Q. As a buyer in a rising market can you offer any advice to help me secure a property? Having offered on three properties and lost them all to other buyers I really feel that I need a helping hand to secure something?
A. I hear you, as the market continues at its current pace more and more disappointed buyers are becoming frustrated with the market. First of all research recently achieved prices in your area, this will serve as a useful guide when deciding on your bid level. Bear in mind that a property is “worth” what any one person is prepared to pay for it, so what other properties in the area have sold for can only be used a guide. When deciding on a figure to offer, it is best to make it an uneven figure, just above the sum you settle on as it may just nudge you above another bidder offering at the same level. In an ideal world, before entering into a sealed bid situation, you will have seen quite a number of other properties, so you can gauge the value of the property. Be prepared to add a premium sum to the offer you make but don’t offer more than you can afford. If your bid is chosen and you are then unable to proceed on the basis that you can’t actually afford it, you will be damaging your reputation as a suitable buyer and agents will no longer take you seriously. This may impact on your chances of bidding for other properties in the future. Make sure you have all your finances in order. When submitting your bid, keep the covering letter concise, while providing all the facts: bid level, buying position (in a chain or unencumbered, mortgage or cash), proof of funds, proof of mortgage offer (AIP – Agreement in Principle), details of your solicitor, your proposed timings for exchange and completion. All this information will go a long way to show that you are a very ‘together buyer’ and may be enough to sway a seller to run with you. The highest bid is not necessarily the one that will be chosen. The factors included in the point above will be taken into consideration as to the most “suitable” buyer. Therefore, present yourself positively as a “good, solid buyer” and offer as much flexibility as possible with regards to your timeframe for completion as the vendor may prefer fixed timings. Hand deliver your bid to the agent if possible and only just before the cut off time. If you lose the bid, don’t despair. The winning bidder may back-out and your bid will be reconsidered, you’d be surprised how often this actually happens. The “right” property is out there and you will eventually secure it. If all else fails you could consider using a buyer’s agent and leave it to the experts to secure something on your behalf.