Yahoo! Finance - standing out from the house buying crowd

ended 06. December 2021

A journalist at Yahoo! Finance is penning a piece on how buyers can make themselves stand out from the crowd. After all, with as many as 25 buyers vying for one property in certain cases, it's brutal out there so what can you do to beat off the competition? Examples might be…

  • Have all your finances in order 
  • Have all your ducks in a row (metaphorical not literal)
  • Be a cash buyer  (yeah, as if)
  • Write a persuasive letter (or a poisoned one?)
  • Be ready to move quick
  • Be chain-free (property chain, not Rousseau)

I won't put ‘be mortgage ready’ and ‘choose a great broker’ because I suspect that will be a popular response anyway. That's fine but try and think a bit more off the wall, too. Deadline is COB.


6 responses from the Newspage community

An often overlooked part of the decision making process for sellers, when deciding on who's offer to accept - do I like them? Selling your home is a very emotive subject and whilst it's easy from the outside to view it in terms of a business transaction, there are often many other factors that the prospective seller is considering; will they get on with the neighbors, do I want these people living in my house, will they look after it? As a potential buyer try to answer some of these questions that will be in the sellers' mind. So as well as doing all the obvious bits like; having a mortgage approval in principal, your solicitors on stand-by and the deposit money in your account think about the other side of it, the emotional side and turn up on time, looking reasonably smart (I'm not saying break out the suit, but maybe not joggers and a hoodie), be polite, be enthusiastic about the house (remember, it's their home) and show them you're the type of person who wont upset the neighbors. I've seen buyers have offers accepted that weren't the highest, simply because the seller "liked them more". Sometimes, it's not all about the money.
The best way to stand out from the crowd in a super competitive housing market is to speak to an advisor and fully understand your position as to what you can afford, not what a calculator online says the amount of people who I talk to on a weekly basis who end up leaving it last minute and do not end up with the house they want due to them relying on an online calculator to see what they can borrow for a mortgage and this in most cases turns out to be wrong. So for the love of God, speak to an advisor about your circumstances; unlike an agent who represents the seller, the advisor works with you to ensure you get the best mortgage possible and also checks if you are even creditworthy and will allow you to understand exactly what you can borrow on your income and outgoings at times this may involve an initial credit check with a lender to ensure you can have a mortgage in principle as this gives agents peace of mind and can put you good stead as we tend to find people who rely on affordability calculators which ain't worth anything to an estate agent as they want to see you have are creditworthy as they represent the seller, not you and feelings do not play a part when offering they will always advise their client to go with the best offer.
Be a prepper, no not hoarding ready for the end of days, make sure you are prepared and ready to go, being a cash buyer is great, but not all sellers see that as a benefit. make sure your finances are in order, have a Mortgage in Principle ready so you can show the vendor you are serious and can afford the property. Don't be tight with your offers, if you want it out in a serious offer, dont muck about!
"Know your number. In other words, make sure you know how much you can afford to offer and be able to back it up either with an Agreement in Principle or an email from your Mortgage Broker. This shows the agent that you are serious and ready. Also, be flexible - if the sellers want to move quickly, make sure you can accommodate this but if they want the process to be slow, make sure you can fit in with that, too. In short, be flexible and play what you see in front of you. Lastly, be nice - most homeowners want their home to go to someone they like. If they receive two identical offers, being a nice person might just swing it your way."
Have an Agreement in Principle (AIP) in place with a lender. Many estate agents will want to see this first, particularly where there's strong buyer interest in a property. Also have your solicitor on standby. Ideally one with a good reputation for speedy, efficient conveyancing. One other tip, ensure you build strong relationships with your local estate agents. Respond quickly when they offer a property for viewing, even if it's not of interest. Anything you can do to make them look upon you favourably will help when the right property does come up.
No matter how much you charm the sellers, or show your best smile, the surest way to win a property over all other buyers is to pay more money than them. But be prepared to stump up any extra from your own resources, as a mortgage lender might not value the property quite as highly, and this might mean less mortgage and more deposit. Everyday potential buyers tell us they have just been to view a property and how much they love it, and then proceed to ask about how much under they should offer to get a deal. Our answer is, it's a sellers market, if you think it's worth it, offer at least the asking price, or you face a high possibility of loosing the opportunity. Put yourself in the sellers shoes. Assertive buyers who are ready to move fast, who can show evidence of their ability to complete the purchase, and have less complications such as a large property chain, or other delays, will always be more attractive to sellers. Failing all else, catch some of the Star Wars re-runs over the festive break and brush up on Jedi mind tricks.