Six Winning Steps For Homebuyers - March 2022
March 31, 2022 / Written by Rich Harvey
When it comes to buying a new home, make no mistake, it is a competition. You are usually one of several people looking to purchase a particular property.
Recent metrics might indicate markets are slowing in some of our capital cities – don’t let this give you a false sense of security. Quality property will always be desired by multiple buyers, so you must beat out the others whether there’s two or 22 of them.
As buyers’ agents, our team must run this race everyday – locating, assessing, and securing homes for our clients ahead of everyone else.
So, what does it take for a homebuyer to come out ahead in the homebuying stakes?
Here’s six steps that are essential for a winning run.
1. Have an A-Team
Line up your necessary advisors before you begin the hunt.
The people you should have on speed dial will be a buyers’ agent, mortgage broker, accountant and/or financial advisor. These are the specialists who can assess your resources and goals and help determine the type of property, ownership structures and financial arrangement that will suit you bet.
You’ll also need to have a solicitor or conveyancer on hand to help with contractual obligations and legal advice. Knowing an easy-to-reach pest and building inspector could prove useful too.
Setting up an advisory team before the hunt begins will put you in the box seat.
2. Pre-approved finance
There’s a great Tony Robbins quote that says:
"The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck."
Being prepared is essential as a buyer. Quick decisions need to be made or a golden opportunity will pass you by.
One of the first crucial facets in preparation is finance. You simply must know what funds you have at your disposal, because this will benchmark the real estate you can, or can’t, afford.
A pre-approval from your desired lender is a minimum requirement. Work with your mortgage broker to ensure your documentation and information are in order and go through the process of determining what funds a lender will provide to you. This exercise will also help when you do finally sign a contract. You’ll be ready to jump and can leaves other in your wake.
3. Know your goals, needs and wants
A comprehensive understanding of what you want from your new home helps filter out unsuitable options early.
So, start making lists. What are your ‘must haves’? Is it lock-up car accommodation? A certain number of bedrooms? Lowset vs highset? Understand if these are hard-and-fast lines in the sand for you… or and if they’re things you’d just like to have?
Use the ‘must haves’ as your filter for weeding out unsuitable listing. Don’t waste time researching homes that don’t meet your minimum criteria.
4. Do market research
Becoming an area expert in your particular property type is invaluable for getting ahead of the competition. By studying the market, you can quickly determine whether a property’s asking price represents good value or is over the top.
So, you need to dig into the research. Attend auctions and take note of the activity. Hunt through the sold section of your favourite listing portal to find similar home to the one you want and get an idea of price. Talk to lots of local agents. Ask them about comparable recent sales and the level of market activity.
With enough research you can get a feel for what price you should be paying for your desired home, and whether the market is moving up or down. This puts you in the box seat to quickly say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when an interesting prospect comes along.
5. Be proactive
Homebuying is not the time to be a wallflower. To find the best options, you need to hit the phones and unearth potential listings.
Forming good relationship with selling agents in your area is a must. By letting them know what you’re looking for, and showing them you’re a genuine buying, you may just hear about a deal before others. It’s rare for agents to share this information outside of their professional networks (i.e. with buyers’ agent) of course… but it can pay handsome dividends if your do get wind of a great pre-list opportunity.
6. Know your flex points
Often price isn’t the only thing that will make a seller say yes to an offer. There might be plenty of other reasons beyond simply offering more money that will get the deal over the line. Perhaps the vendor needs a shorter (or longer) settlement period? Maybe they’d like to lease back the home for a few weeks? Perhaps you buying without a finance clause will help them say yes?
Ask the agent what the seller’s circumstances are and then think about what you can offer to be their preferred purchaser.
Of course, all these winning moves take time, effort and are most effective when backed up with experience. That’s why having a professional buyers’ agent on your side is really the number one move in getting ahead when purchasing your home. They will apply their knowledge and draw on their networks to find you an ideal home at the right price.
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