How to get the property you want: expert advice for first-time buyers | First buyers


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BBuilding your first home is both exhilarating and terrifying. The foreclosure has made things even more difficult: Many urban tenants are considering buying a location outside of town where they can get more homes for their money, and at the same time, fewer properties are hitting the market. While easing foreclosure restrictions will help, demand still outstrips supply in many areas – meaning buyers need to be on top of their game or risk running out when they find the home they want. .

Jonathan Hopper.
Jonathan Hopper.

The good news for first-time buyers is that they have a head start when it comes to being ‘doable’. This is the real estate agent code for an attractive buyer that will go to the top of the list if there are more than one pursuing the same property. The reason is that first-time buyers are not part of a chain, meaning they don’t need to sell their current home before they can move out. But to be fully repayable, you must have your deposit ready to go and a mortgage approved in principle. With that sorted, you can start looking. When you do:

Remember that the real estate agent does not work for you but for the seller. Their job is to sell the property for the highest price possible, and everything they do and say will be with that goal in mind. Every time you meet them – whether it’s virtually or on a physical visit – they’ll assess how achievable you are and how much they can stretch your budget.

When viewing, pay attention to the signals you emit. Even if you love a property, resist the temptation to gush – whether it’s the agent or anyone else you look with. Over the years, I have seen buyers who are instantly wowed by a place to empty themselves or even be stunned. While there are few emotions as exciting as the first wave of love for property, showing your hand like that won’t help your negotiating position.

Foxtons real estate agent sign
Remember that the price a real estate agent asks is not the same as the property’s value. Photograph: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Before bidding on a property, have as specific an idea as possible of its value. Remember that the asking price is not the same as the value – this is the seller’s aspiration. Find out about similar homes in the area and find out how much they have sold for. Comparing properties of similar size and location should give you a benchmark figure, which you can adjust taking into account other factors such as the school catchment area the property is in, transport links, etc. .

Calibrate your first offer carefully, taking into account how long the property has been on the market, the owner’s reason for selling, and the interest they have had from other buyers.

If you must haggle over the price, be sure to point out the advantage of your first buyer. Because you are not dependent on your own sale, the seller is more likely to accept a lower offer from you than a less profitable buyer.

Above all, set a budget and stick to it. If the seller can’t come up with a price that meets your budget, don’t be afraid to walk away.

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