Buying a property isn’t always easy- you have to find a place with the right feel, the right amount of space and most importantly in the right location! Let’s face it, if you’re planning on hunting for the perfect pad you’re going to need all the help you can get.
In this online age when you can peruse property photos, floor plans, local amenity maps and take virtual house tours any time of the day or night, it might be easy to forget the benefits of using a good estate agent. But why do all the donkey work yourself when your agent is waiting to do it for you?
Be one step ahead
Estate agents are the first point of contact for sellers and will be the first to know when your future home is up for grabs. By registering with an agent in advance you are more likely to hear about new properties before other buyers.
However, before this strategy can be effective you need to make sure your agent knows what you’re looking for. Be clear about which elements are flexible and specify the following:
- Budget (get a mortgage in principle so that you know exactly how much you have to spend)
- Number of bedrooms, bathrooms and reception rooms
- Parking requirements
- Local amenities
- School catchment areas
Now the estate agent understands what you’re ideal home looks like they’ll alert you of any suitable properties. Some agents may even canvas owners who live in a matching location or property type to see if they are interested in selling.
Visit your estate agency branch and chat to the negotiators face to face. If you can, single out one person, consider them your ‘account manager’, and speak to this person each time you call up. This will create familiarity and ensure that you are ‘top of mind’ when a suitable property crops up.
Also, demonstrate how well organised and serious you are. Let your agent know you have a conveyancer ready and waiting and mortgage in principle agreed. This will demonstrate that you’re ready to proceed as soon as the right property comes along. What’s more your agent will dedicate more time and effort into finding the right property for you if they know your ready to part with your cash.
After each viewing let your agent know what you liked or disliked about the property. This will help them tailor future suggestions. If something isn’t right be vocal about it, looking at properties you have no intention of buying will only waste your time, frustrate your agent, and damage the relationship you’ve built up with them.
Together ‘til the end
When you finally find your dream home a good agent will able to help you place an offer and get it accepted. Your agent should be the link between yourself and the vendor providing support throughout the purchasing process.
If you follow these simple steps you will have your agent eating out of your hand, allowing you a much better chance of bagging that dream property.