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Advice for Buyers



Have a clear idea about the sort of property you want and where your priorities lie, and check that these can be met within your budget available.

It is worth sitting down with your family to agree your list of 'must haves' and 'like to haves'.

Must haves can be simple things such as apartment, semi-detached, detached, etc., number of reception rooms, bedrooms, garage, close to a bus stop, close to a specific school, close to or away from neighbours, etc.

Like to haves can include such things as size of garden, second bathroom, en suite shower room, 2 garages, close to sports facilities, away from noisy road, etc.

List them in order of priority and when making enquiries about a property from the selling agent, if some of these points are not immediately obvious within the brochureor advertisement, don't be afraid to ask the agent and if they cannot provide you with this information ask them to check it out and come back to you.

This will of course minimise the loss of time in going to a property which is not suitable for your requirements and often save the agent the time to open the property for you to view, when a little bit of extra work on his part will save his time and more importantly your frustration.


Take time to decide where your next house should be and what properties are on offer, particularly if you are moving to a new area or from overseas, so give yourself plenty of time.

Ideally if you are coming into an area for the first time, drive around the area to get a feel for it and indeed call into your local agent to view what properties are on the market for sale, but equally importantly to get a little knowledge on the immediate area to ensure that you can prioritise the best location for your home.

A general enquiry can usually tease out a number of low priorities and sometimes more importantly a number of places to avoid. Prior research can again avoid time wasting and fruitless hours looking at properties which are not in an ideal area.


By all means register your search requirements on property portals and with local Estate Agents that are selling the type of property you wish to buy. However, if you want to be considered a serious buyer, and that is very important for securing your dream home, it is always best to register correctly with the Estate Agent.

Only this way can we understand your requirements, and remember your property details are kept on computer and the parameters which you set at the start of your enquiry may exclude properties if kept too narrow.

We often see a perspective purchaser indicating that they do not wish to pay more than a certain price for a property, only to find 2 weeks or 1 month after they start their search that in fact they are now looking at properties up to 10% higher than their initial boundaries. Therefore, it is preferable to keep your search requirements a little wider than is ideal to ensure that you are getting the best possible choice of properties to see.

Don't be afraid to ask the best parameters to be put into the mailing list and remember if you feel that your requirements have changed during your search, go back and change your requirements to ensure that you are getting the best possible choice.


2. Many interested parties will drive around to a property of interest prior to making an appointment to view the property. This is sound advice as you can take in the immediate location of the property, its surroundings, local amenities, etc., which often can enhance a property in your mind or dissuade you from viewing a property if it is totally unsuitable. This can avoid disappointment and frustration having wasted an evening to view a property which was blatantly obvious not of interest to you. Don't be afraid to ask the agent about the property's local surroundings to ensure that it fits as far as possible into your requirements.

1. It is important to decide whether you require a house in good condition, one which requires a little work to bring it up to your ideal standard, or a DIY project which can be bought at value for money and enhanced by your own talents. As you appreciate, not every house is going to fulfil every single one of your requirements, and therefore on entering a property with a well honed priority list can very quickly determine whether the chosen house meets your requirements or otherwise. If you are inexperienced in viewing properties bring someone with experience with you, an extra pair of eyes and ears can often be helpful. As selling agents we are happy to answer any questions which you have regarding the property, and if we are not in a position to answer same, point you in the right direction to ensure that you get the best possible advice to ensure that you can make the best decision as to whether it is of interest to you or not.


Many people will tell you different ways of placing offers on property, some offer well below the asking price, others much closer to the asking price, and some offer the asking price to achieve a quick sale.

At the end of the day irrespective of what you offer, a sale can only be achieved if the vendor is prepared to accept your offer, and often this can be influenced by the conditions attached to your offer.

A cash offer, ie one where you can write the cheque immediately, will always hold the greatest sway with a vendor and you can see a clear route to a successful conclusion to negotiations. Offers which include subject to arranging finance, ideally should only be made when you have taken good advice from your financial advisor and you have been able to secure an offer of advance, subject to you finding a suitable property, and of course that a suitable survey is concluded on that property.

To offer on a property without having taken financial advice often can lead to disappointment if the Building Society don't come through with the necessary finance, or frustration for the vendor.

To make an offer subject to the sale of your property at best is certainly helpful to the vendor and gives an indication of your level of interest, but realistically if your property is not on the market, from a vendor's point of view, it generally is only considered as nothing more than an expression of interest without any real substance to same.

In conclusion, the stronger the offer and the minimal conditions attached to same, will invariably achieve the best possible result. As Agents we are happy to advise on how to achieve same, and some of the strategies which can be included in your offer to achieve the best possible result.

It is important to remember that the selling agent is equally enthusiastic to achieve a sale as you are hopefully to buy the property.


One of the greatest matters which results in the loss of the sale is a poor survey report on a property. Most purchasers assume that a survey report provides an overview on the general condition of the property and the estimated value of the property. However, it should be read with a certain amount of caution and in context of what the surveyor has set out to achieve in presenting his report. Some points to consider, as follows:

In principal the surveyor is employed by the Bank or Building Society to carry out a survey. By the very nature of that instruction, the Surveyor is required to be conservative in his views both in terms of the condition of the property and the value which he places on same.

The Bank or Building Society does not require the surveyor to be over enthusiastic about the value and/or the condition of the property, but prefers to receive a conservative value to take into consideration that in the worst case scenario if the property is repossessed the Bank or Building Society have a reasonable chance of getting all of their money back.

Equally so, it is imperative that all defects are brought out in that survey report to not only protect the purchaser, but to protect the surveyor from being sued by the purchaser in the event of him or her not noting down a particular defect. However, simple terminology can mean many things, such as, a mineralised felt roof has a limited life expectancy.

This could suggest that the roof requires to be replaced without delay, or it can mean like most things it will wear out eventually and may require to be replaced.

The wiring in the property does not conform to the current electrical standard. This can mean that a new standard came out 3 months ago, and the house was built 6 months ago, and it does not conform to the current regulations or indeed it can mean that the house has been rewired 30 years ago and requires to be either substantially or fully rewired.

It should be remembered that a surveyor is giving a general overview of the property and if there are areas of concern which have been flagged up in the survey report, before one throws the baby out of the bath water, it is worth seeking the advice of a contractor or similar qualified person to look at the electric wiring, damp proof course, etc, to give you a fair estimate of repairing or replacing same in order to put into context the cost of repairing same.

Remember this surveyor is giving a general overview of the condition of the property and he is not an expert in every aspect of the construction of a property, nor can he get into every crevice, open up walls or lift floor boards etc!

The above are some pointers towards choosing your ideal home, but remember we as agents are quite happy to provide an independent view on any property and are happy to advise and assist with the purchase of your new property.