Your first step should be to get advice from an independent mortgage advisor. They will guide you through your options and let you know how much you can afford.
To put yourself in a good buying position and to have any offer you make taken seriously, you will need to be proceedable i.e. able to buy without having to sell first. Therefore, get your house on the market as soon as you can. If you get an offer, it will remove the pressure of having to sell when you find somewhere special. Don’t worry about ending up homeless because you can make it clear from the start that you’re not moving out until you’ve found a new home. Also, once you’ve accepted an offer on your home, you’ll know how much you have to spend on the new one!
Utilise your lunch hours, or make a detour on the way to or from work. If there are two of you buying and you have children to consider, one of you should be chief viewer to weed out all but the strong candidates. It’s also important that the estate agent regards you as a serious applicant. So show willing and be eager to view and you’ll be at the top of the list when something new comes on the books!
It’s human nature to try and strike a deal. But if you find your ideal home and it seems to be priced correctly, you should consider an offer of the full asking price. It means you will be taken seriously, there won’t be any time wasting and it will lessen the possibility of another party stepping in.
All offers should be made with the stipulation of taking the property off the market. Some vendors will want to see a survey first to see a firm financial commitment. If this is the case, hurry the mortgage valuation along or instruct your own immediate personal survey. Getting a sold board outside is a good way to dissuade others from looking.