Finding a Home in a Competitive West Sussex Property Market


The huge demand for properties in West Sussex is excellent news for homeowners and landlords! However, it can be less so for buyers or tenants looking for a home in such a fast-paced property market.

While our beautiful county presents great investment potential and incomparable living standards, the Tod Anstee team often supports clients who have struggled to get an offer on the table or have repeatedly lost out on suitable rental homes.

Here we’ll run through our tips to help you find your perfect West Sussex home and strengthen your offer so you are in an ideal position to seal the deal.

Use a Local Property Agent for Early Access to New Listings

Working with an experienced local property agent is beyond crucial, and it’s not just about getting to view new homes on the market before anybody else.

As a West Sussex property experts, we can advise on a myriad of options to help you find your dream home – for example:

  • Advice about which areas best suit your budget, within proximity of travel links, schools and amenities.
  • Early access to new listings, including re-listed properties in a broken chain scenario where a buyer may be seeking a fast sale.
  • Notifications and access to unlisted properties not openly marketed, but with sellers that are looking for prospective buyers.
  • Information regarding rental vacancies and where there are quality homes available to let from respected local landlords.
  • Matching your requirements with properties where there may be scope to negotiate on pricing or where sellers may be open to considering an offer.

If you are familiar with your favoured locations in West Sussex, you may have a defined search area and be comfortable waiting for a suitable home to become available.

In this scenario, it’s also vital to have a local agent on hand to ensure you move quickly as soon as a property in your desired region is listed.

Be Ready to Move With Your Finances or Rental Agreement

The next tip to improve your chances of securing your West Sussex home is to be ready to move. A seller will likely have many offers to choose between, so it’s important to ensure you are in a strong position to offer a smooth transaction.

There are several things you can do in advance to help streamline the process of buying a new home or moving to a new rental property:

  • Get your paperwork ready: that could be tenancy references, background checks, or a mortgage agreement in principle.
  • Know your budget: if you have set a maximum ceiling price you can offer, you’ll be better able to decide whether you can submit a counter-offer against another homebuyer.
  • Offer flexibility: you may have a finite date when you need to move (usually if your current home has been sold or has a new tenant moving in). You can significantly expand your potential property search if you can offer wiggle room by renting temporarily while a transaction completes.

The key here is to make yourself an attractive buyer or tenant.

A great application is often accepted in preference to a higher offer, but from a buyer who can’t proceed for several weeks.

Strengthen the Appeal of Your Property Offer

It is well worth having advice from a local agent to understand how to improve your offer outside of the monetary value. Properties come to market for a wide range of reasons, and sometimes the seller criteria can be just as vital as achieving their sale price. Speed is sometimes the deciding factor.

If you have a mortgage agreement in principle, you make for a more attractive applicant since there is less chance that the transaction will be delayed for a few weeks while you get your financing in place. You can apply for an agreement in principle from a mortgage provider without having a confirmed offer or accepted offer price.

Although you would still need to proceed with a complete mortgage application once you have had an offer accepted, the agreement demonstrates that you’ll be able to move relatively quickly without any substantial delays.

Other vendors might be keen to sell to a particular type of buyer, perhaps a family or someone who intends to retain original features in a much-loved home.

Working with the Tod Anstee team means you gain valuable insights into what the vendor is looking for from the transaction and factors that may indicate they’d prefer to accept your offer than one from a competing bidder!

Applying for a Rental Property in West Sussex

While many of the above tips apply equally to purchase or rental properties, your rental application forms a crucial part of the process if you are a tenant looking for a home in your ideal West Sussex location.

There are always things you can do to improve your prospects and indicate that you are a high-quality tenant that a landlord will be happy to let to:

  1. Paperwork – as we’ve mentioned, having documents ready to go is a great idea. You’ll need ID, a bank statement, utility bill, confirmation of your employment and ideally references from previous landlords or letting agents.
  2. Credit scoring – landlords will need to run a credit check to verify that you can afford the rental value, so understanding your credit score before applying is wise. You can query or remove any errors or take action to improve your score, such as registering on the electoral roll and closing unused accounts.
  3. References – while a written reference is a bonus, many landlords will want to take them up personally, usually via email or phone call. If you’ve primed your references and sought permission to share their details, they’ll be ready to provide the references you need.
  4. Deposit – you will need a deposit, usually from one month to five week’s rent, plus a holding deposit to protect against any property damage. If you have saved up a sufficient deposit, you’ll be able to move straight away if a great rental home becomes available.

The key to all of these suggestions is to be prepared well in advance.

While the West Sussex property market remains in tremendous demand, you can take proactive steps to make it easier and faster to secure a property as soon as you find the home you are looking for.

If you’d like tailored advice to support your West Sussex property search or more advice about how to find a home within your desired area, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Tod Anstee team for a chat about the available options!