If you’re a first-time buyer and have begun the hunt for your first home, you may think that once you’ve found the right one you simply offer what they ask for; job done! However, when it comes to making an offer on a home, there’s a bit more work that should go into it than simply offering the price advertised.
You need to be confident when making an offer that you’re not going to be stung by an inflated asking price or take yourself out of the running by offering too low. To help you prepare, we’ve put together the following information to help you through this stage of the home buying process.
Get some advice
The first and arguably most important step you need to take is speaking to an expert. If you’re a first-time buyer, then you probably don’t have a wealth of knowledge on how the market works and what you can and can’t afford. Get in touch with a mortgage advisor, get informed on how it all works and more importantly, find out what your price range is so when you do make a formal offer you can do so with confidence.
Research the local market
Once you know how much you’ll be able to spend, it’s time to get a better understanding of your local market. The more research the better. Take a look at what’s up for sale and find out what your budget will get you in each area.
Build a list of key features that your home will need, such as the number of bedrooms or a driveway. The chances of you moving into your dream property with your first move are somewhat slim; however, it’s important that you know what you’re looking for and how much it will cost you in each area.
It would be wise at this point to get in touch with a local estate agent. You can do as much research as possible, but a good local agent will always be a benefit as they will know the market like the back of their hand. This means that they can fill you in on what to expect from vendors and hopefully help you avoid any pitfalls.
Get out there and book some viewings
Now that you’ve done your research on what you want, what you can afford and what the market has to offer, it’s time to book some viewings and get out there. Things can move very quickly in the property market, so your previous work and research leading up to this point will come in handy as there’ll be no time wasted travelling to unsuitable areas or over-priced properties.
While viewing properties, be sure to check out the building's structure and not just its décor. Check for any damage such as cracks in walls or damp. Make sure you understand exactly what you’re getting into and have a good idea of the current state of the home as it can help form your offer.
When you find the right home, be ready to act!
If you’ve managed to find the right home, then it would be best to act quickly as there’s a good chance you’re not the only one eyeing up that house. If you’re ready to make an offer, consider a few things before doing so. How much do other similar properties go for in the area? Does the property need some repairs? Have house prices dropped slightly since the home was first put on the market? We’d all love to knock a few thousand off the asking price, but the seller isn’t going to make such a concession easily, so if your offer is lower than the asking price, you’ll need to demonstrate why.
The Final Steps
Now before you finally put your offer on the table, try and organise all the other pieces of the puzzle beforehand so you are ready to go as soon as it’s accepted. If you’re a first-time buyer then one of your major benefits is that you don’t have to organise selling your own home, but if you can organise such things as surveys and solicitors then it’ll make the process much smoother.