House buying – 7 top tips from ‘Which’

Not everything on a bucket list relates to holidays and travel, many people have life goals and dreams such as falling in love, getting married and buying the dream house.

Make a Bucket List brings you top tips from Which on buying your dream house.

These are things Which recommend to help the home buying process go smoothly.

1. Buying a home for the first time

First time buyers hold a strong position. Estate agents will regard you as a good bet since you have none of the complications associated with selling a house and being part of a chain. If you do your homework, you could even bag a bargain in a slow market.

If you can’t afford to buy a home outright, shared ownership and shared equity schemes might be able to help you. Visit our guides to find out more.

2. Wait until you have a buyer

If you’re also selling a home, find a buyer for it before you begin to look for your new home. You’ll avoid the disappointment of missing out because someone else has the funds immediately available.

3. Arrange your mortgage

Make sure you have your financial arrangements sorted out before you start to look at properties and have looked into what mortgages deals you could get by looking at the mortgage tables and How much can i borrow? calculator offered by Which? Mortgage Advisers . Estate agents will take you more seriously if they know you have a ‘decision in principle’ from your lender. It might also give you the edge over other potential buyers.

If you are looking for advice, the Which? Group offers an independent mortgage advice service that looks at every mortgage from every available lender. You can also find an independent mortgage adviser using

4. Use recommended conveyancers

Find a solicitor or licensed conveyancer through recommendation. If you choose a solicitor, make sure they’re specialist conveyancers and have a good reputation for moving quickly. Conveyancers are renowned for slowing down home buying.

5. Don’t bid too low for a property

Be careful how aggressively you try to lower a price. It might increase the chances of being gazumped and may also lead to resentment on the part of the seller.

6. Consider the property seller

Establish how quickly the seller wants to move at the outset. If the answer is as quickly as possible, does that fit with your circumstances? If they’re moving to a new job that doesn’t start for months, will you be able to find a temporary home?

If you’re keen to find a bargain, you may have a better chance if you look for sellers who need to move for a reason, such as a new job, have already found a new home so have a strong incentive to move or have had their property on the market for some months.

7. Communicate during the property buying process

Don’t disappear on holiday for two weeks without informing all necessary parties. Don’t ignore any aspects of letters about the purchase that you don’t understand. Raise any queries you have about the purchase immediately.

For more property advice, Which’s book Buy, Sell & Move House which contains everything you need to know to navigate the property maze.