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Estate agents

Estate agents can help you find the right property. If you tell them what you are looking for, they should do all the searching for you and hopefully come up with a property that suits your needs.

  • Don't stick to just one estate agent, call into all the agents in the area you are looking to buy and see what properties they have on offer. Remember, just because you have viewed a house with one agent, doesn't mean you are tied to them in any way
  • Once you have selected some properties that may be suitable for you, ask the estate agent for the specification details, this will give you some more in-depth information about the property
  • If you are still interested in a property after looking through the specification then you can make an appointment to have a look around. This is usually known as a viewing
  • When you are viewing a property you will usually be accompanied by an estate agent, but sometimes the owner will choose to show you round themselves. Don't let this put you off having a really good look
  • Before you view a property, make a list of all the questions you want to ask the owners or estate agents and don't be afraid to be upfront. For example, if the kitchen looks old and worn, ask when it was put in to give you an idea of how much work needs doing to the property
  • When the viewing has finished, take some time to have a look around the area and make a note of things. For example, how much traffic there is on the road, if there are lots of people around, how well kept the neighbours houses are and what the local schools are like. This can affect the price of the house when you come to sell it yourself
  • If you are still interested in the property, arrange a second viewing. Try and do this at a different time of day so that you can see the house in a different light. Take along parents or friends for a second opinion, a fresh pair of eyes may pick up on something you didn't the first time
  • If you decide you want to buy the property you must put in an offer through the estate agent who is selling it. They will charge you a fee for this. Check what their fee is before you go any further
  • Don't be afraid to make an offer lower than the asking price, if the sellers are desperate, they may consider it. The estate agent should then let you know if your offer has been accepted

Once your offer has been accepted you should instruct your solicitor to begin the conveyancing process, which is the legal process of the property being exchanged. Your solicitor will normally charge you separately for this.

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