How to make an offer for first time buyers

When first time buyers are trying to buy their first home in Bromley and surrounding areas, there’s a lot to think about. Raising a deposit, getting a mortgage, finding somewhere they like in your price bracket and area.

And then, once they viewed the property and made an offer, there’s the wait to see if it will be accepted.

Can this be stressfull? It doesn’t have to be. If you have a clear strategy, you give yourself every chance of success.

When it comes to making an offer, it’s worth remembering that if you like a property that’s for sale, it’s almost certain someone else will also be keen.

In fact, there could be several would-be buyers jostling to get their hands on the property. In recent months flats in Bromley have been harder to sell than houses due to the stamp duty breaks but seem to be bouncing back recently.

The core elements of strategy for success when you make your offer.

123estateAgents Bromley advise the following.

Get a ‘mortgage in principle’

A mortgage in principle confirms to the seller and their estate agent that you deserve to be taken seriously as a potential buyer.

It’s a statement from a bank or building society that says it’s willing to lend you a certain amount of money, so you can show that you can afford the property and that the transaction has every chance of proceeding smoothly.

If you’re up against another would-be buyer who doesn’t have a mortgage in principle, having one could be the deciding factor.

A mortgage in principle is based on your financial situation and usually lasts for between two and three months. After that, the lender will probably want to check nothing major has changed with your finances.

And as it’s ‘in principle’, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the actual loan on the same terms if your circumstances have altered or if, say, interest rates have gone up.

Put in a realistic offer

There’s a fine art to making an offer on a property. Too high and you risk paying more than you need. Too low and you might be beaten to the prize by another buyer.

Work out what your offer should be?

The best place to start is with 123esateagent online valuation tool Online Valuation Tool You enter the address of the property you’re interested in where you can search and it will provide an estimate of what it’s currently worth or alternatively go to the following government Search sold property prices If the data exists, it can also tell you how much your target property fetched last time it was sold. Armed with this information, you should begin to get a sense of how close your offer needs to be to the listed asking price.

Talking to the estate agent will also help. They represent the seller, of course, and they want to get the best price they can. But they’re professionals who understand the local market better than anyone and who know what a realistic price would be.

Give yourself some room to negotiate

OK, so you’ve done your research, chatted to the estate agent, and made what you believe is a reasonable offer for the property.

The next thing that you’ll hear is whether your offer has been accepted or not.

If it hasn’t, you can decide whether or not to increase it – provided, of course, you’ve got the funds available to pay a higher asking price (and to pay the required 10% deposit, which is due if and when you exchange contracts further down the line). If you are on the property ladder for long enough prices have predominately increased over the years so you should see a good return long term.

If you don’t want to or can’t increase your offer, you can try to negotiate with the estate agent.

The main bargaining chip at your disposal is that you’re a first-time buyer. That means you don’t have a property to sell, so you are not in a property chain.

That can be very attractive to a seller if they in turn are trying to secure their next property and want to sell their existing one quickly.

In fact, escaping the constrictions of a property chain might be attractive enough for the seller to tell their agent to accept a lower offer than one from someone who is in a chain.

It’s certainly worth pushing this point if you are at or close to the upper limit of what you can afford.

Get the property taken off the market

Once your offer is accepted, ask the estate agent to take the property off the market. There’s nothing legally binding about making or accepting an offer, so if another buyer arrives on the scene and improves on your offer, the seller is able to accept it.

That’s known as gazumping, and there’s less chance of it happening if the property is no longer listed on the property portals.

Assuming the seller remains happy with your offer, you can then set about securing your mortgage, beginning the conveyancing process and moving towards actually owning your first home.

If you are looking for your property in Bromley and surrounding areas please see our web site 123estateAgent