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Preparation

The key to securing your first home, dream home or perfect investment is preparation!

If you are buying an established property its unlikely you will find a home that ticks every “must have” box.

Tip 1 – Be clear about what you want so you don’t waste endless hours and weekends inspecting homes that don’t suit your needs, wants and/or budget.

Make a list in three sections:

Absolute must haves, non-negotiable! Think location, size, age, condition, attributes and land size plus any future plans you may have…. Are you wanting to install a pool or potentially add a second story or dwelling later on?

Wants! Attributes you would prefer in the home but are not deal breakers. Think of these as a bonus if the home has it. For example, garden shed, roller shutters, dishwasher, floating floors, solar panels. All these things can be added on later if need be.

Deal Breakers: Just as important are the deal breakers, the things you absolutely know you don’t want. Things you can’t or don’t want to change even if you like the home……smaller bedrooms, wrong location, ceiling height, it’s too much work, the home is to old, too big, too small, land size is incorrect, no second bathroom, out of budget etc.

Check these things off before you even book your inspection or attend the open home. Call the agent directly and ask relevant questions if the information is not available online, before you make the decision to inspect. It will save you a mountain of time and I’m sure you will thank me later!

Finance

Tip 2 – Know your budget and seek your finance pre-approval prior to seriously searching. This will again save you countless hours spent looking at properties you may or may not be able to afford. It may also open up other potential locations, maybe you can buy a bigger home than you anticipated…..and it will give you confidence when dealing with agents and negotiating. Knowing your finance is sorted and being sure of your capacity will reduce stress and strengthen your ability to make quick firm decisions, which could be the key to securing the right home in a hot market!

Please feel free to contact us if you would like to speak with an award-winning broker.

Negotiation

Tip 3 – Being prepared will especially help you when it comes to negotiation. Being flexible on settlement to help meet the vendors terms may assist in securing the property. Ask the agent questions, try and find out what is most important to the vendor. Is it price? Is it selling within a certain time frame? Is it a quick settlement? Maybe they would like to lease the property back off the new owners for a short period of time. Can you meet any of these vendor preferences to help strengthen your offer in other areas, if price or a competitive market is an issue?  Also consider what conditions you need to have on the contract. For example, ‘subject to finance’ or ‘subject to building and pest’?

Can you make an unconditional offer? Unconditional offers are almost always looked upon more favourably by a vendor even if it’s a lower dollar value than another competing offer with a ‘subject to’ condition attached.

You will need a conveyancer or property lawyer to complete the transaction, so you may aswell select and speak to them well in advance to get their advice to best protect your interests.

Know the market you are buying in...

Tip 4 – These days it is not hard to do some research on the preferred locations you are wanting to purchase in.

Make watching the market your new favourite past time. Login to the Real Estate apps instead of Facebook or Instagram. The real estate portholes are a great place to start, keep an eye on new listings and the sold sections! How long they are taking to sell? Are they selling within the original price guides quoted and in what time frame? This will give you a very good idea of how fast or slow the market is moving. Also a realistic idea of recent sold prices for comparable properties. It can also lead to other questions, why would one home sell for significantly more than another in the same vicinity…. Is the zoning different? Are people paying more to be closer to a specific school or train station?

Most agents are always willing to assist and may be able to provide you with some local statistics, information and comparable sold prices in the area. Knowing the market puts you at an advantage when it comes to making confident decisions regarding timing, negotiation and price.

For more information and tips on buying a home, feel free to give one of our friendly agents a call!

Auctions

Tip 5 – Attend some local Auctions before you bid at Auction yourself. Get a feel for the process and different Auctioneers styles. The last thing you want is to miss out on your perfect property because you didn’t quite understand the process or were not confident bidding.

Know your limit, it’s a must that your budget is in place prior to bidding at Auction and if you are relying on finance you have your bank or brokers go ahead prior to bidding. Auctions are unconditional sales, there are no subject to finance or building and pest clauses allowed. All due diligence should be done prior to the Auction.

The Auctioneer will state the terms of the Auction prior to the commencement of the bidding. It will be on the vendors terms unless you have made prior arrangements with the agent, in which case they will give all buyers the same opportunity (i.e. If you want to proceed with a lower deposit, you would need prior approval and the agent has to offer this same term to all buyers).

The deposit is usually payable on the day so it’s a good idea to ask the agent prior to the action how they take payment so you can be organised, you may need to increase your transaction limit at the bank.

Bank cheque or direct transfer are common methods of payment.

Auctions are usually a high energy environment and can be a lot of fun but keep your wits about you. If you get too caught up in the excitement you may find yourself spending more than you had anticipated!

First Home Buyers

Tip 6 – Read all of the above and take your time! There are always different incentives and government initiatives to help first home buyers into the market. Your broker should be across all of your options.

Check out the state revenue office website at https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/first-home-owner in regards to the First Home Owners Grant and/or the stamp duty exemption or concessions that may be applicable to you.

For more information on the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme click on the below link:

http://www.nhfic.gov.au/what-we-do/fhlds/eligibility/

Please also check out:

 https://www.vic.gov.au/our-plan-help-first-home-buyers