The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has suggested some tips for buying a house for the first time.
President Mark Hayward described the housing market, especially for first-time buyers, as "tough" and people needed to be prepared in order to make the most of their budgets.
"In this tough market, it is important that those who are still able to buy think honestly about what they can afford and agree on a bid ceiling before entering into negotiations with the vendor.
"It is easy to get carried away, so house hunters should resist the temptation to reveal their maximum budget, leaving enough room to make additional offers if the initial one is rejected.
"Researching prices of similar properties in the postcode, and what they were sold for, can also provide a degree of flexibility when negotiating."
Mr Hayward also noted that people are becoming more flexible about the way they buy: first-time buyers are increasingly getting mortgages with friends or family, which has the benefits of reducing the purchase costs, deposit and any applicable stamp duty liability, as well as reducing monthly mortgage payments.
"This can prove an innovative way to overcome steep mortgage lending requirements," he added, "but ensuring trust and transparency is the key to the success of this type of purchase. Both parties should sign a joint ownership agreement, clarifying exit strategies in case the circumstances of any partner change."
The NAEA - the UK's leading professional body for estate agents - was behind the idea of the stamp duty vacation, which ended in March and proved to boost home purchases, especially among first-time buyers.