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7 Ways To Ease Your Property Search

Mar 28, 2008
Even though the world of property is a buyer's market right now, that doesn't mean it easier to find the home of your dreams.

In fact, if anything your property search may just have got harder. New research has suggested the supply of homes is going down.

Trade recommendation site http://Ratedpeople.com found that 2.7 million people have recently reversed their decision to move home. And it's primarily because of the uncertainty in the UK property market.

It's a staggering number, and if true would make any kind of property search a lot harder.

The firm's survey shows that a million people reckon the market is so unstable that they think it will be 2010 before they can reconsider plans to sell up and move on.

It's all being blamed on rising mortgage rates caused by the credit crunch, and the increased cost of living. Bills are rising and that's affecting the amount of spare money people have available.

Instead, the survey finds, people are choosing instead to improve their current property and wait for things to improve.

Interestingly the research findings seemed to be backed up by figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. It's revealed that mortgage approvals fell by nearly a third in January. Seems a lot more people are choosing to rent property instead of getting onto the property ladder.

So, that's your property search upset then! But of course there are still plenty of houses on the market, and things you can do to find your next home.

Here are seven ways to make your property search a whole lot easier:

Work the estate agents: It's not enough just to go round a few agents and ask what properties they currently have on their books (or worse just look in their windows). You need to market yourself to the agent. Put yourself in their shoes - as a potential buyer, you are key to them earning some commission! So position yourself as a serious buyer ready to spend money, and give them a very specific brief of what you're looking for. Not only does this means you won't have to trawl through unsuitable properties, but you can get several agents working for you, while being paid by someone else!

Scour the internet: The web has changed the way properties are advertised and sold. And you should make the most of it in your property search. Get used to searching several property portals for your ideal home; as they don't all have the same properties. It's also worth using Google to look for private homes for sale, or other ways of advertising house sales.

Buy all the local papers: Local newspapers are still a strong force in property sales. One of the first steps by someone moving to an area is to get the papers and browse through the homes. If you are moving to another area, subscribe to the newspaper and have it posted out to you.

Spread the word: As well as relying on estate agents for your property search, you can do some work yourself. Get used to visiting popular pubs and shops in your target area and chatting to people who already live there. Sometimes you may hear about a new house due to come on the market before an agent does!

Ask the neighbours: If there is a specific street you want to live in, don't be afraid to approach the neighbours and declare your interest. For someone looking to sell down the line this could be a dream come true. Just don't appear to be too keen, or you will weaken your future negotiating position.

Go to an auction: Buying a property at auction can be a great way to get a home, especially if you are after an unusual property. Be prepared to travel to different auctions and make sure you do your research thoroughly before bidding.

Use a finder: Ever watched Kirstie and Phil find homes for people on TV? Well that's what they do in real life, only you have to pay for it. There are hundreds of similar but less famous home finders around the UK.
About the Author
To start your property search visit the Property Today website at http://www.propertytoday.co.uk
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