Gaining a Buying Edge

Low interest rates and sound housing affordability are encouraging signs for local markets in 2012 and will create positive opportunities for buyers, particularly those ready to buy right now.

If you’re buying in 2012 and looking for an edge on the competition there are several ways you can better prepare.

Firstly, ensure you have lending pre-approval. With this in hand you know exactly how much you can spend, which will help narrow your property search. Having loan pre-approval also makes the negotiation and settlement of a property much smoother.

Searching for the right property can be time consuming, so before you commence have a strategy. Knowing the areas and types of property that fit your budget and goals will assist you to filter your search and find the property that best fits your personal investment profile.

The next step is research. Speak to local real estate agents about area demographics and local amenities, and source independent information and advice about the area’s or particular property’s historical capital growth. Historical growth trends can be a good indicator of the future capital growth prospects of a suburb and property, and can help you to determine whether or not it is a good investment.

Remember, location remains the key to any sound real estate investment. A quality property is typically complemented by well-developed local infrastructure that is easily accessed via major road networks. When you find the perfect property the next step is to determine its worth and how much you should pay. But don’t simply rely on the advice of the vendor’s real estate agent. Instead conduct your own investigation.

An effective way to determine the value of a property is to compare it to other sales. The sales must be recent and from the same area as the subject property. They should also have similar attributes such as land and dwelling size, age, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and the condition and fit out of the kitchen and wet areas. When purchasing property a sworn valuation can also be beneficial, ensuring you avoid overpaying.

Now you are ready to make an offer. Buying property is a skill; negotiate too soft and you risk overpaying, but negotiate too hard and you risk missing out. The key is to have a game plan that allows you to buy with confidence.

If you’re buying via private sale submitting a reasonable time-limited offer will ensure your offer is put to the vendor immediately, avoiding agents’ delay tactics to drive up the price. If you’re buying at auction your budget should be flexible and situation-specific.

Finding and purchasing the right property isn’t easy, however, you needn’t do it alone. A professional property advisor, buyer’s advocate or real estate agent can locate and negotiate the purchase of property on your behalf. Many will also liaise with specialised suppliers and contractors including builders, real estate agents, valuers and pest controllers to conduct the necessary due diligence before you sign the contract, giving you complete peace of mind.

WPB Property Group