10 Property Search Tips in a market with low supply

15th Aug 2023
Matthew Smith

Finding the right property can be a daunting, time-consuming and even frustrating process – especially when there is such a short supply of stock on the market.  You need to be one step ahead when there is a high demand for homes, otherwise you’ll lose out. 

To help you find and secure your ideal home in Chester, here are ten property search tips:

1. Be in a strong position to move

As a buyer, try to be in a strong position to move with a mortgage in place and with your own property on the market or preferably under offer.  It is one of the most common mistakes that people make thinking their home will sell really quickly and leaving it until they’ve found somewhere – only to miss out because their property isn’t in the market yet.

Remember that sellers will consider not only the price you are prepared to pay, but also how quickly you can move.

2. Be clear on your requirements

Before you start looking for properties, you need to be clear on what you want. Make a list of features that you won’t comprise on such as location, number of bedrooms and garage/driveway etc.  Then create a second column of ‘nice to haves’ that you would be prepared to comprise on.

3. Be flexible

Having made a list of requirements, it’s also important to remain flexible, especially in a market with low supply.  If you are looking for a home office, for example, could one of the bedrooms double up as an office? If the property isn’t big enough, is there potential to extend? Having an open mind will give you access to a wider pool of properties that have potential to fit your requirements with a bit of work and flexibility.

4. Know your financial limits

Knowing how much you can afford is vital, not only to help narrow down your search, but also when it comes to submitting your best and final offer, you know exactly what you can stretch to.  In a market with such high buyer demand, properties are often going to best and final sealed bids, and you will need to be in a position to act very quickly if you want to secure the right home.

5. Find out how much other properties have sold for

You can use website such as Nethouseprices.com to work out what other properties in the area have sold for recently, enabling you to be realistic when you submit an offer.  Remember that house prices have increased by around 10% in the last 12 months, so it’s important to factor that in.

6. Check out the local area

Do your own research by visiting the neighbourhood by foot, visiting at different times of the day. This will help you get a feel for the demographic, the local amenities and how safe and noisy an area is at different times.

7. Set up Rightmove and OnTheMarket alerts

Set up alerts on Rightmove and OnTheMarket so that you’re the first to hear about new properties coming onto the market, as well as those that have been reduced.  It’s also worth speaking to local estate agents and building a good rapport with them so that they can keep you informed as soon as a new property comes on the market.

8. Look at Government support schemes

If you are a first time buyer, look into government support schemes, such as Shared Ownership which are a great way to help you get you started on the property ladder with a low deposit.

9. Check broadband and phone signal

Do a quick check of broadband and phone signal whilst in and around the property. Use websites such as Broadband Speed Checker.

10. Book viewings early

If a property that fits your criteria comes onto to the market, be sure to book a viewing straight away. In today’s market, properties are being snapped up very quickly, so you don’t want to miss out by delaying viewing it.