Recent findings from the Home Owners Alliance has suggested it takes an average of six months to buy a house, whereas it takes only ten weeks for buyers to make their first offer. Whether you are buying your first, second or third home, it is crucial you present yourself to be a smart, attractive buyer to increase the likelihood of your offer being accepted.
Susan Ward, conveyancing lawyer with Mooney Everett Solicitors in Ormskirk, Lancashire, gives five key pieces of advice to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible and you are in control every step of the way.
Work out all the costs
According to the property website Zoopla, the average house price in Ormskirk, Lancashire is around £272,000 (as of January 2019). But there are other additional costs you need to consider in your budget. Legal fees, stamp duty valuation fees and removal costs all add up quickly, so you should plan ahead to ensure you have enough to cover all your expenses and know what you can realistically afford.
It takes an average of six months to buy a house, whereas it takes only ten weeks for buyers to make their first offer.
Do your homework
Since the abolition of Home Information Packs (HIPs), legal packs are rarely prepared, but it can still be worth asking if there are any related reports, surveys or documentation that you can view before you make an offer. Learn as much as possible about the property you want to buy so that you are aware of all the details, enabling you to make a fully informed offer.
Agree a mortgage in principle
If you need a mortgage, traditional lenders, such as banks and building societies will expect you to put down a deposit of between five to twenty per cent of the asking price. They will agree a mortgage in principle which can speed up the buying process and put you ahead of other buyers in the competitive market.
Do not be afraid to negotiate
If your dream property is priced over your budget, there is no harm in trying to negotiate with a lower offer. This can be effective if you are buying into an area where properties sell slowly, such as Liverpool, according to a recent report by the Post Office. For sellers who need to move quickly, they may be willing to accept a lower offer if you are ready to go.
Establish a friendly relationship with the seller
Having a good relationship with the current owner of the house is beneficial for many reasons. Not only does it make the process less stressful, but the seller is more likely to honor their agreement to sell. Until the sale is finalised with the exchange of contracts, the seller can back out at any stage, but if you are on good terms with them you have a higher chance of completing the sale.
This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since the date this article was published.