Making an offer on a property


Before you even begin to look at the property, it is important to work out an accurate budget to avoid falling in love with a place you cannot actually buy. An online calculator will give anapproximate figure, but it’s more helpful to speak to a mortgage professional, who can look properly atthe figure you can borrow based on your personal circumstances.

A mortgage advisor can also helpd you decideif it’s a good idea to apply for an agreement in principle mortgage quote; documents from the lender confirming that they will, in principle, be willing to lend a certain amount. Some estate agents ask for an AIP because they want to check you can really afford the property. However, to apply for AIP can leave a mark on your credit report, so bear this in mind in case it affects your actual mortgage application. Speak to an independent advisor first.

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Once you find a property you like, it is also important to factor in how the move there will affect the cost of your life. If the property is registered in Zoopla, you will be able to see the estimated operating costs including energy, water, insurance and council tax.

What is the market telling you? It is important to research the local property markets to avoid paying more. As a starting point, compare the property with similar homes that have recently sold in the same neighbourhood. You’ll be able to view the sale price on the Land Registry website. Note that property values ​​can fluctuate greatly from one year to the next, so the latest price will be the most relevant.

Playing detective – Googling the address of the property you want to make an offer on could reveal previous listings in the property portal. It can reveal whether the owners have tried to sell it for a while and also whether the price has changed at all.

Speaking with the agent –While estate agents are there to work for the seller, not for you, they still can be a very useful source of information. Ask them: How long have the owners lived in the property? If they are moving out soon after buying, find out why. If they have lived in the property for a long time, they will likely have more of an attachment to the property, which you should keep in mind when you put your offer in writing. At this point, you’ll want to find yourself a conveyancer, so visit a site like

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Why have the owners decided to sell? If there is a reason for time-sensitivity, for example, they need to relocate for a new job or have a baby on the way, they might be more flexible on price. How long the property was on the market? If it has been on for a while, the owner may be willing to accept a lower bid. However, if it’s been on the market for a long time but the owner does not show flexibility, they may not be in a hurry to sell.

How many people have seen the property? It can help you to graspthe level competition. Are there any previous offers that have been made? Estate agents cannot legally tell you how much the final offer is for, but they may indicate how close it is to the asking price. What is the minimum price the seller will accept? Agencies may not be willing to share this (and they probably do not know), but it’s worth asking.

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