The property market is booming and mortgage applications are at an all-time high. 

The Stamp Duty holiday extension through to  30th June 2021 means a record number of people are set on making a move.

But even with more homes coming onto the market, you could be up against some stiff competition in the search for your ideal home. So what can you do to ensure you’re in the best shape to buy when the right property does come along?

Sign up now for property alerts.

Property websites usually have a facility allowing you to sign up and receive notification of suitable properties coming onto the market in your designated area and price range. This means you’ll be first to know of anything new to the market so you can book an early appointment to view.

Apply early for a mortgage in principle.

One of your first jobs is to find out if you can get a mortgage, and how much you can borrow. Having a mortgage in principle means a lender has agreed to lend you a certain amount before you’ve finalised the purchase of your home. A seller is more likely to accept your offer if you already have a mortgage in place, as they know you have the funds in place and are ready to go.

Instruct an estate agent.

If you have a house to sell before you can move, you should contact your local agents about getting your property valued and on the market as soon as possible. You’ll need to do this before you make an offer on another house, otherwise the owner won’t accept your offer. And without an offer on your current property, you won’t be able to move anyway.

Be ready to move fast.

With so many buyers looking for property, you’ll be competing with people who already have their house on the market or under offer, so it makes sense to have a buyer for your own property lined up before you begin looking for your new home. You should also get all your paperwork in order, because when you are ready to make an offer, an estate agent will ask to see proof of funds and evidence of your mortgage in principle.

Find a solicitor.

Whether you’re buying or selling a property you’ll need a solicitor to deal with the conveyancing. Conveyancing is the process of legal transfer of property from one owner to another. There is a lot of legal and administrative work to do before contracts can be exchanged and completion takes place, so having this organised early will speed up the moving process.

Be prepared to go over asking price.

With so many people looking to buy right now, making a low offer or entering into a long, drawn out negotiation isn’t a good idea as most sellers won’t need to negotiate on their asking price. In fact most properties are currently going at slightly over asking price. Be aware that while you’re negotiating for a lower price, another buyer could jump in and make an acceptable offer.