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Should I Buy in a Sellers’ Market?

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The property market has favoured sellers for a while now, with demand across the UK soaring in 2021. It’s great for the vendors, though buyers find themselves operating in a competitive landscape. If you’re wondering how to buy a house in a tough market, this is the place to be. This guide answers the question, ‘should I buy in a sellers’ market?’ and covers what you need to know to secure the keys to your new home.

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Marketing yourself

It’s not uncommon for buyers to market themselves to potential sellers, showing why they’re the best option. While the highest offer is usually the determining factor, other aspects are worth considering. If you can show that you’re a serious buyer eager for a quick and smooth deal, sellers may favour your bid over similar offers. 

Buying chain free will also appeal to buyers, as there’s a reduced chance of the sale falling through at the last minute due to someone pulling out. One option involves using a buying agent, a property professional who guides the buyer through the process and acts on their behalf from start to finish. 

This can show the seller that you mean business and are serious about buying a home. Ultimately, the seller wants to accept an offer from a credible buyer eager to complete the purchase. If they think you’re that person, you have every chance to buy the home. 

What is the property worth?

Doing your research is key to making the right offer. Our property report does this for you, by providing you with all the data you need at the time you most need it.

How many other houses are currently on the market in the neighbourhood? How much are they listed for, and what are the current sold prices for similar homes?

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Before making an offer, you should have a good grasp of the local property market. Otherwise, you’re essentially going in blind and could end up disappointed. Speak to local estate agents (even if they aren’t listing the home you’re interested in) to get a better feel for property in the market so you can understand local conditions. 

Sellers’ markets can get competitive, and you should equip yourself with as much information as possible before you start making offers. You’ll feel more confident about which homes fit your budget and what you can afford to buy.

What can you afford, and what are you willing to pay?

Competitive markets can see offers getting out of control as buyers are eager to find their dream home. In most cases, however, buyers won’t pay over the odds, and you need to ask yourself how much are you willing to pay to buy your dream home.  

How Much Could You Borrow?

More often than not, other properties will come on the market, even if it seems like this is your only chance. Therefore, don’t feel pressured and you should only offer what you’re comfortable paying and can afford. 

That doesn’t mean you should underbid, though. When a market is hyper-competitive, sellers don’t have time to entertain offers under the asking price, and they probably won’t take you seriously. 

You should also consider seller requests, such as placing a sealed bid. It’s not unheard of for sellers to require sealed bids in competitive markets, and it could be a way for you to purchase the home, as long as you make an offer within your budget.

Don’t be afraid to walk away

Don’t be afraid to walk away if it looks like things aren’t going to go your way. Always stick to your budget – you’ll feel better for doing so in the long term. As long as you’ve done the research and made an offer you’re comfortable with, you can, at the very least, feel satisfied that you did all you could. 

Otherwise, you could find yourself overstretching the budget and getting into an uncomfortable situation. Decide on what you can afford and what you’re willing to pay, and stick to that number. If you need to walk away, don’t worry, as there will be other opportunities. 

Consider other options

It may be worth considering new-build homes, as many developers offer favourable deals – especially if you’re a first-time buyer. With new homes, you typically make an offer to the developer directly instead of a traditional seller.

Again, make sure you do the research before buying a new-build home. You may even be able to use help-to-buy schemes – such as shared ownership or specific loans offered to help buy a new build – to purchase a new home. 

Buying in a sellers’ market

Is 2022 a buyers’ or sellers’ market? It looks like the latter right now, so you need to be savvy when purchasing a property.

With the right strategy, you can operate in a tough market and get your offer accepted ahead of the competition. And you can equip yourself with the necessary tools by using these tips and downloading the Move iQ property report to get up-to-date information on an area and increase your chances of success in pursuing your next home. 

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Last Updated: April 20th, 2022

Phil Spencer

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