Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sorted from the Start; with Up to 100 Potential Buyers for Every Property for Sale, Purchasers Need a First-Class Credit Rating, Says Lorna Bourke

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sorted from the Start; with Up to 100 Potential Buyers for Every Property for Sale, Purchasers Need a First-Class Credit Rating, Says Lorna Bourke

Article excerpt

AS EASTER approaches when house-hunters come out in force anyone wanting to buy in today's competitive market must be realistic about what has to be done to improve their chances. Estate agents all over London and the South-East report as many as 100 potential buyers registered for every property on their books, so it won't be easy.

Faced with competition from cash buyers and those with big deposits, it is first-timers, in particular, who need to be practical. "Save time and disappointment by doing the groundwork first," says Sarah Calvert of Informed Choice Mortgages. "Find a broker who will do a factfind, go through your finances and will probably be able to produce a 'decision in principle' from a lender." This says that provided applicants meet credit checks the lender will, in principle, advance up to a certain amount. The seller then knows you can raise the money.

Sally Laker, of broker network Mortgage

Intelligence, agrees. "Many lenders make a conditional offer and this is a useful buying tool.

Your broker will know which lender will advance the most for your particular circumstances. The cheapest loan is not always the best." Homebuyers need to get their finances in order before they visit a broker, says Calvert. "Credit scoring is more sophisticated and, although a lender might not take much notice of a late

payment on a credit card, it would be concerned about missed payments or County Court Judgments, although even these would not necessarily prevent you from getting a loan.

"If you know you are likely to be buying a property, it is worthwhile reducing your credit card and other borrowing as much as possible." Laker agrees. "Be completely honest about your credit history, it is all in your file. There is no point being dishonest because the lender will find out eventually. It is worth getting a copy of your file before you see a broker. …

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