Keep missing out on properties we like. What can we do?
Emily from Brighton
Buying a house questions and answers
My husband and I have been house hunting for some time now, and we’ve viewed a few houses but we both agreed they just haven’t felt like ‘The one’. We check Zoopla and Rightmove as much as we can, but it seems that every time we get excited about finding a house we want to view, someone else has already pipped us to the post and made an offer. Do you have any tips to help us, as we feel like we keep missing opportunities!?
Property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla are very useful tools when house hunting but they should not be relied on totally to find a house. The time taken between an estate agent receiving instructions to sell a house and loading it on to the internet can vary from a few hours to several days/weeks and it is this period of time that you are missing out on.
The best way to find a house is to register your details personally with the estate agents who operate in the area you are searching in and to build a good working relationship with them. Estate Agents want good buyers. Wherever possible, visit the estate agents office and meet them. Make sure you are being realistic in your requirements, that you provide details of how you can be contacted (email, work numbers, mobile etc), explain your position and whether you need to sell a property etc. Most estate agents when they get a new property on the market will telephone prospective buyers and tell them about it – if the house sounds like it might be of interest to you then I would recommend making an appointment to view the house, don’t be tempted to say ‘can you send me the details first’ as in the eyes of the estate agent you will be lessening how serious you are about buying – after all, you’ve asked to be contacted about new property on the market and that’s what the agent is doing. After viewing a house make sure you give feedback to the agent – it helps in two ways – the agent can share that feedback with the seller and it also helps the agent gain a better understanding of what you are looking for.
The key to a successful search is making sure you know what you will and will not compromise on, try and establish what ‘The One’ would look and feel like, be realistic, be prepared to put the effort in to find a property and be prepared to be decisive, if you view a house and it feels right and it’s in the right area, at the right price – don’t delay or you may get pipped to the post again.
you may consider widening your net and buying at auction. Some great repossess properties come up at auction. Take a look at our article 'Buying a House at Auction'.