First time buyer with second in the morning - tips?(9 Posts)
Have compiled a list of the practical stuff I want to check/double check/measure etc.
Are there any crucial questions I should be asking the agent?
Also, the price is listed at 'offers in the region of'. What does this mean in actuality and where would you start with an opening offer?
Don't want my inexperience and naivety to be TOO glaringly obvious!
Look at typical sold prices in the area for similar properties. See if the agents have archived the details. Sometimes they still have them via Zoopla. Offers in the region of - means you can start a bit lower with your offer. Say 10-15% below. You need to be comfortable with what you offer. The agent puts your offer to the vendor. They accept or ask for more. Have an upper limit in mind. Try not to get into a bidding war and spend more than it is worth to you.
If the house is at the top of the price range you have to judge what it's fittings are like. Has the kitchen been modernised? What is the bathroom like? The garden? Is the house in top top condition or does it need work? This informs your decision on your offer. Get a survey done to see if there are any problems. If putting these right are going to cost you money, you should try and negotiate money off.
The agent is being paid by the vendor, not you. He must be truthful with you but you have to negotiate on price. Don't expect the agent to know much! They just want the highest price for their client!
The agent may know the lowest price the vendor will accept. He may or may not tell you.
Ask the agent, or your own solicitor what the market rates are, what they're expecting as a "in the region of" offer. They'll be used to prospective buyers asking.
Second viewing is about the head, not the heart ..... so says Kirstie anyway!
Look at the practical stuff :
- what repairs would be required? Would you reflect that in your offer?
- would you need / want to replace big ticket items like central heating / kitchen / bathroom / windows. When / how soon. Budget for that.
- how big are the rooms really? Know measurements of the rooms, and (your) furniture. If they've only got a single bed, could you fit a double or king etc?
- is the property on a main road, or town centre etc - will noise levels vary, will you be ok with that?
- what's transport like? If you've got a car, is there a garage / parking, do you need a permit & how much? If you're relying on public transport, what's the journey really like?
- how long are you planning on staying there? Or rather, can the house adapt to your needs over time, or would you need / want to move in a few years / when circumstances changed? Your compromises may differ depending on whether you see yourself living there for 5 or 50 years.
Try and get a feel for the vendor's situation and upwards chain so you can guess where they stand in negotiations - have they found somewhere and had an offer accepted?? If they have, them they will be keen to sell. If they are still looking, then there is less pressure on them to accept.
Check out things like the boiler (age / service history) and any other big ticket items e.g. cookers etc.
Ask about running costs: utility bills, council tax, house insurance then check these (mainly insurance) out on a comparison site - if it's high, it might indicate flood risk or other insurance considerations.
Think about the area - is there anything that needs investigation? Roads / parking / local businesses / access?
Don't feel rushed or pressured - this is a HUGE deal so make sure you are happy. And you can always go back for a 3rd viewing or ask agent more questions on email etc after the visit.
Actually, not a bad idea to summarise any discussions afterwards in writing as agents can be a bit eager to get a sale and might extend the truth / minimise stuff just to move on.
Thanks everyone. Some great information in your posts.
Am back from the viewing and I still really really like it. The area is fantastic, both the immediate area (cul de sac with no traffic, front garden plus huge green across the way for the DC to play on) and the general area (village-y but accessible for town, good schools, park nearby, good walking routes all around and most importantly not gentrified yet!). The house itself is great.
In terms of an opening offer, I've read a lot about starting 5-10% under the asking price. My parents think I should offer 10% under but because it's a relatively low value house in the first place anyway (£119,950), I'm worried this is too cheeky?
OP don't worry about being cheeky.
I think offering 10% under asking price is fine as a starting point
Try not to be embarrassed or worry what the sellers/agents will think of you- it doesn't matter
Right now, I get the impression that things are quite in the property market in some places, if not everywhere
if you're the only one making an offer, it means that you don't have other buyers to complete with/potentially get into a bidding war with.
Also, have a firm maximum price in mind
Don't be blinded by bullshit from the agent- they may tell you there is another interested buyer who is (or has) willing to offer the asking price blah blah blah
Just offer what you think it is worth, and within the limits of how high you are prepared to go. Do not let the agent know what your top price is- keep that to yourself!
If you think the house is fairly priced and you can afford it, there is no need to play games. If you are in a good position mortgage wise, that will work in your favour especially as you are chain free.
If £120,000 is a fair and reasonable price and you have looked at recent sold prices of comparable houses,
I would try £112,000 or £115,000 depending on the condition of the house. If it is a bargain and really needs no updating at all, go with £115,000 straight away. It is not games to keep a bit back for updating. Definitely ok to offer less if there are repairs or an ancient boiler. Any offer is subject to survey anyway.
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