Buying Your Next Home

Posted: 20th August 2017

Buying Your Next HomeHaving been an estate agent for a number of years, I hear all kinds of stories of people losing out on buying that dream home or maybe they are not really informed on how to best go about the task of getting an offer accepted.

Finding a property.

The most obvious place is the property websites like and plus locally we have the most properties for sale, so look at

But there are lots of other ways to find out what’s coming on the market, we have ‘Coming Soon’ boards located outside some of our properties. One of the best ways is to talk to us. We can register you on our system and keep you informed of new properties.

In this blog article, I have tried to explain some of the common terms you might come across in the world of property buying and selling.

Understanding the pricing tags.

There are some different ways of pricing a property. Here is a brief explanation of the most popular, and what they mean:

Fixed Price £… This is the actual price the seller wants for their property. The first person that offers the amount and is proceed-able with the cash/mortgage combination will have their offer accepted. On occasions a lesser offer may be accepted but that is at the discretion of the seller. You can also offer more than the fixed price, if you feel the property is worth it.

Offers in the Region of £… This is indicating that the seller would accept an offer either above or below the advertised price. It just means the offer should be roughly in the area indicated. If the property proves to be popular and sought after, a higher price may be achieved. If the property is proving slower to sell, the owners will generally take a lesser offer.

Offers Over £…  or Offers In Excess of £… This pricing is used on properties where the owners are expecting to receive an offer above the advertised price. How much should you offer above the asking price, is a question we are regularly asked? The answer is, it depends on how much interest there is on the property. The greater the competition the greater the price, however normally anything between 1% to 10%. Slow selling properties in an Offers Over situation may ultimately be sold for less than the asking price. Also consider the amount of time it has been on sale. If it’s relatively new to the market you most likely have to pay above the asking price.

How To Make An Offer

Make your offer direct to the selling agent, not the owners of the property. If you feel you would rather not be directly involved in the discussion ask a solicitor to do it for you (mostly they do not charge for this, but please check first). Some people like a straightforward offer and some buyers want to negotiate by making a low offer and then increasing it. Please bear in mind that antagonising the seller with a very “cheeky offer” can work against you. Once an offer is agreed between all parties, you must then instruct a solicitor to put it in writing and with some urgency, this shows you have serious intent to buy.

The choice of using a solicitor or doing the offering yourself is really a matter of personal comfort when negotiating large sums of money. If you do it your self make sure you have a solicitor lined up and ready to make the formal offer, speed is important at this stage of the process.


A Property Status –  The stickers on For Sale Boards and Internet Adverts

On the Market    Under Offer    Sold (S.T.C.M.)

When a property is for sale, we say it is ‘On the market’ and once we get an offer from a buyer and the seller accepts it then the property is said to be “Under Offer” in other words a sale is agreed  and sometimes you will see a sign saying SOLD  S.T.C.M. which stands for Sold ‘Subject to the Conclusion of Missives’. This is really the same thing and this is explained in more detail below.

After a sale is agreed in principal, a period of conveyancing activity takes place where the solicitors for both parties draw up a contract to transfer the title and ownership to the buyers. Whilst this is taking place and if required a mortgage application is processed by the buyer’s lender. When everything is ready and approved the solicitors will complete the contract. This is called Concluding the Missive in Scotland or Exchanging the Contract in England or Wales (the Missive is really just another word for a contract). At this point neither the buyer or seller can pull out of the contract, the property is now SOLD.

Noting Interest: A system originally set up by Scottish solicitors, if you are interested in a property you can ask a solicitor to tell the selling agent that you are interested without making an offer. The selling agent will normally inform the solicitor should someone else offer on the property giving you the opportunity to make an offer. You can read our blog called Property Myths on this subject.

Sometimes if the selling agent has enough interested people in a property, then a Closing Date will be set whereby all interested buyers are invited to make a one time only, best and final offer. The offer has to be made before the set date and time specified. At that time the offers are put forward to the seller for consideration. The seller is under no obligation to accept any of the offers and they will also take into consideration any conditions attached to the offer, typically we are back to the question. Does the potential buyer have the money to proceed with a purchase?

Getting Ready and Knowing Your Numbers

Before you undertake serious house hunting, please consider these two steps

No.1 If you need to sell in order to buy, we offer a number of free services, not just an estimate of your property value but advice and support. We can explain what steps you could take to ensure a quick sale or even increase your home’s market value.

Call us on 01506 828282 or email to arrange your free, no obligation market appraisal of your property.

No. 2 Get advice from an independent mortgage advisor as to what sort of mortgage would be available to you for your new property, how much you could borrow if you chose to do so. We have a number of advisors we can suggest you speak to, just ask us. (This is a free service)