With freer mortgage lending and the Help to Buy initiatives, Coventry estate agents say demand for property is reaching new peaks. Here's Allsopp & Allsopp's advice on how to become a successful buyer in a competitive market.
The property market is in rude health and asking prices are back to pre-recession levels in the West Midlands. It's not unheard of for a property for sale in Coventry to attract over 30 enquiries and bidding wars can break out between determined house hunters. Nikki Eaton, Branch Manager at Coventry estate agents Allsopp & Allsopp says that with competition among buyers high, it's imperative to become a compelling purchaser that no seller can refuse: "Today's market is crammed full of people looking to secure a piece of Coventry's residential landscape. We have first-time buyers and landlords competing with second-steppers and upsizing families, so it's important for prospective buyers to make themselves as irresistible as possible."
Coventry estate agents Allsopp & Allsopp has this advice for would-be buyers:
Present yourself chain-free
Being in a property chain presents risks and the longer the chain, the more difficult it can be to steer the transactions to completion. Coventry estate agents agree that presenting yourself chain free - having no property behind you to sell - is very appealing to vendors as it immediately shortens the chain and reduces potential fall-through.
There are a number of ways to become chain free, as follows:
1. Promote first-time buyer status
Those moving out of the family home for the first time and those moving from rented accommodation will have no property to sell and, therefore, no chain behind them.
2. Rent-to buy
Current owner-occupiers can pursue the 'rent-to-buy' route. Instead of selling their current home, they choose to rent out the property instead, thus making themselves chain free. The property can be sold at a later date or kept as an ongoing property investment.
3. Move out early into temporary accommodation
Those with access to temporary accommodation enjoy the advantage of being able to sell their present home and move into an interim property - be that a short-term let or in with family/friends. The buyer can then search for a new house or flat for sale in Coventry with no property to dispose of.
Be a cash buyer, if you can
Purchasing a property without a mortgage bypasses the whole application and approval process - a procedure that takes time and can hold up impatient vendors. Normally the preserve of investors, hard-saving owner-occupiers should also aim to purchaser with cash or, failing that, put down the biggest deposit possible.
Build in some manoeuvrability on price
Property for sale in Coventry does have nationwide appeal, so be prepared for competition. Nikki Eaton says buyers should build-in some financial movement when making an offer: "It's almost a given that there will be more than one offer on the best and most keenly-priced flats and houses for sale in Coventry. If your first offer is your final offer it may well cut short your bidding prospects. Allsopp & Allsopp can negotiate on your behalf, having established your maximum budget. Sometimes the timing and the increment of offers is enough to secure a property, but it's an exercise best left to the professionals."
Have a mortgage offer agreed in principle
Sellers and their acting estate agents will ask any buyer if they are purchasing with a mortgage and if so, whether an agreement in principle has been obtained. An agreement in principle is a good indication that a buyer will be approved for the full mortgage, having evidenced a deposit and passed a 'stress test' to show they can afford the repayments.
Have your current property under offer
Viewing and falling in love with a property on a whim isn't the best tactic, especially if you're a current home owner. Those that need a successful sale of their current property to fund an onwards move will be taken more seriously by vendors if they have their property under offer when they make a bid.