The Sold.Buy.Simon Guide to Buying your Dream Home

Okay, so you’ve been saving hard, you’ve been through all the “should we or shouldn’t we” conversations and your decision has been made … it’s time to buy your dream property!

First-time buyer or master-mover, the process is actually much the same. Sure, it’s a little daunting, what with solicitors and searches and surveys, but with us here to smooth the ride, you can relax and enjoy the process a whole lot more. But where to start? Here are our top tips for finding and buying your perfect home.

Tip #1: Keep your new home wish list simple

Sure, having a walk-in wardrobe, sash windows and period fireplaces in every bedroom would be lovely - but are they deal-breakers for you? When you’re writing a bucket list for your ideal home, start by giving your property agent the details you can’t compromise on first and let them flow from there. You’ll quickly build up a picture of what you do and don’t want as you view properties, and being open-minded in your search means you’re much more likely to reach that magical feeling of finding The One.

Tip #2: Go with your gut

Don’t second-guess yourself. Trust your instinct - it’s rarely wrong. When you’re buying a house it’s often more about finding a place that feels like home, rather than ticking off nice-to-haves on a spreadsheet.

Tip #3: Give it to us straight

Don’t be afraid to be really honest about the properties you view. The more we get to understand what you love and what’s just not for you, the better able we are to find you that winning property.

Tip #4: Be proactive in your search

Show you’re a serious buyer (and not just wanting a snoop around your neighbour Janice’s place) by making yourself visible with agents. Check in with them regularly to show you’re ready to buy. The best properties often don’t even make it online, so make sure you’re top of your agent’s mind - and call list - when they start ringing round to see who’s keen.

Tip #5: Don’t fall into the “My property will sell fast” trap

Don’t focus all your energy on looking for a new place and forget to sell yours. Do this and you’ll be flagging behind the more prepared sellers. As soon as you’ve made the decision to move, get your existing property in a good place to be viewed. You’ll thank us further down the line.

Tip #6: Make it yours

If it’s an, “OMG I love it” reaction, you’re probably going to offer, so take a breath, there’s a little way to go yet! Tell us why this property gives you all the feels and we’ll help sell your offer to the owner. Adding a personal touch, even a few words in an email, helps them to see you as a person, not just a price.

Tip #7: It’s all in the details

Timescales, fixtures and fittings, and on-going chains are rarely set in stone, so make sure you give as much detail as possible - and in writing. Some agents will send a buyer questionnaire. This is a super-helpful way to get everything down officially, so use it to prove it, should you need to check back on what you agreed later down the line.

Tip #8: Let’s get legal

Woohoo, your offer has been accepted! But let’s pump the breaks a little as this next decision will decide everything, and I'm not kidding. The solicitor - your instructed solicitor - will have more say in this part of your life than you would honestly believe. You need a pilot for this journey so it’s time to decide if you want to go by private jet or cattle class. Don’t underestimate how vital it is to use a solicitor who comes highly-recommended from someone you trust, who’s actually used their services themselves, and - crucially - used them recently (unless you fancy a trip back up fax machine memory lane, that is).

Buying your next house doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, it should be exciting and enjoyable. Stick with us, follow our top house buying tips, and we’ll have you kicking back in your dream family home before you have the colour palette picked out.