The information below has recently been provided to some of my clients who were beginning the ‘house buying process’. The first tip I would offer to anyone is to do what they did, which is to seek independent advice from a mortgage consultant before doing anything else. It’s always amazed me that there are people out there that start looking, before establishing:
a) Whether they could qualify to obtain a mortgage.
b) Maximum monthly budget – to cover cost of mortgage, protection, council tax, & utilities etc.
c) The maximum loan amount available
d) Monthly cost of mortgage payments – to fit within agreed budget.
More than once I’ve met people that registered with estate agents, went out viewing properties, found and fell in love with a great house … then discovered that they (i) wouldn’t be able to purchase it (ii) couldn’t afford ongoing monthly costs if they did.
House Hunting Tips
You may be looking forward to going out and looking around a few houses, in the hope of finding a happy home for the future. In order to help you to make ‘the hunt’ efficient, and to obtain better results, I would like to take this opportunity to give you a few tips:
• Take the time to visit estate agents, and to register with them face to face.
• Be confident and open with the estate agents that you speak with. Let the agent see that you are a ‘quality buyer’. You already have a financial advisor, an agreement in principle arranged, and you have a solicitor in mind, plus your deposit and the money required to cover costs will be in place. This could be the start of a relationship that could last a few months, and estate agents (like everyone else I guess) prefer to deal with people that could make their lives easier.
• Ask about properties that may be coming on to the market, as well as those that are already available.
• Pass on my details to the estate agents if they wish to ‘financially qualify’ and verify your information.
• Make a note of the name of which person you’ve spoken to in the office. Try to only speak to that person in future. It’s easier to be remembered by one person, than it is to make an impression on 4 or 5.
• Be pro-active! Make a list of the agencies, and the name and phone number of the person that you spoke to. I would suggest that it could be beneficial to put a note in your diary to give the agents a 2 minute phone call approximately once each week, just to say hi, and ask what’s new or about to come to market. You’d be amazed how many people don’t do this, and rely on agents calling them, and will therefore ultimately be the last to hear about new stock.
• Try to ‘befriend’ the agents, so that when a property comes to market you will be one of the first to get a call.
• When you are sent property details, provide the agents with feedback. This is important irrespective of whether you like the house or not! If you don’t like it, call and explain why. This will help to (a) make sure you’re remembered (b) Give the agent a better idea of what it is that you’re looking for.
• Try not to do too many viewings in a short period without taking a break, because there’s a fair chance that by the time you get home and sit down to think or talk with friends about the properties you’ve seen, they will have all blurred together!!
That may all seem like fairly easy, simple, and straight forward, but (based on my experience) most people don’t do it! These things mean that you will stand out from the crowd, and could improve your chances of getting what you want … Enjoy the property hunt, and good luck!!
If you have any questions regarding your mortgage or protection requirements; or about the ‘house buying process’, please don’t hesitate to contact me
Article was originally posted elsewhere (movingex.blog.co.uk 2012-01-06 – 11:36:21) Content remains relevant, which is why I have added it here. Tips based on observations made both whilst working inside estate agency offices, assisting clients to purchase, and of course purchasing properties myself.