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Top tips for infrequent buyers!

By The Beresfords Marketing Team - 14 June 2011

Whilst many people rent property for a relatively short time, those that buy a home generally tend to stay in the property longer and move less frequently.

This is largely due to the fact that owning a home often means spending time and money putting your own individual stamp on it and adapting it by for example, extending, as circumstances change.

As a result, some will only ever move home a handful of times over the years which means when they do, it can be a very daunting process. After all, choosing a home is one of the biggest, and certainly the most expensive, decision, you will make.

That’s when your local estate agent comes into their own so here’s our top tips for those nervous about moving, possibly for the first time this century!

Choose a familiar agent

Choose an agent you are familiar with and knows the area really well. You may know the town but a good local agent will be able to tell you exactly where you are likely to find the type of property you want.

Talk to friends

Share their experiences if they have moved recently. Recommendations in respect of an estate agent, mortgage adviser, surveyor, solicitor are worth their weight in gold and what’s more, the person or company recommended will often go that extra mile if they feel their previous efforts were appreciated!

You're never alone

It may be that you are moving for the first time on your own after losing a partner. A good agent will understand your circumstances and guide you through the process from start to finish.

Talk to your agent

Buying or selling a property through a website is fine when everything is going well but when there are problems or you just need reassurance by way of a friendly chat, pop in to your agent’s office, that’s why they are there.

Take advice

You don’t move every day of the week but the property market fluctuates all the time. Your property is your most valuable asset so make sure you are dealing with a professional agent who knows your area and its prices. If you choose one that belongs to a body such as the NAEA you know you are dealing with a professional agent who is qualified.

Get a buyer first

Sound a strange way to do it? Not really. That way you give yourself the best chance of achieving a good sale price by not being under pressure to take an offer and you give any buyer a chance to sell whilst you are finding a property. What’s more, when you’ve found that property you are less likely to lose it by already having a buyer yourself and you are in a much better bargaining position when making an offer. If you can’t find a property, you won’t find yourself out on the street! At worst, your buyer may look for something else but if they really want your property, they’ll wait.

Make an offer

But make it to the estate agent, it’s what they do. Property can be an emotive subject and a good offer made badly, can offend a seller. The agent will know how to put it across in the right way and their objective approach can often be a major factor. They will also be able help you by letting you what other interest there is or has been. If you really want the property, you may prefer to make a stronger offer to try and secure it or lose it. Despite media reports, the market is much stronger in this area than most with some properties selling within hours.

Do your sums

You’ll need to budget for everything so take your time and make sure you’ve not missed anything. If you aren’t sure, ask.

Read the small print

In today’s market, some mortgage advisers charge a fee for their services. It can be wrapped up in the small print so make sure you check and insist on knowing all the charges as they may be called something different such as an ‘admin fee’. Better still, find one that doesn’t charge at all. On the subject of charges, some agents have taken to charging a ‘withdrawal fee’ if you decide not to sell through them. The good news is, most don’t!

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