Putting an offer in: what you need to know
If moving home has been on your to-do list for the last few months, you’ll understandably be raring to go now that things are getting back to normal in the property market.
However, once you’ve found a home you want to call yours, it’s important to make sure you’re ready for the next steps and going in with an offer that you feel is sensible, reflects what the property is worth and is in line with your budget. This quick guide has the run-down of key considerations when placing an offer on your next home.
Ask the right questions
It’s likely you’ll have a lot of questions when viewing properties, so make sure you are prepared and keep a list handy so you don’t forget key information. During lockdown, virtual viewings became very popular and have carried on as we ease out of lockdown, being the first form of “viewing” for many.
Here are some important considerations if you’re considering placing an offer:
- Has any major work been conducted on the place?
- How long has it been on the market?
- Have there been any other offers?
- Has the asking price dropped since it’s been on the market?
- Why is the vendor selling?
Monitor the local area
It’s always a good idea to conduct some research into similar properties within the area you’re interested in. Use the GOV.UK Land Register to find out how much properties have sold for in recent years and get a better understanding of what the property you’re interested in should be worth.
Keep an eye on property news and trends, both on a national, regional and local scale. This will give you an idea of house price values as a whole and indicate whether it’s more of a buyers’ or sellers’ market at the time.
Get everything into place
It can be tempting to jump in and start viewing homes right away, but taking the time to do your research, set a budget and engage with a broker will put you in a better place when the time comes.
Prospective buyers that come to viewings or place offers with a mortgage in principle are usually looked upon favourably as it shows your high intent for purchasing a home. Plus, having a sound budget in your mind will make property negotiations more straightforward, so you’ll know how far you are willing to haggle, if there is any sort of buffer around your offer and if you may need to back out and continue the search.
Consider the value of repairs and renovations
Chances are you’ll have had a good opportunity to walk around the property in question, to look at its condition and assess whether any major renovation or modernisation is needed. Getting a good look at simple things such as the condition and soundproofing of windows may seem trivial upon your first viewing, but it’s important to remember how much it could cost you to replace them later down the line.
Bear in mind that the property may well be priced having taken in to account any obvious repairs or renewals. Similarly, if you get as far as conducting a professional survey, you should have a better idea of any more serious work required, such as structural renovations, which is really important for negotiating a fair price. We always recommend to our buyers that they meet their surveyor after the survey is completed in order to run through any particular issues that the surveyor has noticed. Surveyors’ reports can often appear overwhelming but in reality the issues identified can be slight.