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The Most Common Buyer Mistakes

  • 7 years ago

Very few of us buy a property more than a handful of times in our lives, so it’s no surprise that inexperience can lead to some big mistakes. Here are some of the most common errors buyers can make – and how to avoid them.

Making an offer after just one viewing

Lots of people wish they’d gone for a second viewing, or even a third. OK, it may be a schlep, and you may be tired, but make the effort – it’s too big an investment to make on a whim.

Leaving finance to the last minute

Pin down your finance so you know you have money to spend, and you know what that amount is. Many vendors want to know you have the finance in place before they’ll consider you, especially if you’re in competition with others. It also helps you to move in on a sudden dream find!

Not looking at the local property market

Look at similar properties to the one you’re after so that you’ll know what level to go in at. You’ll also find out if it’s overpriced – or indeed, a real bargain.

Not knowing when to get a move on

You sometimes need to be decisive, especially when other buyers are circling your dream house! If you know what you’re after, and what you can afford, this will make you more assertive.

Ignoring the vendor’s circumstances

If the vendor is selling an old family home that he doesn’t live in, he may be able to wait. If he’s moving overseas for a job, however, time may be more of the essence. These considerations will change your offer and buying strategy.

Not talking to potential neighbours

It takes some courage, but knock on a few doors or get chatting to someone doing their front garden. They might tip you off about the school, or a planning application, or just reassure you that the locals are civilised!

Not getting a thorough survey

An in-depth, structural survey will cost more, but then so will missing out hard-to-spot problems!

Hiring the wrong solicitor

Ask around – friends, your estate agent… It’s rare, but sales can fail because of tardy solicitors. Even if the sale goes through, it could be extra stressful if you feel your legal people aren’t there for you.

Not checking those commuting times

Your commute is important, so make sure that the “50 minutes from Paddington” is actually 50 minutes at the right times of the day.

Not viewing at different times

Those second and third viewings? They’re so you can check the place out at different times of day. You should also drive by at night, or visit the local pub to get a feel for the locale.

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