Q: How can I best present myself as a good buyer?
A: Presenting yourself as a good buyer is really important in any market. In the current market, many buyers are price sensitive and fully aware that they are receiving less than what they would have 12 – 14 months ago; so understanding the current market conditions will put you in a much better position.
We’ve seen buyers seize the opportunity to negotiate aggressively, while reminding sellers about the market and political uncertainty and so on, but often, this doesn’t go down well and can usually work against the buyer. You can absolutely negotiate hard but it needs to be packaged up much more subtly to be effective.
Being a polite, charming and genuine buyer is a good starting point. This is crucial when dealing with the estate agent, during viewings, giving feedback and so on. You are on show at all times. People do business with people they like, and buying or selling a property is no different.
When making an offer, the way you present that offer can be the difference between you securing a property ahead of another buyer, or saving yourself thousands of pounds off the asking price.
An immaculately constructed offer letter gives the estate agent and seller the sense that you will 100% perform as a buyer and, in the current market, most sellers want certainty that the sale will go through. This is because a lot of sellers are in chains and selling their properties in order to trade up or down, so if their sale falls through, it may jeopardise their onward move.
In your offer letter, set out your position as clearly as possible – your offer amount, your financial position and supporting documentation, your solicitor, the reasons why you like their property and any personal information about yourself which might make the vendor identify with you. Many buyers don’t provide such a thorough offer letter and gaps in the information provided can make them come across as less credible, so if you can, present an extremely thorough and detailed account of your position, as doing so, can go a long way.
If you have a question you’d like Jo to answer please email email@example.com or tweet her @joeccles.