Tips For House Hunting
When it comes to house hunting, it’s no easy task, so understanding what to look for and be wary of is crucial.
We all have different reasons for moving house, which in fact, is quite possibly one of the most important moments in your life. You may be a first-time buyer, you may be looking for your future family home, you may be an investor looking to increase your portfolio. Whatever the reason, house hunting can be an all-encompassing, stressful process.
Don’t worry, we’re not saying this is always the case by any means, simply, that there are certain things you can do to speed-up or enhance your house hunting experience.
Here are Lovett’s tips to house hunting;
1. Register with leading Estate Agents in your area. These guys need to become your best friend. The sooner you register your details and your search criteria, the sooner the experts can do all the hard work for you. How do you find a reputable Estate Agent? Do your homework! Google Agents in your area. Look through their website – have they won awards? Are they part of the Property Ombudsman? These factors add credibility and trust. Research also helps you find the right Agent for you.
2. Once you have registered yourself with established Estate Agents (as few or many as you like – you have the power) they should update you with property details that match your requirements. Great Estate Agents will only ever send you details of relevant properties. Don’t let Agents waste your time by sending details on the off-chance! This is counterproductive and leaves a bad taste in your mouth as you start to question if they listened to you in the first place. Communication can come in the form of a phone call, email, mailshot or letter.
3. Know your rights; in light of recent GDPR laws, the way companies communicate with you paramount and on the whole you have to have given permission for them to communicate with you in your chosen way. Make sure you specify your preferred method of communication from the offset. There is nothing worse than being bombarded with countless bits of information. Outline to your Estate Agent that you only want relevant properties.
4. When you get to the point of booking a viewing, why not do your own research? This will help speed up the process. Drive out to the specific road or street with a family member, partner or friend to gauge the feeling of the area. We suggest driving by before 9am and after 5pm to help you judge everything about the road, from how busy the area gets at rush hour to parking, and impracticalities. Ironing out any factors you don’t like nice and early provides useful feedback to your Estate Agent, as well as cementing the key attributes to you property search.
5. Get a second opinion: If you can, and are able to, book a second visit with someone you trust to gain their thoughts on the property you like. Believe it or not, they may spot something you didn’t in all the excitement. This could be structural, or something else that doesn’t quite stack up. They may also have advice on whether the property is worth the price. If you’re a first time buyer it’s almost critical you run a purchase by your parents, for example, if you can. Anyone who has bought and sold property previously could be a highly valuable source for you.
6. If you decide you want to place an offer on a property you have seen, be realistic and fair. The market is not showing signs of going up or down in any great way; it’s currently fairly static. As you are buying what is potentially the most expensive purchase you will ever make, why run the risk of losing it? If the property fits your criteria and ticks all the boxes, we suggest placing a bid that is fair and secures you the property, taking it off the market. If you are serious, playing the ‘offers game’ can be disadvantageous as while you are going back and forth between Estate Agent and Vendor, someone else could swoop in and pay what the property is worth.
7. Once you’ve secured your dream home by having your offer accepted you are essentially in a ‘sale agreed’ status. Ask your Estate Agent to immediately take the property off the market so that it’s no longer being advertised. Now it’s time to instruct a s solicitor to ac on behalf of your sale. Good Estate Agents will already be working with recommend legal firms, so why not ask them to make a suggestion? It keeps everything in once circle.
8. From here on out, your Estate Agent is still acting for you and keeping an eye on the progress of your sale. This is a common misconception; that the Estate Agents work is done at the point of sale agreed, however this isn’t the case. An Estate Agent will continuously liaise with solicitors and manage any hiccups you may experience. An average sale takes 12 weeks to complete so that’s three months plus in time that your Estate Agent works on your purchase for. Don’t forget this next time you instructing an Estate Agent to sell your property!
We hope our tips to house hunting have proved useful. As an award-winning Estate Agent, operating across Dorset, we help thousands of people each year to realise their property dreams.
If you’re looking to sell or buy, we’d love to offer you a no-obligation conversation with our sales Team. You might just be impressed!
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