Q. As a first time buyer and complete novice to the property market in general I feel extremely anxious when it comes to securing a property at the right price. How can I find out that the property I am offering on is worth the money it is being marketed for? I hear that there are certain agents that always market for way higher than the property is actually worth just to win the instruction, it honestly feels like a minefield out here, can you give me some pointers in the right direction to help me along my way?
A. I agree with your comments 100%, it really would appear to be a minefield for someone in your position that is not savvy in respect to the property market. Securing the right price for a property you are thinking of buying is critical. Are you paying too much and wasting thousands of pounds, or have you underbid making it more likely you’ll be gazumped by another buyer? Negotiating with Estate Agents can be nerve wracking too: they are professionals doing this every day while it’s your first time and with all the negative feedback surrounding agents you’ll wonder whether you can trust what they say. Look after your interests by getting to know the local market inside out. Sites such as Rightmove can really help you develop a feel for the market and realistically how much a certain property should sell for, as will a quick check on the Land Registry site, all you will need is the full address of the property including the postcode. Remember sellers often put property on for 10% more than they would be prepared to accept. If your survey says critical works need doing then get quotes and use them to attempt negotiating the asking price down. If the worry of paying too much still looms large, remember it is impossible to generate a perfect “right” price for what an individual property is worth. You could have two identical properties in the same block, but one may have new kitchens and new bathrooms so could therefore be worth more and available at a premium. Also buyers are in different positions too, investors are not buying with an emotional attachment so may not be willing to pay a premium for the right property whereas someone in your position that is buying to live in and will be there long term may feel it’s worth paying over the odds for the perfect property. The good news is the transparency we have today with the information freely available on line revealing the original purchase price as well as recently sold listings makes it easier to unravel and assist in securing the property at the true value. If you still don’t feel confident then consider hiring a buyer’s agent. For a percentage of the purchase price you can hire a professional that is ofay with the market and is able to hold your hand through from the search to secure the property to negotiating the right price to the exchange and completion.