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FTB - How do I give myself the best chance in this competitive market?

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Hello all,

I am now actively looking at buying a house for the first time by mysef. I've got a 15% deposit ready, I know my budget, I've got AIP from L&C, I just need to find somewhere

I have been browsing RightMove whilst I was finishing my saving so I know what I'm likely to get for my money. However in this competitive market I'm not so sure if waiting for properties to pop up on RM is the best way forward

Obviously I'm happy to hear advise from anyone that's been though this recently (or indeed ever!) Is RM the best way forward or should I visit each individual estate agent individually for the latest listings? Also would it do any harm if I find a conveyencer so they are there if/when my offer is accepted so the process can start imedially, or when the chain has formed?

I want to give myself the best chance possible so any advice granted including anything in addition to my queries. Thanks in advance!
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  • Ksw3
    Ksw3 Posts: 334 Forumite
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    We finally had an offer accepted on the 7th house we bid on. The only difference with this one is that we let the EA know we had a conveyancer already in hand. It was actually a tip given to us by another estate agent. Apparently some buyers will take weeks to find a conveyancer. 

    L and C also has a reputation for being overly optimistic on their Agreement in Principle. We had one from a mainstream leader that was obtained via a broker. 

    Get on as many estate agents mail listings as possible. You often get notified of properties before they go on RM. 

    Good luck with the hunting!
  • maton91
    maton91 Posts: 111 Forumite
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    Ksw3 said:
    We finally had an offer accepted on the 7th house we bid on. The only difference with this one is that we let the EA know we had a conveyancer already in hand. It was actually a tip given to us by another estate agent. Apparently some buyers will take weeks to find a conveyancer. 

    L and C also has a reputation for being overly optimistic on their Agreement in Principle. We had one from a mainstream leader that was obtained via a broker. 

    Get on as many estate agents mail listings as possible. You often get notified of properties before they go on RM. 

    Good luck with the hunting!

    Thanks for the advice, will take it on board!

    Sounds like having a conveyencer is a no brainer! Would you reccomend someone local or someone with good review on Trust Pilot with full accessibility?
  • propertyhunter
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    Ksw3 said:
    We finally had an offer accepted on the 7th house we bid on. The only difference with this one is that we let the EA know we had a conveyancer already in hand. It was actually a tip given to us by another estate agent. Apparently some buyers will take weeks to find a conveyancer. 

    L and C also has a reputation for being overly optimistic on their Agreement in Principle. We had one from a mainstream leader that was obtained via a broker. 

    Get on as many estate agents mail listings as possible. You often get notified of properties before they go on RM. 

    Good luck with the hunting!
    This is key. You also want to build a relationship with the EA by speaking to them/asking about new instructions every 10 or so days. Go and see lots of properties, including ones you think you might not like - each viewing tends to inform your search, and you'll be surprised how pictures can be deceiving, and that sometimes it's worth seeing things you don't like from the RM listing alone. 

    I would also say take your time. There's no rush. Be prepared to miss out on houses, think you've lost the 'forever home' and then inevitably find something better. 

    When at viewings, ask the EA about the market and competition - weirdly I find they are more honest about demand and expected prices when asked face-to-face. 
  • propertyhunter
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    maton91 said:
    Ksw3 said:
    We finally had an offer accepted on the 7th house we bid on. The only difference with this one is that we let the EA know we had a conveyancer already in hand. It was actually a tip given to us by another estate agent. Apparently some buyers will take weeks to find a conveyancer. 

    L and C also has a reputation for being overly optimistic on their Agreement in Principle. We had one from a mainstream leader that was obtained via a broker. 

    Get on as many estate agents mail listings as possible. You often get notified of properties before they go on RM. 

    Good luck with the hunting!

    Thanks for the advice, will take it on board!

    Sounds like having a conveyencer is a no brainer! Would you reccomend someone local or someone with good review on Trust Pilot with full accessibility?

    I'd ask family/friends for a recommendation. Geography doesn't come into it since it is all done remotely over phone and email. 
  • nicknameless
    nicknameless Posts: 1,059 Forumite
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    edited 16 May 2022 at 10:07PM
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    We have just had our second offer accepted in 6 months - first sale vendor withdrew.

    You need to be perceived as serious and prepared in this market.

    Get to know the agents - speak to them and go view properties with them.

    We have just got an offer accepted on a property we missed out on in March at best and final.  I spoke to the branch manager afterwards and have contacted they every 2 weeks since to see if anything was coming up.   I'm convinced we got the call when the original buyer pulled out because of this and because they knew of our good position (no chain, large amount of cash, already demonstrated we could get a mortgage on the first purchase that collapsed).

    Try to grow a thick skin.  We've been trying for near on a year now.  Things may change though - but no sign of it locally here as yet.
  • RandomGuy87
    RandomGuy87 Posts: 72 Forumite
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    Make sure that any conveyancer that you instruct is on the approved panel for your mortgage lender. This is something that I was not aware of beforehand and it added an extra 2/3 weeks on because we had to find a new one.
  • K_S
    K_S Posts: 6,762 Forumite
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    @maton91 Based on my experience, this is a typical email (for the avoidance of doubt, it's a generic template, so not tailored to your post) that I send to my FTB clients with mainstream lender DIPs about making qualified offers, perhaps it might help you as well. Good luck!

    -----------------------------------------
    If your experience is anything like my other clients who are currently trying to buy in <area>, it is important that when you make an offer, it is fully qualified right from the outset. Ideally, it should highlight/include the following –

    - Making an offer over email so the EA (Estate Agent) is less likely to ignore it or avoid passing it on to the vendor.

    - Attach the <mainstream lender name> Decision In Principle (DIP) which indicates that you can borrow what you need (balanced with the con that this lets the EA know your max borrowing). Alternatively, I am happy to drop an email to the Estate Agent confirming that you are good to go on the mortgage part.

    Attach proof of deposit: In your case that’ll be a good copy of the statements showing cash deposit. (you can leave this out if you’re not comfortable sharing but the EA will most likely ask to see it).

    - Confirmation that you have a named solicitor/conveyancer on standby (you don’t need to instruct one at this point).

    - Highlight any positives: That you are renting and chain-free, that is a big plus, especially if the property is vacant.

    - Confirm that you have a mortgage broker on standby and once an offer is accepted, an application will be submitted asap.

    - Keep an eye out for chain-free properties where your chain-free status holds additional value.

    I know that some of the above is information that a lot of people don’t like to share or feel that the EA shouldn’t be asking for. And that feeling is absolutely valid. Unfortunately, in many parts of the country it’s a seller’s market right now due to the lack of supply, especially for houses and properties with good outdoor space. Even if your initial offer isn’t accepted, a lot of these transactions fall through very early (mostly buyers who don’t have a realistic idea of their borrowing options) and the EA goes back into the failed bidders list to see who was actually qualified and can proceed quickly. So you want to be in that list to maximise your chances of the bid being reconsidered at some point.
    -------------------------------------------

    I am a Mortgage Adviser - You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice. 

    PLEASE DO NOT SEND PMs asking for one-to-one-advice, or representation.

  • matthew91822
    matthew91822 Posts: 76 Forumite
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    I have been looking and viewing for about a month now. I've offered on 2 properties, first was very under-priced and even though I offered £15k over asking, I didn't get it. Second was a repossession which needed a fair bit of doing up but was very overpriced so they didn't accept my 10k under asking.

    I refresh Rightmove multiple times a day but a lot of the time, the EAs advertise a bit before RM, so sign up for email updates.

    It's quite competitive out there but it depends on what you're after and i guess the location too. I'm being fairly picky with what I want, lucky that I'm chain free.
  • Ramouth
    Ramouth Posts: 660 Forumite
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    One of the agents in our area uploads a video tour to YouTube a day or so before the listing goes live on Rightmove.  By subscribing to their YouTube channel we could get in early.  We didn’t buy from them in the end but still have a watch every now and again because we are nosey.
  • markin
    markin Posts: 3,854 Forumite
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    RM and Zoopla will have 99% the same listings, but the is always 1 or 2 that will either show up on one first and then take days to show up on the other or Never show up on the other site.
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