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Tips for Making an Offer: First Time Buyers

Buying your first home is both an exciting and daunting prospect, and making an offer can be particularly nerve-wracking if you’ve never done it before.

Getting your offer spot-on can be the difference between bagging a bargain and paying significantly over the odds for a property. If you’re a first time buyer, then read on for some top tips on making an offer.

  • Get a Mortgage In Principle
Before you even think about making an offer on a property, it’s vital that you know what your budget actually is.
Many would-be buyers make an offer on a property assuming they’ll be able to borrow the amount they need, but in reality, they might come up short. And on the other hand, you may be able to borrow more than you actually think, so you’re viewing properties that are much lower than your real budget.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to visit a mortgage broker before making an offer so they can tell you exactly how much you can borrow.

Having a mortgage in principle will also help you when it comes to making your offer as it shows that you’re a serious buyer and that you’re well prepared.

  • Do Your Research
It’s worth bearing in mind that the asking price and the value of a property aren’t necessarily the same thing.

Remember, sellers want to get as much money for their property as possible, so check the home report value and take this as a minimum the seller will be willing to accept

Find out how much other properties in the area have been sold for recently, and find out how long the property you’re interested in has been up for sale. Has the price been reduced, or has it remained the same? Getting these valuable pieces of information will help you to put in an offer that’s more likely to be accepted.

  • Play To Your Strengths
As a first time buyer, you’re in a relatively strong position when it comes to negotiating, particularly if the seller is looking to move quickly.

First time buyers are generally very attractive to sellers because there’s no lengthy chain to consider, which means a faster buying process and potentially more flexibility on exchange and completion dates.

Therefore, don’t forget to gently remind your estate agent and the seller, of your first time buyer status.

If time is an issue for them, sellers may be willing to accept a slightly lower offer from a first time buyer than a higher offer from someone who’s part of a chain.

  • Don’t Worry If Your First Offer Is Rejected
Making an offer can be a bit of a balancing act. On the one hand, you want to get the lowest price possible, but on the other, you don’t want to make an offer so low that it frustrates the seller and leaves them not wanting to sell to you.

As long as your initial offer isn’t ridiculously low then don’t be worried if the seller rejects it. Remember, it’s all just a natural part of the negotiating process, as the seller is looking to get as much as possible for the property, and rejecting an offer isn’t anything personal against you or a sign that they’re offended.

There’s no set rule on how much to offer, or how much you can expect to knock off the asking price, but if you’re in two minds about making a cheeky offer, then don’t rush in!

If you are a first time buyer and you have questions about the buying process, give us a call for help and advice. Property Webb are your local property experts for the West Lothian area. Call us on 01506 637553 or email info@property-webb.co.uk.