Tips to securing a property in a fast-moving market.
In a good and fast-moving property market – as we seem to have in this area at present – for every one buyer who secures a property, there are usually another five or so people who didn’t get the property who naturally feel great disappointment. However, contrary to how it may seem, there is no dark art – the strongest offer in the shortest time usually secures the property – it’s as simple as that.
We do sympathise with those that lose out – we have lost out on buying properties ourselves and know how disappointing it can be. On one occasion when I missed out on a property I REALLY wanted, a wise family member said to me “what’s for you won’t go by you” – it felt like scant comfort at the time, but in reflection I can see it was sage advice.
Anyway, we thought it might be helpful to buyers to give our thoughts on the subject, and offer some guidance on the best way to put yourself in a good buying position. So in no particular order, here are our tips to help you secure the property of your dreams.
+ If you see a property you like, request a viewing quickly (i.e. within 24-48 hours of the property coming on the market) and be available to view the property as soon as possible. A property is most likely to sell within 2-3 weeks of it coming on the market, so if you can’t view it within the first few days of it coming on the market, you’re at a big disadvantage against those who can.
As well as keeping an eye on our website https://www.fiuran.co.uk/ (new properties get a “NEW” banner on their listings), you should like our Facebook page and set it to ‘show posts from this page first’ so you see new properties as soon as they hit the market. We also have a tailored email alerts system which you can be added to (or removed from) any time.
+ Get your finances in order. Know exactly how much you can afford to spend, using all resources available to you. Mortgage companies do ‘affordability checks’ but you should also do your own – test yourself e.g. could you live without that annual Netflix/Spotify subscription if it meant you could afford your dream property? Could you cut down on nights out/new clothes/fuel bills?
Remember, when making an offer on a property, the quality of the offer is just as important as the level of the offer so it’s good to put yourself in the seller’s position and think about how you would respond to an offer. If it’s burdened with lots of conditions & stipulations then it’s a less attractive offer to a seller than a ‘clean’ offer. The buyers position is also a very important factor; the below is the ‘pecking order’ of how sellers tend to rate buyers – where are you on this scale?
1. Cash buyer* (* a cash buyer is one who has all the funds liquid with no property to sell)
2. Mortgage buyer with nothing to sell, who has a mortgage offer in principle.
3. Mortgage buyer with nothing to sell, but who hasn’t consulted the bank/mortgage advisor yet.
4. Buyer in a chain who won’t require finance once sold.
5. Buyer in a chain who requires finance once sold.
Can you do anything to improve your position? e.g. If you need to sell a property – is it ready to sell? If you need a mortgage, have you spoken to the bank or a mortgage advisor?
+ Know what you want. Sometimes you don’t know until you see a certain property and/or get ‘the feel’, but you should know roughly what you are looking for, such as number of bedrooms, locations and whether certain areas will or won’t work for you, etc so that when a property matching your requirements comes on the market, you’re ready to act on it.
+ Get to know the local market. You should know about how often the type of property you are looking for comes onto the market and also how quickly it is likely to sell and what price it is likely to sell for.
Not a lot of people know this, but you can find out sold prices for properties in any postcode by going to Registers of Scotland (https://scotlis.ros.gov.uk/). This will help guide you on what you should offer on a property (but remember it takes some time for a sale to be recorded on RoS so it may not reflect the current market), which brings me nicely onto…
+ Decide what the property is worth to you, and be prepared to offer as much as you are able to as soon as possible. We would never suggest spending more than you’re comfortable with/able to spend, but you should make your own mind up about what a property is worth, which can often be above the valuation figure/asking price in a strong property market. Property pricing is not an exact science, and the Surveyor’s valuation – whilst usually fairly accurate – is just one person’s opinion. Also, I must stress that we would never recommend rushing into buying property, but if you know what it is you’re looking for you can act fast when the right property comes up.
+ Don’t rush in, but don’t wait too long either. Be aware there’s no such thing as the perfect property, and whilst buying a property is a serious prospect, it doesn’t need to be forever. If it ticks most of your boxes and is a sound enough purchase, just go for it. Equally, if you decide that property is not for you, you can discount it from your search and quickly move on.
Here at Fiuran, we are local people who know the local market extremely well – we’re always here to talk, so if you ever want to chat about buying or selling property in general – please don’t hesitate to call us.