With demand for homes at an all-time high, ‘power buyers’ are in pole position when it comes to making an offer.
Estate agents in Plymouth are seeing rising competition for properties, with average prices jumping by almost £6,000 in September.
More homes are coming to the market, but the level is not enough to replenish the stock being snapped up.
Rightmove’s September House Price Index suggests we are currently seeing the most competitive property market ever for buyers.
The price of property coming to the market last month has jumped by 1.8% (+£5,983). This represents the largest rise at this time of year since October 2015.
Also, the number of people chasing available homes for sale is the highest ever – double the level seen in 2019.
According to new figures from Dataloft, the average property price in Plymouth over the last 12 months is £218,638. That represents a 9.2% rise on the previous year.
Across the wider South West, the average value is £291,670 – which is 12.6% higher than 12 months earlier.
Being a ‘power buyer’ can help you stand out from the crowd when the time comes to make an offer.
What is a power buyer?
‘Power buyers’ are those who have found a buyer for their own property, are chain-free, or don’t need to sell.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data, explains: “2021 has been the year of the power buyer, with those in the most powerful position to proceed quickly and with most certainty ruling the roost over other buyers who have to sell but have yet to come to market.
“One agent’s analysis that 87% of their sales agreed were snapped up by buyers who were already in a position to proceed is fairly typical of reports from many agents.
“Buyers being able to prove they are mortgage-ready or have cash in the bank helps them get up the pecking order. Whilst available stock for sale is still close to record lows, there are signs that this has stopped falling and is stabilising this month, so fresh new choice is slowly growing.
“As we approach the end of the year, many prospective buyers may be distracted by a more normal family Christmas than in 2020, giving more determined buyers who have already sold their own property an opportunity to act fast and buy with less competition.”
How can I become a power buyer?
Here are our top tips for giving yourself the best possible chance to securing your dream home:
1. Get a sale agreed on your current home
If you’re selling your home in order to move, we advise you to put your home on the market now.
Ideally, you should first secure a buyer for your property, assuming you need to sell your current home to buy your next. This is because many sellers will choose buyers with sales already agreed.
We’re even seeing some people opt to sell their home first and then move into rented accommodation. This way, they can take their time and be ready to move quickly when the right property comes to the market.
Paul Preen, Managing Director of Lang Town & Country, says: “To come across as a serious buyer, you need to be in a proceedable position. You should either have your property under offer, or have no property to sell.
“There are still a lot of people trying to view properties who aren’t yet on the market. This is a pointless exercise. We have, in recent months, advised clients to get their property on the market and get a buyer.
“When someone makes an offer, it is on the proviso that they give the vendor time to find somewhere. If they are prepared to do this, the vendor will advertise the property as sold. If they aren’t, they don’t buy the property.
“This will then put the vendor in a great position when the right property comes on the market. They will be able to make a firm offer as they have a buyer. If they can’t find anything, they haven’t lost anything.”
2. Get a mortgage Agreement in Principle (AIP)
Perhaps the most important thing to have in place when buying a property is your Agreement in Principle (AIP).
This is crucial if you’re looking to buy your first home, as it will save valuable time later on.
The AIP is confirmation from a mortgage lender which states how much money they are prepared to pay towards your new home.
There are two things we’ll ask you to provide when making an offer on a property.
The first is confirmation from a lender that you are able to apply for a mortgage to cover the cost of the property. And the second is proof of funds to pay the deposit.
Marc Rees, Director at Lang Town & Country, says: “Even if you have finance in place, you may still have to compete in a best and final offer situation with other buyers.
“Timescale is an important factor in the buying and selling process. It could be that a seller needs to find a property, in which case a buyer who needs to move quickly may not be the best option.
“In this instance, working with the vendor’s preferred timescale may be more preferable.”
3. Let us know if you’re a cash buyer
If you don’t need to sell a property in order to buy, you will be more attractive to sellers. So, make sure you let us know that you are ready to act fast.
Are you thinking about selling your home? Get in touch today for a free valuation.
How do I get in touch with Lang Town & Country?
Please do contact us and we’ll be more than happy to offer advice and a free valuation of your home. (https://www.langtownandcountry.com/thinking-about-selling-your-home/)
Plymouth Sales – 01752 256000 / Property@langtownandcountry.com
Plymstock Sales – 01752 456000 / Plymstockoffice@langtownandcountry.com
Waterside Office – 01752 200909 / Waterside@langtownandcountry.com
Lettings – 01752 201010 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Land & New Homes – 01752 278499 / email@example.com
You can also get in touch if you have concerns about your property move or want reassurance on how we can do this while keeping you, our staff and the NHS safe.