Are you looking for a new home right now, but worried about how it's going to work out amid the coronavirus outbreak? Or maybe you just think the house buying process is too involved and wish it could all be done online. After all, finding the right mortgage is just one part of the often lengthy and complex process of buying a house. What about arranging the survey, and the legal work, to say nothing of all the negotiating with sellers?
Buying a home can be stressful at the best of times, but it is especially so now. Which is why you may want to consider hiring a buying agent. If this sounds like something that's surely only for the wealthiest property buyers, rest assured: property buying services are becoming more and more mainstream as time-poor potential home owners look for ways to minimise the stress of house purchasing – and maximise their chances of getting the right home at a good price.
The online mortgage expert Habito actually have a service called Habito Go that, if you can bear to part with just a little extra cash, can make the whole process much easier. Moreover, right now, it's a good way to minimise human-to-human contact during the house buying process.
The way it works is, you get a dedicated buying agent who negotiates hard on your behalf. Estate agents generally like dealing with buying agents because it signals a serious buyer; sometimes, it's possible to get access to a property that hasn't even been put on the market yet via a buying agent.
After the buying agent has helped you find and secure a property, Habito then take over all the legal and surveying side of things, so that all you need to do is sign the contract.
How much does it cost? Habito say that prices start at £2,500, although, realistically, the price is likely to be more in the region of £2,900.
There's another trump card that comes with Habito Go: the opportunity to become a cash buyer. If you've got your heart set on a very specific property in a highly competitive area, then this might make the crucial difference to you getting the house. This service works by Habito paying cash to the seller; there is a substantial fee for this service – one per cent of the total mortgage value – but you won't be pushed into using it. Habito will advise you on whether it's necessary.
All of this can be achieved without you needing to leave your home. Intrigued? Make a start by having a look at Habito's online mortgage comparison tool.