Nick Churton of Mayfair International Realty, Houlihan Lawrence's London Partner, looks at one of the ever-present personal choice challenges of buying property in a buoyant market.
The big challenge with this real estate market is that there is less time to make a decision to buy than several years ago in the height of the downturn. Now there are many fewer properties on the market so there is more pressure for buyers to make a choice quickly as in many markets
there are multiple buyers for every listing.
So gone are the days of casually inspecting home after home over a number of months and then taking weeks to make up your mind. In this market blink and you will miss the good ones.
The trick in this market is to know what you want and be in a position to move rapidly having finance in place and any property that needs to be sold at least well under way. But how do you know at which point to make a choice? The curse of the home buyer comes when the first property seen ticks all the boxes but there is still the temptation to pass in the hope that something better turns up. Very often it doesn't and all that remains is regret.
The thing about choosing a home is that because all our individual needs are unique, no property will ever be faultless, a ten out of ten, and few will be a nine. So seven or eight out of ten is all most can expect at best. That is why so many buyers go on to improve, extend and alter. If you demand the ten out of ten property from the start you are in for a long wait.
So the knack in this market is to recognise what you want in the things you can't change - location, lot size, garden, etc - and be flexible with the things you might be able to change such as appearance, kitchens, bathrooms, and even overall building size by extension. It is possible to turn a seven out of ten into a nine out of ten to suit your particular needs.
As anyone who has missed a great chance through holding out for a perfect ten will tell you, it is better to be pragmatic and flexible. In this market decisive and quick action is required to avoid disappointment after disappointment.