Offer
This is a sensitive subject. There is no Golden Rule or formula or percentage that an offer should be below an asking price. Click here to see how you can add value.
The advice given on one estate agents web site is offer the full asking price. That may be right in some instances but with erratic valuations systemic in the current property market and over ambitious expectations of some is that really the best advice on offer to buyers?
We know of examples of Estate Agents overvaluation and inflated expectations of sellers of £50,000 to £100,000.
Culturally we are hopeless at negotiating and too much is read into an asking price as though it were set in stone. An Estate Agents role is obtain the best price that the market will support.
From that it should be clearly understood that the final arbiter regarding value is determined by the buyer. Having said that the seller is not obliged to accept any offer at all, even the asking price or more.