If you’ve been trying to buy a property in Edinburgh and the Lothians over the last two or three years then the chances are that you will have found market conditions to be incredibly difficult. The number of people looking to buy has consistently outpaced the flow of properties coming onto the market meaning that there are typically multiple buyers competing for each property.
Securing a new home in this market is challenging, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible. Here are Warners’ top tips to help you buy in a sellers’ market.
Don’t become fixated on one property
Although it’s the biggest financial decision that most of us make, buying a property is also an emotional decision. One mistake that a lot of people make is to fall in love with a property early in their search and, as a result, end up overpaying for it. Making a list of the things that you are looking for in a property – separating the ‘must haves’ from the ‘would like to haves’ – is a good way of making sure that you stay objective when you’re viewing properties.
Set a budget and stick to it
Probably one of the most important pieces of advice is to set a budget and stick to it. When you see a property that you want to offer on, decide what the maximum you are willing to bid is so that you know where you plan to draw the line. Because of the large sums of money involved in buying a property it’s easy to convince yourself to go over budget because it’s “only” a few thousand pounds more. This is still real money - money that you will be paying interest on for years to come if you’re buying with a mortgage – and you set that budget for a reason.
A little can go a long way
Because of the big sums of money involved, it’s easy to fall into the trap of negotiating in thousands, or even tens of thousands. Because of that, a lot of offers that are submitted at a closing date are for nice, round numbers. Increasing an offer by even a few tens or hundreds of pounds could be enough to separate you from the crowd and help you to secure your new home.
Have a look at properties that have been on the market longest
Properties get the most attention during their first two weeks onto the market. That’s when they will be sent out in email alerts from all of the major property websites, including warnersllp.com, as well as being returned in searches for those looking for “new” properties. This means that the average price that properties achieve relative to Home Report valuation typically decreases the longer that a property spends on the market.
If you’re looking to find properties where you will face less competition, it therefore makes sense to those that have been on the market a little longer. On a site like espc.com, search results by default are sorted by the date that properties went live on the market. To view those that have been on the market longest, you simply need to jump to the last page of search results.
Sometimes properties may stick on the market longer because there is an issue with the property, but on other occasions they may just have hit the market at the wrong time or be waiting for the right buyer.
Look at properties marketed by non-solicitor estate agents
The most popular website for those looking to buy in Edinburgh and the Lothians is espc.com. Non-solicitor estate agents are not able to advertise properties on ESPC and, as a result, they are potentially missing out on a huge amount of buying interest. In fact, homes sold by ESPC agents achieved an additional 3% over valuation on average compared to those sold by non-ESPC agents
Due to their more limited marketing reach, properties marketed through agents like Purple Bricks and Yopa are likely to attract less competition, opening the door for you to secure a home for less than you might pay if it was marketed more widely.
Keep your eyes peeled for Fixed Price properties
Most properties just now are marketed at Offers Over, but there are a few at Fixed Price where the seller has effectively set a ceiling on the figure that you are looking to achieve. In such cases, the asking price tends to be at, or slightly below, the Home Report valuation. Usually sellers will market their home in this manner when they are looking to secure a quick sale so if you see a property you like at Fixed Price, you’ll probably need to act quickly.
Be friendly at viewings!
Last, but by no means least, if the sellers are facilitating viewings themselves, try to make a good impression when you go to view! Most people will want their home to be sold to someone who will look after it well and get along with the neighbours. If sellers are deciding between two offers that are close, it’s not unheard of for them go with the lower offer because they got along better with those buyers.
If you’re looking to buy a property, get in touch with Warners today on 0131 662 4747 or by email at email@example.com