Ensure you have pre-approved finance, if you like a property chances are so will others. You need to be able to move quickly to secure the purchase. You should also have your builder and pest inspector lined up ready so that no time is wasted doing your due diligence.
Find a solicitor or conveyancer that you would like to use before you find a property. This way you’ll be able to act faster and reduce the chance of missing out on a property because another party was more organised. It’s usually best to select one from the local area that you will be buying in as they are more familiar with the local issues.
- Do your research
Look around and get a feel for the market. Attend ‘Open Houses’ and auctions so you have good knowledge of the type of property you’re looking for and a good indication of value. Stick to an area/suburb as values can vary substantially if you compare properties from different areas.
- Know your requirements
Make a list of what you require in a property. Note down the suburb/s that you are looking in, the type/style of property, the number of bedrooms, garaging, storage, land size, location to schools and transport, etc. Refer to your list of all the things you want in a property - if what you are looking at ticks most of the boxes, buy it.
- Nothing is perfect
If there is a minor problem in the property that you like, do not let it put you off the purchase, minor problems can be fixed. Purchasers looking for the perfect property are the ones still looking after years. Consider using professional inspection for pest and building. If you are buying a unit, consider getting a strata report.
- Develop a connection with the selling agent
When you find the property that you have been searching for make sure you let the agent know by expressing some interest. Be pro active, don’t sit back, you may miss the purchase as the agent may think you have no interest. Agents are no different from anyone else we prefer to deal with people that we feel at ease with and have a connection with.
- Be decisive
In this day and age there can be an overload of information and opinions. If you like the property and can afford it, then that is the final decision. We have seen too many purchasers miss a property due to trying to get to many opinions on the purchase. If you are going to an auction you must show confidence in your bidding style. If it is going in early, or late in the process be strong in your bids. Even if you are down to your last penny, let your opponents think you have much more by showing strong and decisive body language and using a strong voice. Lastly stick to your budget.
- Exchange of Contracts
The contract sets out the terms and conditions of the sale. It also identifies items such as floor coverings, curtains or other inclusions that are either included or excluded in the contract. Your solicitor or conveyancer will examine the contract carefully. There are two copies of the sale contract - one for you and one for the seller. You each sign one copy before they are swapped or “exchanged” and the deposit is handed over. Only when both the seller and the buyer have signed the contract and exchanged copies do you both become bound by the contract. The deposit will be held by either the agent, invested in an interest bearing deposit or released to the seller. The contract will stipulate the deposit details.
Settlement occurs when the buyer pays the balance of the selling price. Adjustments are made for water and council rates, strata levies for units and any outstanding mortgages are paid out by the seller from the purchase price. The buyer becomes the legal owner of the property after settlement. The period between the exchange of contracts and settlement is usually four to six weeks, although either party may ask for a longer or shorter settlement period prior to exchange. Make sure the settlement period suits your needs. This will affect your move and the sale of your own property if you have one. Organising a move into the property on the settlement day can sometimes be difficult, as there can be last minute issues that may delay settlement by hours or days. Ideally do not plan to move in on day of settlement.