The market is hot!

You've found the perfect house, only to discover that the agent says that lots of other people think it's perfect too – what do you do now? Well, you'll probably be asked to submit your best offer by a certain time and date.

Here's a simple how to guide:

1. Do your research and offer as much as you think it's worth – if it's on for &210,000 and you think it's worth &220,000 then offer that. No point in wishing you had later.

2. Point out that you're ready to go and can complete within, say, 6 weeks, and include your buying position e.g. I've sold mine or I'm a first time buyer and include the details of your mortgage adviser, conveyancer and estate agent so that the information can be easily confirmed.

3. Try to find out when the seller wants to complete and be as flexible as possible with your timescales. This is sometimes just as important to the seller as getting the best price.

4. If you win, get on with it as soon as possible. The seller and their agent will be very impressed if the surveyor goes round quickly and you are ready for exchange within a few weeks.

5. Be friendly to the seller, if you meet them and the agent – emotions are an important part of the process and no-one wants to deal with someone who is going to be a pain in the neck or want everything their own way.

6. Offer an unusual amount – if you're thinking of offering &225,000, offer &225,100, it may be just that little bit higher than your nearest rival and money counts!

7. Point out in your offer letter that although you're having a survey done, you won't 'chip' the price unless they find something major – every seller and agent is worried about this stuff and petty re-negotiations.

8. Don't be late with your offer! You must get it to the agent by the time stated.

Good luck!