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Five unwritten rules for buying a home

You may be on the hunt for your first home or decided to move up or down the housing ladder.  There are many things to consider when searching for a property, but have you thought about what is the right etiquette?  To prevent you from slipping along the way we at Maurice Kilbride wanted to share with you five unwritten rules to buying a home.

  1. Pretending doesn’t win fans

We all love having a nosey around other people’s houses, and you may be one of those who likes to browse the property websites to see what’s selling locally.  Window shopping in estate agent windows and even visiting a show home or two is absolutely fine, but pretending you’re ready to buy when you’re not doesn’t win fans.

Now there’s a big difference between struggling with the emotional reality of having to move and playing the ‘I just want to look at houses’ game.  By doing the latter, you’re not only wasting the homeowners’ and estate agent’s time, you will be playing with the homeowners’ emotional expectations too.

As estate agents we want to work with buyers to find them their next home, and we will actively invite them to view properties we’ve just listed and canvas the area to find what they need.  If you’re in the ‘just looking’ phase, let us know – we are happy to stay in touch but we and homeowners will know exactly where you stand.

  1. Get yourself in the best position

 Have you started your search before you have all your ducks in a row?  If you want any offer to be taken seriously you need to get yourself in the best position.  Don’t assume you know your budget for your new home; mortgage lenders can often change their criteria, so if you haven’t had up to date advice, your budget may have changed.

We always advise that you seek independent advice from a recommended mortgage broker; they will be able to search all the lenders to acquire you a mortgage in principle.  This shows sellers that you’re ready to buy and in a market where supply remains an issue, agents are more likely to recommend you to the seller as a good buyer.

NOTE:  Make sure you have been keeping a close eye on your finances, as the slightest blip could hinder your chances of securing a mortgage.

  1. It’s just the right thing to do

 Once you have booked an appointment for a viewing, make it a priority.  The homeowner will have gone to extra effort to ensure their home is beautifully presented ready for your arrival.  They may have had to rearrange their day to make sure your viewing can happen, so you can understand why their hopes will be raised due to your interest in their home.  They could even start to wonder if an offer is on the horizon.

Imagine their disappointment if that potential buyer neglects to turn up for that viewing.  If you’re going to be late or unable to make the arranged viewing date or time, just let your agent know.  Don’t worry if you’ve changed your mind, these things happen, but knowing means we can advise the homeowner.

  1. It’s OK to say why

 You are bound to view properties that just don’t do it for you, for one reason or another, and there could be key reasons why.  Maybe on viewing you’ve decided the location doesn’t feel right, or you believe there’s more work required than you wish to undertake.

Your agent will ask for feedback after the viewing.  We know for some, it feels like a betrayal and rude to say what you didn’t like about a home, but instead of thinking of it as criticism, start to see it as helping.  Let us explain – constructive feedback is really useful for us agents, as we get a greater understanding of what may be preventing people from making an offer.  If something keeps cropping up in the feedback we know that it’s an obstacle hindering the sale, if it can be corrected it could encourage a buyer to make an offer.

Not providing any feedback leaves the seller frustrated, it also annoys agents and may mean they won’t consider you for another property which might be perfect for you next time one comes onto the market.

  1. Offer based on facts

 If you want to be considered as a serious player then, when it comes to making an offer, you need to base it on facts.  Do your research on similar houses close by that have recently sold, compare them against the offer you’re planning to make.  Everyone wants to make a cheeky offer, but if the interest in the home that has stolen your heart is high, it could be a mistake you’ll end up regretting.

There is more to an offer than just the figure.  What is your situation?  If you’re a first-time buyer or you have nothing to sell, you are in a strong position – especially if the sellers are looking for a quick move.  Even if your offer is slightly lower than those that may have been rejected already, your position could be the winning factor.  When you’re putting your offer together, make sure you include all the facts.

It’s your move

 Do you want to be ahead of the game?  Would you like to know as soon as properties are about to come onto the market in Cheadle, Cheadle Hulme, Cheadle Heath, Gatley or Heald Green?  Give Joe, Patrick or myself a call on 0161 428 3663 and let us start working to find you your next home.

 

 

 

 

The Property Ombudsman Chartered Trading Standards Institute