With fierce competition for properties and having to bid well over the asking price, it is no surprise that some buyers don’t know where to begin when looking for a home. 

The demand for rural and coastal properties in Scotland is at an all-time high making the Scottish Borders an increasingly popular place to live.  

ESPC figures show prices rising and increased seller activity with valuation requests for the end of April up 23% week-on-week. 

But how do buyers stand out in a competitive market?  Ron Hastings, director of ESPC member firm Hastings Legal, gives his top tips on how to look for a home in the Borders. 

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Be aware of competitive viewings 

Some agents are still following the house moving protocol which recommends buyers only view if they are serious about a property and in a position to offer. With many buyers relocating to the Scottish Borders, it makes sense to only travel to a viewing if you are keen on the property. 

Make a clean offer  

Buyers who can make a clean offer – which is s not subject to a loan, a survey or a sale - have an advantage. You don’t have to have the funds physically in the bank, they just need to be available for when the title is transferred, which is on the day you are handed the keys to your new home. 

For first-time buyers many agents are asking that they first have a mortgage in principle before they can view and buyers who have done their research and spoken to a financial adviser will be preferred. 

Know when sellers will entertain an offer  

Be organised  

It is the buyers that have to convince sellers and their agents that they are a sound bet. I recommend buyers get their ducks lined up with finances ready whether it be investments, a dependant sale or a mortgage. It is also important to be clear on what final price you can offer bearing in mind that in a hot market the property is likely to go to Closing Date.