Trying To Buy A Property? I Feel Your Pain.
7th July 2021
7th July 2021
At a viewng last week, an ‘on the ball’ first time buyer told me that she thought saving her £70,000 deposit would have been the hard part.
Not so. She was referring to the tidal wave of other buyers she’s competing with that was really the hard part.
I also met a charming couple desperate to find a home of their own but dedicating weekend after weekend to viewings and making offer after offer without success was becoming demoralising.
I understand their pain.
As an agent you can't help but build rapport with buyers especially if you've met them many times before. But alas, when a new property hits the market and there's 20 parties booked in to view and offers galore, many parties are going to have to be let down.
For best in class properties, especially those with outside, I cannot see interest or demand waining at all – even without the stamp dury incentives. That’s due a lack of supply and rock bottom interest rates with HCBC this morning launched a 2 year deal under 1% - this is apparently the world's cheapest mortgage!
Nevertheless, I wanted to share some tips from the coalface to help buyers stand out from the crowd that might prove useful for some.
Stand out from the crowd.
The objective is to ensure the agents think of you when a property matching your criteria hits the market.
Try to build a level of rapport with the agents. When they leave a message or send an email, always reply out of courtesy. You’d be amazed how many people don’t reply to estate agents communication and if you don’t, you’ll likely get forgotten.
Try and pop into their office to say hi and put a face to the name. Shows you’re committed and serious.
The trick is to be remembered. Do you think you’d be remembered f you dropped some croissants into their office? Just an idea...
How not to register your details.
Let’s say you’re considering East Ham but also Tottenham. Whatever you do, don’t tell the estate agents this.
You want the agents to think you have honed in on their patch and their patch only. If you’re considering several different areas the agent will perceive this to be a lack of focus and assign you to the 3rd division of serious buyers.
So, even if not strictly true, tell the agents you “only have eyes” for the area they operate in.
So you’re booked in to see a gorgeous house, and the agent has told you there’s lots of others viewing it too. ‘Quelle surprise’.
No need to play games. Tell the agent you love it. Agents love dealing with buyers who wear their hearts on their sleeves and are simply honest and upfront. If you are going to make an offer, do so quickly and do it in over the phone and in writing.
What to do if the property isn’t suitable.
How many times has an estate agent called you for feedback and you’ve not called them back?
If the property wasn’t for you, call them back or send an email to say so and give good feedback. Agents believe it or not are human too and prefer to deal with nice people.
Or how about you calling them before they’ve had the chance to call you? This would earn you even more brownie points.
Making your offer.
Offers should be made verbally and in writing.
Here’s the best way to present your offer in writing (email to the agent).
Tell a story. Paint the picture of how much you love the property, how it ticks all the boxes, why you’ve fallen for this particular one and state you’re position and finances in detail.
Not everyone does this and again, it helps make you stand out. Make it personal. Tell them about you, where you work, you’re background and ask that your email be forwarded on to the vendor.
I’d also suggest calling the agent after you send it to check its safe arrival. Again, this shows your commitment.
Only ever make offers you’re comfortable making. Don’t let your heart rule your head too much and if you’re offer is acceptable, ensure you have a solicitor already lined up.
Every buyer’s worst fear.
Most reputable agents will be prepared to cease all viewings once you have provided your solicitor information upon the acceptance of your offer.
But don’t hang around. Make sure your lender's survey is booked in within the first week to 10 days - prevents the temptation of some negotiators in the estate agency office to try their luck with a viewing or two to try and pinch their colleague's commission.
And lastly, take your time. Don’t buy just for the sake of buying.