We'd be the first to admit that, at first glance, the title of today's blog may seem to be the wrong way round, but stay with us a minute on this.
While it's obviously the case that the sellers and their agents have to, well, sell their home to you in the first place, once the time comes to make an offer then the buyers do need to consider how attractive a prospect doing business with them appears to be.
Right now this thought is more relevant than any time in the past decade or so. High demand for a relatively low supply of homes means that buyers are increasingly finding themselves in competition with others to secure the property of their dreams.
It's a sellers' market right, which means to say that sellers often have a choice of which buyer to go with. Even in the enviable situation of receiving multiple offers, it isn't always as simple as running with the buyer who makes the best financial offer.
Maybe this is sometimes underplayed, but sellers always take a certain amount of risk when accepting an offer. To be in the best shape, therefore, buyers need to present themselves in such a way that they represent the very lowest risk of not reaching completion of sale.
The most fundamental need for buyers is to have the most basic and important aspect totally covered by the time they are making offers - being pre-approved for the right level of mortgage.
Notice that we said pre-approved here and not pre-qualified. Although it's better than having no financial credentials, as it were, pre-qualification is merely an estimate of the amount for which you might expect to be approved, based on information provided to the lender.
Pre-approval, on the other hand, is a more in-depth and formal assessment of your individual situation, including the completion of an official mortgage application based on a wide range of data and documentation that facilitates an extensive check on your financial background and present credit rating.
All other matters remaining equal, sellers will therefore take an offer from a pre-approved buyer far more seriously, as the buyer has presented clear evidence of being able to afford the home.
While it's still completely possible for buyers to make an offer and then seek finance, this is a situation that's a lot less likely to be a successful purchasing strategy than it was in the years of recession, when an enthusiastic and capable buyer was a much rarer species.
Given that sellers are somewhat more in control of things these days, it's also wise to make an offer that's realistic in all its aspects. Making excessive demands of the seller, in terms of contract clauses etc., is very much a judgement call these days. Again, given an identical financial offer, the seller is more likely to go with the less demanding buyer. Your buyer's agent will have the necessary experience and expertise to guide you through this process, so make sure you team up with a great one.
If the purchase depends on you selling your own home, try to make sure that the sale is in a reasonably advanced state before starting to make offers on your next residence, unless, of course, you can arrange contingencies to get around this issue, such as bridging finance.
Perhaps above all, however, always be the buyer you yourself would like to deal with. People buy people and, in a situation where a lot of trust is involved between seller and buyer, the easier you are to do business with, the more likely it is that you will end up with a totally satisfactory transaction.
Why not call us today and discuss how to be in the best shape as a buyer in your own circumstances.