Common mistakes property buyers make

Published Dec 16, 2018 – 4 mins read

As property finders we spend much of our time providing expert advice ensuring our clients avoid making serious and costly mistakes.

Here we’ve included some of the most common mistakes we’ve known buyers to make (without our guidance) and how to avoid them.

Not having a clear set of property requirements

Having an undefined set of property requirements can lead to a great deal of time being wasted looking at properties that simply aren’t right for you or your lifestyle.

Before we work with our clients we pull together a search brief based on their property and location requirements which acts as a mandate for the search.

Whilst this document may be amended throughout the search it’s important to have an idea of what you’re looking for from the outset.

Not knowing the property’s surroundings

Buying without knowing the immediate surroundings can be a terrible mistake. We’d recommend you walk the routes you’d take if you were living there and visit the nearby places you’d be going to.

Also take note of the outlook and aspect, will the sun ever shine on your roof terrace or garden? Are you overlooked by your neighbours and what do you see when you draw the curtains?

Buying in an area that’s up and coming can be great for future potential capital growth but if you’re planning to live there, or even rent the property immediately, does the location work now?

It’s a costly mistake if you find that the property’s surroundings are less than desirable after you’ve purchased, you don’t want to feel you have to move again within a short space of time so be sure of the location, aspect, outlook and what’s next door.

Procrastinating or being too hasty

During your search for the perfect property it is likely you’ll procrastinate, after all property is usually our most expensive asset it’s important to consider before deciding to purchase.

Ponder for too long and you may end up missing out, if a property is perfect but you want to check there’s nothing better be careful of just how much time you spend ‘making sure’ it’s the right property for you as someone else might snap it up in the meantime.

Registering your interest in a property with the selling agent can only be helpful in these situations. By letting them know you are interested they can let you know if anyone else is making an offer. They can’t give you any figures but at least you’ll get fair warning in case you still want to second view or make an offer yourself.

Equally being too hasty can result in over paying and other expensive mistakes. As much as finding your new home is often a decision that involves your emotions you must allow your head to have equal input and be wary of making snap decisions.

Paying the asking price or refusing to do so

Buyers can sometimes feel like they have to pay the asking price to secure a property – this simply isn’t the case.

If you’re buying a property in a competitive market, you may find yourself paying the asking price or even over the asking price and potentially in a sealed bids scenario so make sure you’re aware of what’s going on locally before searching for property. Locally is the key as even if the property market is slumping in one part of the country that might not be true of prices and transactions 400 miles away.

Whilst we do not recommend entering extremely low bids which are miles from the asking price as you’ll only upset the vendor and if you are genuinely interested it’s best not to get off on the wrong foot, if there is potential for movement from the advertised price try to secure a saving where you can.

Getting into a stand-off with a seller who won’t budge from their asking price is frustrating, depending on the situation you might need to walk away. Refusing the pay the asking price on principle when the property has been fairly priced is foolish as it’s likely someone else will happily pay the price being asked and you’ll miss out.

Negotiating is a notoriously difficult topic to write about as each  and every scenario is unique, there is no one size fits all approach to securing a discount.

Appointing the wrong industry professionals

It’s true in most industries and property is no exception  – cheap does not usually result in quality. When it comes to buying a property it’s important to have the best team of professionals acting on your behalf. By team we are predominately talking about mortgage brokers, solicitors and surveyors.

It’s important to get your finances in order before looking for a property, to do this and find the best mortgage for your situation getting a good broker on board is key. Just as important as choosing who you bank with, it’s not something you’ll plan to change often so make sure you’re happy with the people you’re working with.

Equally solicitors are important when purchasing a property, you need to trust their judgement and ability and feel confident they’ll work hard on your behalf. Property purchases do not always happen very quickly and can be frustrating when you don’t understand what you’re waiting for, having a solicitor who you feel communicates well can make the experience much less fretful.

Not having a property survey

We recommend all our clients have a survey carried out prior to any purchase. Employing the services of an independent, local surveyor to conduct a building survey can avoid you purchasing a property that may have serious issues that only come to light when you’ve already completed on the transaction.

Serious issues can be very costly as they usually come in the form of structural problems, damp, roof issues and similar. Spending a little extra on an thorough survey carried out by a recommended expert could avoid any unwanted surprises further down the line.

Buying property in the UK

There can be many bumps in the road throughout the journey to purchasing a property in the UK, using a property finder can help to avoid any serious or costly mistakes. To understand how we could assist with your property purchase please, contact us.