Tips for Making an Offer: First Time Buyers

Buying your first home is both an exciting and daunting prospect, and making an offer can be particularly nerve-wracking if you’ve never done it before.

Getting your offer spot-on can be the difference between bagging a bargain and paying significantly over the odds for a property. If you’re a first time buyer, then read on for some top tips on making an offer.

Before you even think about making an offer on a property, it’s vital that you know what your budget actually is.

Many would-be buyers make an offer on a property assuming they’ll be able to borrow the amount they need, but in reality, they might come up short.

And on the other hand, you may be able to borrow more than you actually think, so you’re viewing properties that are much lower than your real budget.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to visit a mortgage broker before making an offer so they can tell you exactly how much you can borrow.

Having a mortgage in principle will also help you when it comes to making your offer as it shows that you’re a serious buyer and that you’re well prepared.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the asking price and the value of a property aren’t necessarily the same thing.

Remember, sellers want to get as much money for their property as possible, and the asking price is usually the figure they’re hoping to achieve, rather than the figure they’re willing to accept.

Find out how much other properties in the area have been sold for recently, and find out how long the property you’re interested in has been up for sale.

Has the price been reduced, or has it remained the same? Getting these valuable pieces of information will help you to put in an offer that’s more likely to be accepted.

As a first time buyer, you’re in a relatively strong position when it comes to negotiating, particularly if the seller is looking to move quickly.

First time buyers are generally very attractive to sellers because there’s no lengthy chain to consider, which means a faster buying process and potentially more flexibility on exchange and completion dates.

Therefore, don’t forget to gently remind your estate agent and the seller, of your first time buyer status.

If time is an issue for them, sellers may be willing to accept a slightly lower offer from a first time buyer than a higher offer from someone who’s part of a chain.

Making an offer can be a bit of a balancing act. On the one hand, you want to get the lowest price possible, but on the other, you don’t want to make an offer so low that it frustrates the seller and leaves them not wanting to sell to you.

As long as your initial offer isn’t ridiculously low then don’t be worried if the seller rejects it. Remember, it’s all just a natural part of the negotiating process, as the seller is looking to get as much as possible for the property, and rejecting an offer isn’t anything personal against you or a sign that they’re offended.

There’s no set rule on how much to offer, or how much you can expect to knock off the asking price, but if you’re in two minds about making a cheeky offer, then don’t rush in!

A property viewing is usually completed in under 30 minutes. Sometimes it can be less than 10, so of course, you’re not going to spot every detail that you might need to know before making an offer.

It’s only after the offer has been accepted and your solicitor has started their searches that you’ll start to get a more detailed picture of the property you’re buying, and it’s at this point that certain flaws or issues may crop up.

For example, the boiler may have never been serviced, or the conservatory might have been underpinned.

If anything comes up in your searches or survey that’s likely to cost you a lot of money to sort out in future, then you may be in a reasonable position to reduce your offer or ask the seller to have the issue fixed before you commit.

Of course, they may dismiss your concerns and find another buyer, but it’s worth remembering that you can renegotiate at any point before contracts are exchanged, so just because an offer has been accepted, it doesn’t have to be your final one.

If you are a first time buyer and you have questions about the buying process, give us a call for help and advice. Sperring Residential are your local property experts for the Bedfordshire area. Call us on 01582 825 548 or email sales@sperringresidential.com.

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