Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
31st May 2022 – Prospect Tree Mortgages
Top Tips: Negotiating Offers with Estate Agents
Buying a property in 2022 can feel like an uphill battle, even before you have viewed your first property. The reality is, there are far less properties available than there are people looking to buy them.
If priced correctly, properties coming to the market this year are selling like hot cakes. Often before being advertised and leaving many wanting viewers on the side lines.
So today we are going to give you our top tips on how you can be successful in the 2022 property market.
Nail the interview
Estate agents will have thousands of applicants registered and will receive hundreds of calls each day from more hopeful buyers. It’s your job is to make sure you stand out from the crowd.
Before you start registering your details with estate agents, it’s well worth ensuring you have all your requirements down on paper, most importantly your budget.
Estate agents are looking for motivated and proceedable buyers to put in front of their vendors (homeowners). So, to make it to the top of their list it’s important that you can confidently communicate all your requirements and budget to give them confidence in your position.
If you come across as wishy-washy, then it’s a possibility that your details won’t even make it onto their database, which will mean you don’t receive property alerts or calls when they instruct a new home to the market.
Here are some of the details you’ll want to be sure of when you call the agents:
- How many bedrooms you require?
- What style of properties you like/ dislike?
- What locations you would consider
- How much you want to spend?
- How far your budget will stretch?
- Are you willing to do work on a property?
- How you are financing the purchase?
- Who you are using for conveyancing (solicitors)?
Of course, this isn’t a definitive list, but a great place to start.
Get financially prepared
Remember how we said estate agents are looking for motivated and proceedable buyers? Well, being financially prepared is part of how you demonstrate this.
These days, estate agents are required to gather more information on your finances than you may be used to. Anti-money laundering processes were put in place in January 2020 which now requires them to collect ID and proof of deposit for anyone looking to make an offer on one of their properties.
Many estate agents will attempt to collect this information prior to you making an offer, however it isn’t totally necessary until you have.
Despite this, you may want to think carefully before declining their attempts to be organised by refusing to pass on this information until you’ve made an offer. It could come across that you aren’t someone who is easy to work or are trying to hide something which would negatively affect your position.
Going a step further
Your AIP will clearly state how much you can borrow (in principle) and paired with your deposit; the estate agent will have no reason to doubt your ability to purchase a property through them if you so wish.
Being legally prepared
Now this is truly going the extra mile.
Before your offer is accepted, the estate agent will want to know who you are going to use for your conveyancing. Conveyancing is the term for the legal transfer of property title between owners.
Once again, if you are uncertain who you’re going to use, then the estate agent will be expecting delays before being able to mark the house as sold. You can counter this by choosing a solicitor prior to speaking with estate agents and opening an account with them. This demonstrates that you are fully aware of the process, or at least understand the part you must play in it.
A bonus to being financially and legally prepared is that you’ll have an easier time objecting to estate agents continued efforts to upsell you their own mortgage or conveyancing services.
Make some noise
Circling back to our first point, estate agents have thousands of applicants registered and will add more to their database every day. To stay front of mind, it’s a smart idea to call and check in with them regularly.
They can only identify you as a potential buyer if you’ve clearly demonstrated your ability to proceed and your motivations for doing so, this can be achieved by checking in regularly and asking about new instructions which could match your requirements.
Make time for viewings
Whilst this is easier said than done, estate agents often have extremely busy schedules and offering flexibility when it comes to viewings is a quick way to win favour.
Even if you are unable to view the property yourself, having a trusted friend or family member who can take a peek for you still shows you are serious about buying a property.
At this point it is important to remember that an estate agency sales advisor will be judged on how many viewings they can organise in any given day, if you view the properties they suggest and provide timely feedback, you’ll quickly earn a position at the top of their lists.
If the “phrase people buy from people” is true, then it must also be true that “people sell to people”.
Whilst estate agents have suffered a poor reputation since the seventies, remember that the person you’re speaking to may not have even been born then.
Kindness and compassion will go a long way, and whilst you’ve just spent hours repeating your requirements to every estate agent up and down the high-street, remember that they’ve just spent hours listening to other buyers’ requirements.
Be patient, understanding and aim for them to have a glowing impression of you when you end the phone call. If they put the phone down and say, “what a nice person”, then you can guarantee that they’ll be keen to help you and recommend properties as soon as they come around.
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot
It’s very easy to become frustrated with an estate agent when your offer doesn’t get accepted. Be careful not to burn any bridges, as ultimately, you’ll want to find another property and they may just be the agent who gets it. Remember, estate agents want to sell properties, and you want to buy them! So work with them and they’ll work with you.
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