The better Agents will send out weekly mail shots to everyone on their list and also call you week to week with any new property that comes to market. Get to know your Agents name and make sure he or she knows yours, that way youre guaranteed to be the first person they call.
Try and be as flexible as possible. Remember that not all people work 9 to 5, Monday to Friday and if you have several properties to view, give yourself enough time to make the appointments. Always take a pen and a copy of the details with you and make notes as you go round. If youre interested, make a second appointment, but dont leave it to long. If you like the property, you can be sure that some one else out there does as well.
Make an Offer
The one thing you can expect when making an offer on a property is to haggle. Vendors will very probably have priced the property slightly higher than what they expect to get, so be aware that haggling is the name of the game. You make your initial offer to the estate agent, they take it to the vendor and then it's a case of whether you can find common ground. But before you do offer, make sure you are aware of the bigger picture. Its no good offering on a property where the vendors are not looking to move till the New Year and youre looking to be settled before Christmas, so ask questions and only offer if youre happy.
When you agree a sale, your Estate Agent is going to ask you for two things. The first is your solicitor and the second is your Mortgage Broker/Financial Adviser, and will generally only take the property off of the market when you provide these details. A good Solicitor, like a good Estate Agent, can make all the difference to how smoothly your purchase progresses, so make sure you choose the right one. A couple of tips, the cheapest is generally not the best and make sure you use a local Solicitor who understands the local market. With issues such as local planning regulations, a local Solicitor is worth his weight in gold.
The right Estate Agent will help you to find the best possible property at a fair price that you can afford, and when you have agreed to purchase that property, the right Estate Agent will hold your hand through the whole complicated process of buying that property until completion, when he or she will hand the keys over to you with a firm handshake, a smile and a bouquet of flowers.
When you know how much you can borrow, decide where you would like to live, and be realistic. We would all like that Penthouse Apartment over looking the sea, but most of us cant afford it. Look within your budget and be prepared to listen to your agent, they know the local market better than anyone and generally give the best advice.