The past year has seen an unexpected property boom in the UK, with more and more people looking to get onto the property ladder than ever before – so how can anyone looking to buy a home compete in this crowded market?
Below, Ross Counsell, chartered surveyor and Director of regulated property buyers GoodMove, offers six top tips for buyers looking to get their foot on the property ladder whilst the market is booming.
- Be prepared
In this type of crowded market, the best advice is to be prepared. Before you look to buy, research the area and any particular streets you’d be interested in living on, so you don’t need to spend time later. Look at listings everyday and know exactly what it is you’re looking for in a property so when you see one that fits, you can jump on it straight away. Have a mortgage-in-principle ready to go too which will speed up the process if you decide to put in an offer.
- Use an estate agent
It may not be for everyone, but it’s also often worth enlisting the help of an estate agent to help with your property search. An estate agent will let you know of any suitable properties first before they go on the wider market, so is a great way of seeing any homes of interest before anyone else.
- Look under your budget
At an average of £275,000, house prices are currently at an all-time high. Because of this, buyers are finding themselves paying way above the asking price for properties – so I’d recommend looking for properties under your budget. If you like the property so much as to put an offer in, then you can go in with a higher offer that will stand you in good stead over other people looking to buy. You’ll likely save yourself a lot of money in the process and be a frontrunner for the sale.
- Act fast
It goes without saying – but act fast. Buying a home is a huge decision and one that shouldn’t be rushed, but if you view a home and fall in love with it and know the area is right for you, then put your offer in straight away. A sellers’ no.1 goal is to sell their house and get their money, and they’ll always favour a buyer who is interested and moving fast rather than one who takes their time. So always be as fast as possible.
- Be flexible
Being flexible and an easy person to work with is paramount in buying a home in a crowded market. It’s important to make a seller’s life easier for them, so consider doing things like letting them pick the closing date if you can afford to do so. If you are in a property chain this will be harder to do but is a great piece of advice for first time buyers.
- Stay positive
Buying a home amidst the competitiveness of the property market can be disheartening for buyers, but it’s important to stay positive. There are many things that can go wrong during the home buying process, and if something does for you then try not let it get you down. If for any reason your home falls through, there will be others that you’re sure to love just as much!
Summarising, Ross continues: “We’ve seen an unprecedented property boom in the UK over the past year, with lockdown changing buyers’ demand, from smaller flats/houses in the cities to more spacious properties in rural locations. With such high demand, it has become more difficult for buyers to get their foot on the property ladder, but we hope these tips will help advise anyone looking to buy a property compete in today’s crowded market.”