As soon as you know you want to move abroad, one of the first things that you will want to do is get over to your chosen new country and look at properties. This is an exciting and important aspect of the home purchase journey, but it’s wise to tread with caution here – after all, you don’t want to rush over there and fall in love with a property you cannot realistically afford.
Estate agents and developers often organise their own trips, quite often at no or reduced cost – although if you do decide to take advantage of one of these, it’s important to remember that it’s not just a free break in the sun!
Here are OverseasGuidesCompany.com’s top tips for making the most of viewing trips:
Before you even book to go on a viewing trip, spend some time researching the area you want to live in and the property market in your chosen corner. You will also need to consider what you can afford – including additional costs you will need to pay for the property (such as legal fees, commission etc.) Work out exactly what you need from your new home – such as the kinds of amenities you want to be there. If you are organising your trip yourself, get in touch with estate agents before you go, and have a few viewings booked in. If you are taking part in an organised trip, make sure you are able to communicate to your agent or developer exactly what your needs are and what you can afford.
Take at least three days, but preferably a week
It’s imperative to make sure that you don’t spend your time on your trip rushing around, and are able to savour the properties you see and consider what you have seen.
Enjoy some leisure time (even on an organised trip!)
The property developers and estate agents are not just running their viewing trips for your benefit – they want to make a sale. They are likely to show you the best parts of the neighbourhoods you are interested in, but are unlikely to show anything that will not entice you to buy their properties. It’s important to try and find the opportunity to explore the area on your own terms – especially because viewing properties can also be very tiring!
Don’t succumb to sales pressure – but do take advice!
If you are taking advantage of a trip organised by a company who wish to sell you a property, be prepared to be accosted by the ‘hard sell’. If you are not good at resisting this kind of pressure, perhaps you will be better suited for making your own way. The estate agent or developer will usually want you to sign on the dotted line there and then, often with sales techniques to entice you – give yourself time to assess your options. Saying this, do make sure you take the advice of the estate agents, and ask them lots of questions. They should be able to tell you about the local area, the different amenities and anything else you need.
Take advantage of market conditions
In certain areas of Europe, it’s definitely a buyer’s market right now. The continued strength of sterling against the euro means British buyers get more for their money – and the property markets are only just beginning to recover from the housing market crash in some areas. Don’t, therefore, be afraid to put in a low, cheeky offer!
Words by Overseas Guides Company.com, publishers of buying guides in over 15 countries, 0207 898 0549.