Don’t worry we’ve not gone all Latinate- we promise to write and explain in Standard English but it means (as if you didn’t know, we realise) – buyer beware.
It means defects may be hidden, particularly in real estate terms.
You should beware too of these common mistakes buyers sometimes commit when negotiating property purchases.
1. Asking price: Hopes and dreams, estate agent targets, economic conditions, supply and demand can all affect that guide price. You as a buyer need to be price savvy because if that property purchase is going to earn you money, year on year, you have to make sure you pay a realistic price, and not an inflated one. We can advise you on prices, as real property experts.
2. Don’t give away too much on viewings: Time and time again we see buyers show their hand to the estate agent. Guess what? The estate agent is paid to ensure you pay the highest price. Be very careful what you do and say to estate agents, they are trained to ensure you pay the most possible for a house.
3. Negotiations: Don’t cock it up! Negotiation is a skill and saying the wrong thing could cost you THOUSANDS. We’ve heard buyers say things like ‘I’d like to offer X but I’d be prepared to pay Y’… NO NO NO. Sellers have an expert, trained estate agent working for them to extract every last penny out of a buyer. Who do you have to ensure you pay the least? No-one.
Having an estate agent negotiate for both buyer and seller is like Mr & Mrs Divorcing having the same divorce lawyer acting for both, but only 1 is paying them.
4. Surveys: You need to assess the condition of the property you’re buying – if it’s brand new or nearly new, you wouldn’t usually pay for a full structural survey as the property will be covered by a NHBC warranty. An older property may be worth spending the extra money on with a building survey to guarantee peace of mind. Think of it too as a snagging list. If the works are minor, you can attend to them after moving in; more serious issues may need addressing with your solicitor and estate agent.
5. Solicitors: Not instructing a conveyancing solicitor early on. The more prepared you are in terms of processes, then you are in a better position to move quickly. We can’t stress this enough – if you’re intending to buy and soon, arrange a reputable solicitor at the outset.
6. Getting mortgage funds in place: To be in with a realistic chance of securing that dream property purchase, you would be wise to secure an Agreement in Principle from your mortgage provider at the outset.
7. Chain: Fleetwood Mac were wise when they chorused that they keep us together. Chains inevitably carry more risk – the ideal position to be in is to be chain free. Your property sold and you ready to view, make offers and move.
8. Waiting for the dream home:. By all means have a checklist of desirable and essential needs, but you may have to compromise on dream home demands. You may well want that additional downstairs living space, but if it’s not there, think about extending or installing a bespoke garden office.
9. Being inflexible over space: We’ve seen this and you probably have on property programmes – where a buyer rejects a property because that large dining table won’t fit. Simple solution – sell that table and downsize to a smaller one. Buy a smaller fridge-freezer.
10. Wanting to move on certain dates: Understandable yes but not always achievable – the watchword is to be flexible.
11. Friday moves: 80% of homebuyers move on Fridays. At Power Bespoke we can see the logic – you have all weekend to unpack and unwind. But seriously – would you have everything done in three days? We doubt it. Choose a different day when removal firms will have greater availability and possibly lower prices.
12. Staying put and losing your buyer: You know the scenario? You’ve found your next home? You’ve sold yours for a great price from someone who has no property to sell but they want to move in within 10 weeks and the house you’re buying wants a move in four months. Deadlock? Here’s a suggestion – accept the buyer’s requests, move your furniture and belongings into storage and stay elsewhere temporarily – yes it costs money, but what could be the cost of your property remaining on the market longer, with offers perhaps reducing.
We hope this article has been useful and if you’d like to know more, contact one of our Power Bespoke team via email or telephone 24 hours a day.
We’re here to help you move.