How much time should I spend viewing houses?
This can depend on the area you are looking to buy a house it. In some parts of the country, if you dont at least view a house on the day it is put on the market, it could be gone before you even realise it is available. The more enthusiastic you are about seeing houses, the more likely it is that you will find the house you want. Try to be available to see a house as much as possible.
It is also good to view houses quickly so that you come across to an estate agent as a serious buyer. If they know you are serious, they are more likely to pick up the phone and let you know about a new house on the market.
How much can I afford?
There are many types of mortgage available now and they are often easy to get. You should do some research into where you want your mortgage from and how much you want to borrow before making an offer on a house. There are lots of mortgages available at three times your salary. There are also some available at four times your salary, but if you do borrow this much, remember that you are not likely to have much money left at the end of each month, and remember that interest rates may go up.
It is best to save as much as possible to use as a deposit, as this will reduce the amount you need to borrow, and hence the cost of the mortgage.
Always be totally honest when applying for a mortgage. A mortgage is a long term contract, and you dont want anything coming back to haunt you 15 or 20 years down the line.
How much should I offer?
It is natural to try and get the best deal you can, but if the list price of a house is a price which you think is good, do consider making a full price offer. If you do, you are much more likely to get the house you want - it would be very unlikely for the offer to not be accepted, and there is less chance of someone else making a better offer.
When should I sell?
If you have a house to sell before you can buy a new house, it will place you in a very good position if you already have a buyer for your house when you put an offer on a new house. So put your own house up for sale as soon as possible.
If you do find a buyer for your house, make sure you state in the contract with your buyer that you will not move out before you have a new house. This also places you in the enviable position of knowing how much you have to spend on a new house.
Should I get the house taken off the market?
All offers should state that you want the house taken off the market. If the house is left on the market after you make your offer, you are more susceptible to gazumping.
Some vendors like to see a survey to show that you are serious. If this is the case, get this completed as soon as possible.
Getting a 'Sold' sign outside the house should dissuade any other buyers.