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Money Sense

Marina's tips for cracking the market

"When we bought our first home we had a bit of a pressure buy. It was basically the first house we looked at which is crazy.

"Mum thought it was lovely - Terry came after he'd been concussed at rugby.  He couldn't even remember how big the lounge was and I had to do the negotiation on my own.

"So here are my tips for getting it right - I learned the hard way!"

 1. Don't tell the agent or seller your top price.

2. Take your time. The real estate agent may want a deal on the day, but it's important to go through the paperwork with a fine-tooth comb.

3. If a seller changes something, you can change the offer.

4. Ask a lawyer to check your offer.

5. Make sure you understand everything - if not, don't sign it.