Published: 14/05/2021If you’re looking to buy a house in London at the moment you may have a ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ (FOMO), and who could blame you? With a distinct lack of properties on the market and an abundance of buyers all wanting to find a home, it’s like the Wild West out there on the housing front. In March, HMRC announced that UK property transactions were at their highest level since records began in 2005 – in fact, there were 180,000 sales, that’s double the number seen in March last year. So if you are a buyer trying to navigate this market, how can you ensure your FOMO doesn’t become a reality?
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a buyer is to start your search before you’ve got yourself in a viable position. In other words, do you have a mortgage in principle? Having an up to date mortgage in principle demonstrates to both the homeowner and the estate agent that you are able to proceed with the purchase. Your offer will be considered serious and in cases where demand for viewings on a property is overwhelming, you will be considered over someone who doesn’t have this in place. If you haven’t taken the steps to speak to a mortgage broker, we would suggest you do so as soon as possible.
If you want to be taken seriously, you need to be transparent when speaking to an estate agent about what you’re looking for and your maximum budget. We know that by placing all your cards on the table you may think you’re putting yourself in a weaker position when it comes to negotiating. But stating that you don’t have a maximum budget doesn’t ring true and can make it difficult for an estate agent to help you find your dream home.
Take advantage of virtual viewings
Virtual viewings are a great way of touring a number of properties to see what you like and don’t like. It can help you to solidify your wish list and work out where you’re willing to compromise. Within a virtual tour not only will you be taken around the property but you will also get the opportunity to ask questions. This means that when you are sure of what you want you can focus all your time and energy on properties that could be the perfect match.
Buying a house is a massive investment, yet it’s a decision that many rush into, and we don’t want you regretting a purchase down the line. Before you start to physically view properties, think about all the things that are important to you and not just the property itself. As the country starts to open up to some kind of normality, what can the neighbourhood offer you? Your work situation could be different, perhaps involving work from home days, so is commutability as important as it was? Or, do you want walks, shops, and bars in walking distance? Remember, a home can be changed but a location can’t, and it’s easy to be swayed by a stunning interior and glorious garden design, but is it the right ‘home’ for you?
More haste, less speed
This market requires a clear and level head, if you snooze you will lose, but your decisions shouldn’t be rushed either. Set up alerts with property websites so you’ll know as soon as a new home in your chosen area comes onto the market, book a viewing as quickly as possible, and do your research before you go if it is a street or borough you’re not familiar with. Make a list of questions so these can be answered whilst you are viewing the property. Try and view the house without rose-tinted glasses, because this could be your home – will you be happy living there? Don’t wait to make an offer if this house is for you, because you can be assured that others who have viewed it will no doubt be doing the same.
Do you want this house?
Any offer you make has to have an impact. Yes, we all love a bargain but when homes are going for close to or over their asking prices at the moment in London, making a low ball offer will seem like an insult to the homeowners. You want your offer to be taken seriously. Don’t forget to remind the estate agent of your position – are you a first-time buyer, chain-free, your property already sold? Knowing more about you and your position could make your offer more attractive; not all sellers take the highest figure, some wish their home to go to a local family, not an investor, or prefer a buyer for other reasons.
No more fear
With these hot tips, you may still have a little fear of missing out but you’re taking steps to place yourself in a strong position so you can not only find your dream home, but buy it too. If you’re looking for a new home in London, come and chat with our team to see how we can help you.
Call our team today on 020 3002 2650.