Go for it!
If you are looking to buy or rent a new home in the next few weeks then I genuinely feel a bit sorry for you and feel it is my duty to warn you about what is going on out there.
If you expect that you are going to be able to take your time, view multiple properties, have second & third viewings to show kids & parents, do some research about the area and then consider making an offer under the asking price to try your luck then you are going to have to think again!
The pace of the local housing market is truly bonkers at present. Competition for every and all types of properties is as strong as I have ever known it and we are being inundated with hopeful buyers and tenants looking for properties. As ever, Leigh-On-Sea is a pressure cooker for all this, with demand far exceeding the supply. Basically, there just aren’t enough properties to go around.
The reality of trying to buy or rent a new house is often very different from our expectations.
Moving home is a massive decision and it is completely reasonable to want to take your time with it but I am sorry to say that in most cases this is just not possible.
In reality, you will probably get a maximum 15-minute slot to view a property, with a queue of other potential buyers waiting eagerly outside for you to finish.
After a quick whizz around the property, you will probably have to contact the agent immediately or certainly within the hour to decide whether you want to offer the asking price or more likely how much above the asking price you are prepared to go to. After this, you’ll likely be in a back and forth, increasing your offer further until you or everyone else decides enough is enough and drops out and one of you are successful.
However, all of this is assuming you have been successful in actually booking the appointment to see the property in the first place. Sales are not quite as fast-paced as Rentals (although they’re getting there!). I had a potential renter call me yesterday to view a property that had only been on the market for a couple of hours. He called to arrange a viewing and joked that he was being very keen phoning so quickly. I didn’t like to tell him that in the 2 hours the property had been on the market I had actually booked in 15 viewings before him and that he was well down in the queue.
As agents, it is a very difficult situation. Where do you draw the line? Realistically, if you book in 3 viewings for a property then statistically at least 1 of them is going to like it and want to proceed. However, 3 viewings wouldn’t be fair to our vendor, as someone else could be prepared to pay more or be in a better position, so we book in more & more but where do you stop? 10, 20, 30? As I have always said we can only sell or rent a property to 1 person so inevitably we are going to have to disappoint many people and it may be hard to imagine but as agents, we honestly don’t enjoy letting people down and telling them they have been unsuccessful. It is not unusual, especially for rental properties to have more than 50 applicants apply and that is just silly.
So if you are looking to move is there anything you can do to make this process a bit easier? Well first of all you are going to have to steel yourself! You may not have to scratch someone’s eyes out but you are going to have to look after yourself. All is fair in love and house moving so make a nuisance of yourself to us agents so that you can at least try and get first dibs on any new properties coming to the market. Do your research first before you visit a property. If you have to look at school league tables or the length of the walk to the station after your viewing then sorry you are going to lose out. Get all of your ducks in a line as they say. If you have sold your existing property, then make sure your chain is secure and you have all of the details, have proof of cash funds and certification for any mortgage funds required. If you are going to make an offer go in strong and confident. The agent will then have the confidence in submitting the offer that you know what you are doing and this will put you in a much better light than most.
Most of all though is to be realistic and try (I know it is hard) not to get caught up in the furore around at the moment. Set yourself a budget and don’t get carried away in the negotiations of just winning at all costs rather than what you are comfortable paying or what you genuinely feel the house is worth. Remember it might not just be up to you, a mortgage company may have to agree that the price you are paying for the property is fair and in fast-rising markets such as this, they have been guilty in the past of not being able to catch up.
Also as I said the time for long relaxing viewings has gone and having a glass of wine and trying to befriend the sellers just won’t wash anymore. If you are not in a position to make an offer, if you still have to put your house on the market or even if it is on the market at present but you haven’t quite secured a buyer then I am sorry but you just won’t stand a chance at the moment. As agents, these are our preferred types of applicants because it gives us a chance to get their house on the market for sale and sell something else (double bubble, lovely) but we cant influence sellers to give these types of buyers preference and when you have multiple cash or procurable offers then the expert advice has always got to be to go with one of those rather than the uncertainty of a buyer dependent on the sale of another property however confident we are of selling that one as well.
I am sorry if this has put you off trying to secure a new home that was not my intention. I aim to give you a clear picture – so you’re in the best position to buy your future home. Toughen you up a bit, so that I can send you out there forwarned and forearmed into the dog-eat-dog world of house buying and selling. Now, shoulders back, elbows out, deep breath, GO FOR IT!