Home-hunters' secrets: how to get your dream property

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 04 February 2015 02:16


House hunting season is well underway, and the seasoned hunter needs to be on his toes in order to bag a bargain property. The hunting ground has in fact overwhelmingly become a sellers’ market, and there is firm data to backs this up. The National Association of Estate Agents crunched the figures, and the conclusion they came to is that house hunters outnumber potential properties five to one. This means that another four potential buyers are likely to have their eyes on the same house as you. To close the deal on your dream house you need to have a proactive go-getting attitude. Even though the odds may seem stacked up against you, fear not: there are a few tried and tested steps you can take in order to stay ahead of the competition.

Get the agent on your side

Agents are all too often viewed as enemies by home buyers, and this is a critical mistake that you are better off avoiding. Agents will be much more eager to work with you and to bend to your requirements if you cultivate a friendly and personal, but professional relationship. It does not have to be an over the top gesture, or heavens forbid flat out flattery or cajoling. A small gesture of good will, such as buying two coffees on your way to a meeting with your agent. Assuming that your agent enjoys coffee (which is more than likely) you are already on the road to getting him or her on your side. Another thing to keep in mind is that agents deal with vast numbers of people on a daily basis. A sure fire way to stand out from the faceless crowd is to submit your requirements, such as mortgage arrangements, in writing. It might seem like a relatively insignificant act, but your agent is sure to be impressed by your thoroughness and professionalism. Now that you have earned your agents confidence, it might be a good time to enquire about information that could give you the upper hand. How many other offers have been placed? How long has the house been on the market? Questions like that.

View With Care

Do not even think about placing an offer before you have thoroughly examined the home. When viewing a property try not to be distracted by superficial characteristics. If the house has off-putting décor that is not to your liking, do not dismiss it on this basis alone. You should be thinking about the potential of a house, not about its current state. Take pictures, or better yet, videos of the property. This will give you a more accurate picture than the glossy photographs your agent will provide. While you have your phone out, check the signal in the house. Buying a house with no phone signal would be far from desirable. Don’t be shy when viewing a house. Use all of your senses to gauge the health of the property. If you can smell damp, look for telltale signs such as patches of discoloured paint or wallpaper, and ask to see the damp-course guarantee. Check every switch, toilet, heater and faucet: if everything is not in prime working order you might have grounds to lower your offer. Free up a whole day when viewing properties, so that you can get a look at as many homes as possible. If you can, try to make it a weekday, as estate agents will give you more time than they would on a busy weekend.

Try Your Luck

Last but not least, follow your instincts. You might have all of the information, floor plans, property details and specifications, but never ignore your gut feeling. The house you are looking to buy will be a place where you spend most of your time, and call home. Plain old human instinct will tell you if a house feels good or not. If you are the type to go out on a wing, take part in a home charity lottery. The best case scenario is that you get a dream house, for free. If not, at least you did a good deed by donating to a worthy.


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