The housing market continues to be buoyant with buyers and seller confidence high. Research from property portal On the Market shows that in March, 82 per cent of sellers were confident they could sell their property within three months, with 64 per cent of properties sold subject to contract within 30 days of first being advertised for sale.

The market is clearly ultra-competitive, with many more buyers than properties for sale. So if you are in the market for a new property you need to stand out from the crowd. In an ideal world you would be a chain-free cash buyer with no property to sell but if you aren’t in this fortunate position, there are still steps you can take to make yourself more attractive to sellers:

1) Get organized.

If you have a property to sell, many vendors will want it at least under offer before accepting an offer from you on their property. Get your property on the market if you haven’t already done so.

2) Organize your paperwork.

If you are not a cash buyer, you will need a mortgage and lenders will want to see a P60 and/or three months’ pay slips if you are employed, or self-assessment tax returns (SA302s) and accountant’s certificates if you are self-employed. Proof of identification is also essential via a current photo passport or drivers’ license, a recent utility bill and a bank statement or credit card bill dated within the past three months.

3) Find out how much you can borrow.

A decision in principle from a lender will give you a ballpark figure as to how much you can realistically expect to borrow. So you know what you can spend and don’t waste anyone’s time. A whole-of-market mortgage broker such as AWS Private Finance can organize this for you. As well as advising on the best mortgage for your circumstances.

4) Befriend estate agents.

Make yourselves known to them and demonstrate how keen you are to buy a property. Keep in regular touch and don’t mess them around by not turning up for viewings or not responding to their calls.

5) Appoint a good solicitor.

You may be entitled to free legal work as part of your mortgage package. But this is unlikely to be the fastest way of getting your conveyancing work done. In such a competitive market, speed is of the essence. Ask friends and family for recommendations.

6) Move quickly.

Respond to requests from lenders, brokers, estate agents and vendors as fast as possible. If you don’t, other buyers may become more desirable in a vendor’s eyes and you could miss out on your dream home.

7) Be flexible.

There may be some things you really can’t budge on, such as the number of bedrooms in a property or the desire for a garden. But if you are flexible where possible, it will work in your favor. If the seller wants a quick exchange but a later completion. For example, and you can agree to this, it could put you in pole position compared with other buyers.

8) Consider short-term finance.

Bridging finance enables you to buy your onwards property before selling your existing home, essentially putting you in a similar position to a cash buyer and giving you time to sell your home, easing the pressure.

For more information on putting yourself in the strongest possible position when it comes to buying. Whether that is getting a decision in principle or short-term finance, contact AWS Private Finance.