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Buy, Hold or Sell? - Be Ready

Until recently, if your property wasn't getting enough viewings, then it was probably just over-priced. Nowadays, it may not only be the price, it is also likely that a buyer may not be able to finance the purchase. Lenders are pulling in their horns and are imposing stricter terms on clients they are prepared to offer mortgage deals to. Potential buyers who come along and have a mortgage agreed by a lender are of course preferable. Those who have cash and no chain behind them should be grabbed immediately. The key is to make sure your buyers are properly "qualified" so you know that they can buy.

Ensure you are ready and able to move quickly when you get your buyer. This could make all the difference and will ensure a quicker sale, plus the buyer is less likely to back out once you are moving out of the property.

Be reaslitic, research and be ready when you get a buyer.

Hold and don't sell if you can. Not so much a question of Bulgarian property prices going down, rather that it is more difficult to find a buyer now than it has been.

Those who are keeping their homes are starting to rent them out to maximise income which may well be required in today's financial constraints. If you can time the rentals for the right period, then this can pay some if not all of a year's running costs on the property. Just because there are scary stories about the property market does not mean that this will affect your ability to rent your property. Renting doesn't suffer in the same way during a downturn as property prices because with all the doom and gloom people definitely want a holiday. Indeed, families who tend to feel financial difficulties the most, will turn away from hotels and save money by taking a self-catering rental.

The Bulgarian property market is far from collapsing with more Brits than ever wishing to buy a foreign home - but it is changing. Research from Savills shows that 18% of people are buying for retirement with vast numbers of over 45's. These people have a lot of equity in UK homes, so most won't need to borrow at all. For them, this is an excellent time to buy and Bulgaria is an attractive location with low prices and low living costs. The question in their mind is whether Bulgarian property prices will reduce. Nobody is psychic and who knows. Bulgaria is well placed to weather the storm of this credit crunch, no doubt it will be affected but not on the scale of other countries, such as the UK and Spain.

According to research carried out by Cater Allen Private Bank last month, the UK credit squeeze has caused more potential investors to look further afield, and three million Brits now say they are likely to buy a foreign property in the next two years.

Steve Dawkins, managing director of Real Estate TV, said that people were becoming "disillusioned" with the UK property market, adding, “Overseas bargains become more appealing at times like this and people are beginning to realise that there is investment potential out there, it just may not currently be on their doorstep.”

HiFX currency exchange specialists, also revealed that record numbers of Brits are thinking of emigrating, with the numbers of people seeking advice rising by 30 per cent in the first half of 2008.

There is already a shift in Bulgarian property purchasers from holiday home owners to those who are wishing to move permanently to the country. These buyers cite the "nanny state, cost of living, ever increasing prices and violence", amongst their reasons. Those who are buying holiday homes are buying for lifestyle, rather than buy to let.