Get ahead of the competition with these top tips to succeed in a hot market.
Buying in Bath this autumn? With local property stock levels at an all time low and demand at the other end of the spectrum (for the latest market stats, see our Oct market update article link), how do you get ahead of the competition when you’re looking to buy in Bath?
Make sure you’re proceedable
If you have a property to sell, it HAS to be under offer for you to be in with a chance on your next home. It would be lovely to think you have time to see the home of your dreams and then go back to market your current abode. However, the truth is there are far too many buyers who are ready to go and they’ll beat you to the punch. If you’re lucky enough not to need to sell anything, have you got your funds lined up and a mortgage agreed in principle? Get ready to show agents proof of this alongside any offer you make. Being up front and transparent about your position will confirm to sellers that you’re serious about buying.
Calculate your costs before you start
Have you factored in the mortgage arrangement fee, surveys, stamp duty, solicitors fees and removal costs into your budget? Buying a home might cost more than you think so, as my old maths teacher always told me, make sure you “show your working”.
Find out where new properties go first
Every estate agent will have a different method of marketing their latest instructions so you need to know where to go or who to speak to if you want priority news. Is there a mailing list you can register on? Do they post first on social media? Which property portals are the fastest to get an alert from?
Use your time with agents wisely
Whether you’re in their offices, on the phone or talking to them on viewings, why not ask what might be coming up soon? Most agents will know what is about to hit the market in the next few days. Whilst they might not be able to give you precise details, you could get a few clues what to look out for. If you’re speaking with a good agent, they will also remember you asking and might call you first next time.
Act quickly when opportunity knocks
You’ve seen or heard about a real contender of a home so what do you do next? The obvious answer might be email (especially if you’ve seen the web advert after office hours) but a phone call works better 100% of the time. Agents get 100s of emails a day but phone calls always take precedence. Make that call, even if you have to ask the boss for 5mins away from your desk at 9am. It might be the difference between getting a viewing or missing out. If you get an answer machine, try again – you want to get the booking made there and then.
Get in first (or soon after)
Most owners (or tenants) will only give agents fairly limited access for viewings in any one week so ask when the first booking slots are and grab the first one you can. If you leave it late, you run the risk of other offers coming in before you’ve got through the door (or worse, your viewing gets cancelled before you get there).
Prepare for your viewing
If there’s a video walkthrough on offer, make sure you watch it. Note down any questions to ask ahead of time. Research the street, the surrounding area, local amenities in advance. There is a wealth of info available on the web from HMO locations to bus routes, school ratings and so on. If you can’t find enough info, call the agent and quiz them.
Do enough homework so that the viewing is just about how the property makes you feel.
If you like it, be clear and decisive
Act quickly and ask the agent how they would like you to make an offer. Send over a summary of your position, finances and any other useful info with your bid. Ask for a confirmation of receipt and an indication on when you might hear back. Are there any competing bids? What might happen next? If several offers come in, the expected outcome is the dreaded “best and final offers” so be prepared for that eventuality.
Agents know its horribly stressful searching at the moment but we’re right in the thick of it too. If we’re full on viewings, we know its disappointing but don’t have a go. Can’t make the appointment? Front up and call us. If you’re going to be late, it only takes a minute to ring ahead and warn the office. Rest assured, we’ve experienced pretty much every eventuality on viewings already so we’re never surprised. However, we’re also only human and we don’t take kindly to being badly treated. We can be quite useful to your search so keep on our good side.
If you need help with your property search, do give us a call for a chat and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction.
It may also be useful to know that we post alerts on all of our new instructions to our Facebook page before anywhere else so drop us a like there to get the latest news.
Best of luck with your search from all at #TeamMO