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5 Ways to make the most of a buyers' market

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By : James Hardy    99 or more times read
In the current financial climate, house prices are at a low, bad for home owners, but good news for buyers. A buyer’s market sounds great, with a wealth of properties for sale to choose from, and some flexibility available on asking prices, but how can you grab a bargain, and make the most of the situation?

1. Research

Once you have decided on the type of property you want to buy, perform a little research. Find out how much similar properties have recently sold for. In doing so, you can gain insight into house prices in general, and can be better informed when making an offer. Also find out the current situation of the seller, i.e. are they eager and in a hurry to move, or not in a rush? This can have a significant impact on the kind of offer they accept.

2. Establish your needs

Make a comprehensive list of any features you require in a new home, this will help you when viewing properties. The list can include many things, including; locality to schools, transport links, proximity of shops and local amenities, and also house-specific requirements, such as the number of bedrooms/bathrooms, general size of the property, garden and parking spaces. It is very rare to find a house that will incorporate every single feature on a list, but with a little compromise, most areas should be covered.

3. Create a scoring method

This is a simple, but very effective way to compare the properties you have viewed. Every time you view a property, take your list of requirements, and score the property against each requirement on a scale of one to ten, with one being the lowest and ten being ‘perfect’. Then, once you have viewed a number of properties, you should be able to narrow then down to your favourites.

4. Get a Financial Advisor

Ideally, you need to ensure that you have a good independent financial advisor and/or mortgage broker to help you with the buying process. This help can be essential to you when choosing mortgage products, but can also ‘prove’ to sellers that you can afford to purchase their property, using ‘agreements in principle’, for example.

5. Make a ‘cheeky’ offer!

Once you have decided exactly what you want from a property, how much you can afford using a mortgage, and what similar properties are currently selling for, you are ready to make an offer. In a ‘buyer's market’, you are more in control, and can try to secure a property for much less than it would normally sell for. In order to do this, the better position you are in, the more ‘cheeky’ an offer can be. As an example, if you do not have a chain (a property to sell), you are ready to move, and therefore can offer quick completion for the seller. This is why first time buyers can be very attractive for sellers, offering a quick turnaround.
If you need to sell your current first, I suggest you have a look at this website: Buy My House fast.

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