Buying a property takes time. It’s all about planning and preparation so you can recognise a home that’s right for you, complete the necessary checks and close the deal with confidence.
Step 1: Know your needs and wants
It’s a good idea to write two lists here – ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’. If there are two of you buying the property make sure you work these through together. Having a clear must-have list will save you wasting time on homes that aren’t for you, so you can spend more time on the homes that are. You can also give your list to our agents so they can let you know as soon as a suitable home comes on the market.
Step 2: Get to know the market
With a clear idea of the home you’re looking for, it’s time to find out where similar homes are available within your price range and how the various features on your ‘nice-to-have’ list might affect the selling price. This involves identifying suitable homes that have sold over the three months before you’re ready to buy and tracking their selling price.
Step 3: Thoroughly check the house you want
Once you’ve found the house you want, it’s important to do your ‘due diligence’. This means getting all the necessary checks done while you still have the opportunity to change your mind. If the seller or the selling method requires you to bid unconditionally, you’ll need to get your checks done before making an offer. In other cases you can make an offer and enter into a conditional contract to buy the property subject to satisfying specific concerns you might have or checks you have yet to complete. Before making any offer however, we strongly recommend you at least ensure your solicitor is OK with what you’re doing.
A typical checklist includes:
- LIM report
- Certificate of title
- Building inspection
- Body Corporate or cross lease document if applicable
- School zones, travel routes, unitary plan
- Your solicitor’s approval
- Confirm the chattels that are part of the sale
If you are planning to bid at an auction, it pays to watch the same auctioneer at earlier auctions to get a feel for their style and how things tend to run.
On the day of your auction, if the home you want to buy doesn’t sell under the hammer there’s an advantage in being the highest bidder when it’s ‘passed in’. That way you get the first right to negotiate with the seller after the auction.
If you’re making an offer by private treaty, it’s a good idea to continuing the negotiation at a steady pace. When the seller is only negotiating with you, you’re in a good position. If you slow the negotiation down, you run the risk of another buyer becoming written competition.
If you’re buying by tender, as in a multiple purchaser situation, you should always put in your best offer. If you don’t, you run the risk of the seller reviewing and dealing with another buyer. The property might end up selling to someone else for a figure you would have paid.