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Buying tips

With London being one of the most competitive markets, it is important as a buyer to maximise your potential and ‘attractiveness’ to home owners. Next Door Properties buying tips are designed to give you the edge and help you get your dream home. With our unique experience in the housing market Next Door Properties are the perfect partner when it comes to selling your current home and buying your dream home. If you need any help at all please contact us as we are always happy to help.

1. Get to know the area before you buy

A good agent will describe an area honestly but it’s always wise to revisit a property at different times. Make a list of what’s important to you and consider how far you’re willing to live from local shops, schools or public transport. Using an agent with local knowledge gives you the edge when finding out about the area you are looking at.

2. Use local estate agents’ websites

Instead of just relying on big property websites like Zoopla, Rightmove or On The Market it’s worth checking the local agent’s own site or registering for their updates. Often you may get to know about new properties sooner as some agents like to inform their existing clients of new properties before advertising them on the open market.

3. Deciding on a property

When you find a property you should arrange to look at it to make sure it is what you will need and to get some idea of whether or not you will have to spend any additional money on the property, for example, for repairs or decoration. Be open-minded – some properties need to be viewed to fully appreciate what they have to offer.

4. Energy Performance Certificates

If you are thinking of buying a property, you must receive an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), free of charge. An EPC gives information on the energy efficiency of a property using A to G ratings, with A being the most energy efficient and G the least efficient. The certificate is produced by an accredited domestic energy assessor.

5. Is the property leasehold or freehold?

Freehold property: If the property is freehold, this means that the land on which the property is built is part of the sale and no ground rent or service charge is payable. Leasehold property: A property may be leasehold, which means that the land on which the property is built is not part of the sale. You have to pay ground rent to the owner of the land – who is called the freeholder.

6. Making an offer

When you have found a property you wish to buy you should tell the estate agent what you are prepared to pay for the property. The estate agent will then put this offer to the owners. If the owners do not accept the first offer put to them by you, you can decide to make an increased offer. If you make a written offer it will always be made subject to contract. This means that you will not be committed to the purchase before finding out more about the state of the property. If you make an oral offer this is never legally binding.

7. When the offer has been accepted

When your offer for the property has been accepted you will have to consider arranging your mortgage, whether a survey is necessary and instructing solicitors. We work with a very experienced team of solicitors and financial consultants if you would like to be introduced to them then please contact us.