Never miss out again: be first to know about new-to-market homes

On your marks, get set…go! If 2021 is the year you want to move home, you’ll need to be quick out the blocks as forecasts indicate that this year will be a bumper 12 months for buying, selling and letting. There are a number of tips and tricks to ensure you know about properties as soon as – or even before – they come to market, giving you a competitive edge. Here’s how to be first in the queue, avoid disappointment and even how to beat Rightmove.

Register directly with an estate agent
The frustration of seeing a sold board outside a property, yet never seeing a ‘for sale’ sign there in the first place can be galling – especially if it’s a property you’ve had your eye on for some time. It may surprise you to know that many homes never make it online as estate agents often hold waiting lists – buyers known to them who get first refusal before any mass marketing begins.

Be first in the queue by registering your details and property desires directly with local estate agents. They may ask about your buying circumstances – whether you have a property to sell and if you have a mortgage agreement in principle – but you’ll be held on a list and contacted first when a property that matches your description is taken on.

Look out for planning applications
If you’re dreaming of a brand new home built from scratch, there are a few tell-tale signs that may enable you to jump the buying queue. Take note if you see little pastel-hued A5 signs tied to lampposts as they often advertise planning applications for new developments. You could also monitor the online planning portals of boroughs in which you’d like to live, as applications to build are always published on a dedicated web page. You

If you’re really keen, you could look out for land surveyors with a theodolite – a piece of surveying equipment atop a tripod that you look through to measure horizontal and vertical angles. This piece of equipment is almost always used when house builders are at the early planning stages of a new site. If you’re feeling brazen, you could ask who the surveyor is working for.

Don’t underestimate the drive by
Despite being one of the most traditional marketing methods, estate agents’ ‘for sale’ boards are still one of the best ways to spot when a home has come on to the market. If there are certain postcodes, neighbourhoods and even specific streets that you’re most interested in, it’s worth driving around – or even strolling on foot – spotting boards. If you’re especially lucky, you may even catch a board just going up!

Don’t ignore ‘to rent’ boards either. There is always the chance the landlord would be open to selling, especially if they are finding it a struggle to source suitable tenants. Contact the agent responsible for the letting of the property and ask if they can make a purchasing approach on your behalf.

Be proactive
You don’t always have to leave it to the property professionals! If you love where you live, a simple social media post can bear fruitful results. Simply state that you’re looking to buy or rent locally and that you would appreciate being notified if anyone is thinking of coming to market soon. Another strategy is to create a leaflet with your contact details on to post through the doors of properties you can see yourself living in, again asking for notification if they’re thinking of selling or renting out.

If you’d like to know about properties before your buying or renting rivals, register with us. We regularly take on new instructions to sell and let, and we’d be happy to share those details with you.