One of the most frequently asked questions from homebuyers is, How do I avoid losing houses I love to other buyers? It’s particularly relevant in today’s market which is enduring an historical level of demand and an ongoing shortage of supply.
The answer is simple, but sadly quite boring. It’s a mix of preparedness and decisiveness. These are the two most important things you need.
To be prepared, there are many things to consider. First and foremost, you need to secure a mortgage in principle.
Before you’re ready to put an offer on a home, you should already have a mortgage lender signed up to lend you the required money. While it’s impossible for a mortgage to be 100% confirmed before choosing which house you’d like to buy, a deal can be struck in which a lender says, so long as everything goes as expected, we’re happy to lend you £150,000, for example. Doing this gives you a great headstart on those potential buyers who only start searching for a mortgage after identifying a property to buy.
You also want to be able to move quickly if needed. When a vendor has two different offers on the table, both offering the same money, the ability to move quickly can be the differentiator between buying or losing the property. Many buyers, for example, will submit an offer but not want to move until they have secured a new job in the area they’re moving to.
You also need to prepare your lineup of property professionals who are going to help you along the buying journey. This includes a conveyancer/solicitor and a surveyor. Again, waiting too long to hire these professionals means that, when it comes to needing them, they’re not ready and waiting to go.
Surveyors, for example, have lots of homes to survey, so they operate with appointments. If you don’t have your survey signed up early, you risk landing at the back of the waiting list and waiting so long that you miss out on your dream property.
Once you’re prepared, you need to act decisively if you want to avoid missing out on your perfect home.
It’s clear that such a big purchase as a home requires careful consideration and thought, but you must not dilly-dally or procrastinate too much.
If you find the perfect home in the perfect area for the perfect price, don’t hesitate. Get the ball rolling. Remember, even though it’s far from ideal, you can back out of a purchase all the way up to the last minute, so making a decisive decision to place an offer isn’t too risky.
Today, homes are coming on the market on Monday and being snapped up before the working week is over. There just isn’t time to dither. Making sure you’re prepared and then acting with confidence when the right home comes along are the only ways to be successful on the housing market in 2021.