How to take advantage of the spring property market
By James Greenwood of Stacks Property Finders
The spring property market is officially with us and although it may be chillier than normal it is the prime time to put your home up for sale or look for one to buy.
James Greenwood, managing director of Stacks Property Search & Acquisition (01594 842880; stacks.co.uk) suggests buyers look at properties that are 20 per cent more expensive than their budget allows, so that if the owner brings the price down you are ahead of the game.
“There is often a great deal of leeway between the sale price and the eventual purchase price,” says Greenwood, who explains that even when vendors ask several estate agents to give them a value they will usually choose the one that is 20 per cent above the lowest.
“At the back of his mind, he’s already accepted that he probably won’t get the full asking price,” says Greenwood.
“This is ‘purchaser opportunity’. But the purchaser needs to play a clever game. A low offer made too early is likely to be rebuffed as the vendor is still hopeful; but by leaving it too late, another buyer may be well down the line with their own offer. The trick is getting the timing, and the offer, just right.”
Greenwood also advises forging a good relationship with the estate agent to find out whether the vendor is just testing the water or needs to sell quickly.
“The vendor may have already found something he wants, and be desperate; or he may be in a rush to move for personal reasons. If this is the case, a low offer may be tempting,” says Greenwood, who adds that if there is no urgency a low offer would probably be dismissed.
He also advises being diplomatic: “Nobody likes an aggressive purchaser and some vendors will refuse to deal with you any further if you push too hard – remember this is someone’s home and not just a commodity.
“It pays to be a likeable buyer. And always negotiate through the agent, not directly with the vendor.”