‘Saves money misery!’ Property experts on how to find homes before they hit the market

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The stamp duty holiday, lack of supply and increased demand have seen house prices spike exponentially over the last 18 months. With more people desperate to snap up the best listings, buyers often find themselves bidding against large numbers of others in the same position. In the current housing market, it can be difficult to avoid rising prices and tough bidding wars.

However, property expert Sophie Cope from Mojo Mortgages has revealed just how you can find your dream home by finding properties before they hit the market.

Sophie stated, before viewing a property, buyers should “do their research” to get an understanding of the market in that area.

She also said buyers should not be “swayed” by factors such as pressure from estate agents, emotion or current market conditions.

She added: “Yes, offering 10 percent plus above the asking price is likely to result in a successful purchase, but it could end up coming back to bite you in the future when coming to sell the property.”

Here are Sophie’s three tips for getting ahead of the curve:

1. Network with local agents

It’s likely you will be viewing multiple properties in your local area so you will have to become accustomed to regular calls and meetings with a plethora of agents.

You need to ensure you build relationships with these agents as early on into your search as possible.

The best way to do this is pop into your local estate agent so they get to know your name and face.

You can then ask the agents about new properties due to hit the market and express any interest in them.

If a seller needs a quick sale, knowing you’re keen to view could reduce pressure on the agent.

Having no chain and looking to move quickly will also put you in a better position.

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2. Be friendly with your neighbours

Another way to find out when properties are due to come on the market near you is by keeping in touch with your neighbours.

Letting them know that you are on the hunt for a home nearby could see you gain insider intel if a neighbour has heard a person is looking to sell in the future.

Don’t be afraid to visit the seller ahead of the property being put on the market.

This could save you both thousands of pounds.

Looking for a new home, or just fancy a look? Add your postcode below or visit InYourArea

3. Look out for new developments

If you like new builds then keeping an eye out for construction notices which could indicate that housing developments will be built in the near future.

However, building work nearby can also lead some homeowners to finally up sticks.

The development of a new retail or business park, school, or leisure facility, for example, can be beneficial to some people and a hindrance to others.

Nisha Vaidya, mortgages expert at money.co.uk, said it can be “devastating” to lose out on bagging your dream home because of a higher offer from another buyer.

Although it can be “tempting” to go in with a higher offer, Nisha said you need to make sure you don’t “overstretch” yourself financially just to bag your dream home.

She said: “A mortgage is already a large financial undertaking that you are committed to for a significant time period and to push yourselves to the very limits of what you can pay could lead to money headaches in the months to come.

“Always make sure you have done a full budget and financial plan before counter offering and be willing to walk away if the property becomes unaffordable.

“It’s a bitter pill to swallow but will save you from money misery in the future.”

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