There is no doubt that the property market is difficult for buyers at the moment.

Searching for your next home can be an exciting process, but it can also feel daunting and frustrating at times. Take a look at our suggestions below – we hope they will help you to stay as calm as possible during your house hunting journey. Get your ducks in a row There is little point going shopping without your wallet. The same thing applies to property. Before you even begin looking for a property, make sure you have spoken to an independent financial adviser first. They will help you uncover the possibilities and ensure you’re starting your search with a realistic budget in mind.

Use the internet This is nigh on a moot point as the internet is such a force in all our lives nowadays. Many people begin their online browsing many months before making a move. This gives you a good impression of what’s available in your price range. Try not to limit your ‘must-have’ features using the online filters. You could miss something simply because of an input error.

Speak to estate agents The best way to find out about the best properties for you and your needs is to speak to the experts. The estate agents that cover your preferred area will hear about properties coming to the market long before paperwork, photos, videos, etc. are done and finally put online. Also, estate agents are trained to hear the ‘needs’ in your description of your dream home. When we search for ourselves, we can struggle to find what we really need because we’re too focused on what we ‘want’. Be patient It can seem really tempting to go looking at properties before your house has sold, or before your inheritance has landed, or however you’re funding the purchase. This is the quickest way to heartbreak.

If you aren’t sold or able to proceed with the purchase straightaway, the seller is unlikely to take it off the market. You then will lose out to someone who was in a better position than you. Wait to view homes ‘in the flesh’ until you’re ready to buy. It saves you a lot of time and heartache. Don’t go in too low When you find the right property and you’re in a position to make an offer, don’t start your negotiations with a low offer. It’s normal to try a ‘cheeky’ offer but if you start really low, you risk offending the sellers. Once that’s happened, people’s defences are raised and even if you offered over the asking price, they might not want to sell to you on principle. If you really want the property, just pay the right price. If you’re looking for your dream home in Eastbourne, get in touch with us on 01323 440678 and we can chat through your ‘musthaves’, ‘would-likes’, and the whole process

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If at first you don’t succeed

The highs and lows of first-time buyers, Jim and Pip

I met Jim and Pip in April last year, they are in their mid-twenties, very likeable and excited to begin the hunt for their new home (albeit amidst a pandemic). Everything was in place – they knew how much they could borrow, had a Mortgage Agreement in place ready, had saved a great deposit (enhanced by the lockdowns) and had open minds to what their budgets might produce. The first property we viewed they loved so much so they put forward an offer! We encourage buyers to view several properties so that you can start working out what you can expect to get for your money and your compromise list. Over time you start figuring out what really is

a must have, e.g., off road parking, and what might be a nice to have, e.g., downstairs WC. However, Jim and Pip had really done their homework with area knowledge, the property was the perfect size for them, and so they offered what they felt they could afford. Sadly, their offer wasn’t accepted. Interest in the property was huge and they didn’t feel confident in increasing their offer. Over the summer period, we went on to view 10 properties together. When I reflected on this time with Pip, she mentioned it felt quite deflating not to be successful with her offer, though each property viewed – gave them ideas for home improvements. She also realised the importance of viewing twice, often when you’re viewing multiple properties they can easily merge into each other.

They offered on several properties and were “pipped” to the post (pardon the pun) until they successfully offered on a property, only to have the seller change his mind about moving a couple of weeks later. December rolls around and Pip and Jim are honestly feeling buying a home is becoming an impossibility! At the office, on a dull rainy Monday, we get the news of a sale fallen through. But not just any property – can you believe it was the first property Jim and Pip viewed and fell head over heels in love with! We called Pip and Jim super quick! This time they were ready – they understood that the market is very fast and they needed to be decisive. They recognised that there were lots of interested viewers, but most of all they knew they were now

viewing a property that they could make their own and had more of an idea of where they could add value. The months of research and looking at other properties with us had given them a catalogue of ideas. They offered full asking price, happily stating their position as first time buyers with a large deposit and ready to move quickly. Success. This is definitely a case of good things come to those who wait! Congratulations Jim and Pip!

RIGHTMOVE’S NO.1 LOCAL ESTATE AGENT Multi award winners – 2018–2022 2 The Quintins, High Street, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 1D 01323 440678 | sales@craneandco.co.uk | craneandco.co.uk