How do you get the best deal when buying a house?

publication date: Jun 2, 2011
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

How do you get the best deal when buying a house?

If you want to buy a property at a discount or get a great deal versus the real value of a property, then you'll need to be a cash buyer. In other words, you will need to physically have the cash in the bank. It is possible to be considered as a cash buyer if you haven't a property to sell but still need a mortgage, but unfortunately since the credit crunch even a mortgage agreement in principle isn't a guarantee you'll secure the money.

Once you have got yourself into a position where you are a cash buyer, then you'll need to search hard to find a property that you want, that someone else is desperate to sell. Desperate sellers will typically go to ‘quick sale property companies' or will be known by estate agents that have already put one deal together only to find another one has fallen through.

So there are two ways of securing a property ‘for a discount'. The first is to do what the fast sale property companies do which is leaflet properties they want to buy up and down roads offering to buy ‘for cash' and suggesting that the seller can avoid the estate agent fees. Not all homeowners will appreciate this approach, so be prepared for a bit of a back lash!

Secondly, chat to all the local agents and let them know you are able to buy a property for cash. They will need to be sure you have sold your property or have the cash in the bank (this can be confirmed by a letter from your bank or a financial advisor). Ask them if there are any sales that have recently fallen through or if there are any properties on their books that could be sold for a discount in return for a quick sale.

Next it might be worth popping to your local property auction. Make sure you check out any properties before you decide to make an offer as you'll need to exchange on the day of the auction - and you mustn't do this without having an independent survey and having a solicitor or conveyancer checking the legal agreement.

Finally, it is worth chatting to a few local developers that are trying to sell their new properties. The reason being is that they might have someone wanting to buy one of their properties, but their buyer can't sell their own property. If you can buy their property from them, that releases the buyer to purchase the developer's home.

Visit our Buying a Home at a Discount page for more information.


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