Buyer advice: How to buy a home in a hurry

If you list your property for sale and it sells more quickly than you thought it would, that is generally cause for celebration. But it also means that you will need to guard against making an unsuitable or too expensive purchase now that you are a buyer in a hurry to find a new home, says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group.

“Your first step should be to analyse your needs and list the essential features the new home must have, then prioritise the other desirable features in order of importance, as it is unlikely that you will find a home that meets all of your requirements at short notice,” he advises.

“This exercise will also enable you to gauge a probable price range for your new home and to take the next step, which is to line up the finance for your purchase.”

Writing in the latest edition of the Property Signposts newsletter, Everitt says you will need to make sure your credit record is clear and then approach a bank or mortgage originator as soon as possible with your salary and employment details, as well as the details of your own sale and the proceeds you expect to receive.

“Within a short time you should hopefully obtain loan pre-approval or at least a clear indication of the size of loan for which you would most likely qualify, and then you can begin your hunt for a new home in earnest.”

The best place to start is obviously online, he says, as this will enable you to select only those homes that most closely match your list of requirements and avoid wasting time by going to see those that don’t.

“As a prospective buyer, you can also multiply your search resources by contacting established estate agents operating in the areas that you like and asking them to review their listings for any homes that might suit you.

“You can also ask these agents to review their expired mandates. Some of these homes may have been taken off the market altogether, but sometimes sellers have just decided to take a break, especially over a holiday season or during the winter months, and would be just as happy as you to conclude a sale.

“Agents may also be prepared to let you view suitable new listings before they go on show. And while some sellers will be reluctant to accept an offer before they have tested the market with a show day or two, others will be delighted to do a deal right away.”

Then finally, Everitt says, to reassure yourself that you are not overpaying in your haste to get settled, you should always ask the seller’s estate agent for the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that was used to decide a particular property’s asking price, as this will give you a clear indication of the current average price for similar homes in the same neighbourhood.

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