Tips for a successful purchase

13 February 2020

Our top tips for a successful purchase

1. Use a combination of your head and your heart

Buying a property can be one of the most challenging and emotionally charged experiences of your life, especially if you develop an emotional/lifestyle connection with the home. In these circumstances, it is always good to rely on logic and numbers, while listening to your heart and using intuition to tune in and find out what is driving that emotional connection.

2. Be prepared

We always advise our buyers to be prepared, and although market conditions change, it is almost always necessary to act quickly to secure the property you want. Do your research, have your finance in place, talk to a conveyancing specialist and understand the buying process. Being fully prepared will take a lot of the angst out of your decisions and will allow you to move quickly and decisively.

3. Make some lists

It is very important to know what you want and what you are willing to compromise on. Priorities shift when one big item outweighs the others, so work out your real priorities, what are the must haves and what are you prepared to compromise on. If you remain flexible and also realise that nothing is perfect, your approach to buying your dream home will be easier.

4. Make yourself known to agents

Don’t wait for your ideal property to jump out at you. Make yourself known to agents at open houses and register to be listed as a hot buyer. Subscribe to our Find out First alerts, ‘like’ agent’s Facebook pages and subscribe to all the real estate portal alerts. You may even consider appointing a Buyer’s Agent to do all the leg work and tricky negotiations.

5. Don’t hold back those feelings

Keeping your interest in a property to yourself is not a clever buying strategy. Rather, express your interest to the agent, ask questions and even ask for help should you need. Learn as much about the property as possible, a professional agent should know all the answers.

6. Future-proof your thinking

When deciding on a purchase it is wise to take the view that your circumstances may change in the future. Therefore, you should also consider a property’s potential in terms of expansion, renovation or rental to accommodate these changes. Similarly, it is also wise to consider the resale potential of the property.

Things you need to know:

Contract for Sale of Land
This is the binding, legal document you sign to secure the property. It will have all the statutory documents required including The Title Search (Torrens, Strata, Company), Council Zoning Certificate and Sewerage Diagrams. It will also stipulate the terms and conditions of sale.

Building, Pest and Strata Searches
The searches are important so seek professional advice but also be aware of some over zealous inspection reports that may scare you from buying. Undertake research on what is normal for both older and new houses and strata/company title units in the region. Many Agencies, including Cunninghams are booking these reports upfront to enable quick easy access digitally for prospective buyers. Make sure you understand how the ‘user pays’ and ‘warranty system’ works for the successful purchaser.

Preparing to make an offer
Before you make your move on a property, ensure you are in a position to proceed by doing the following preparation list.

Making an offer to purchase
Cunninghams only submits an offer to our seller in writing (via emails and text messages) from an intending purchaser. This way we hold an audit trail of all offers in a transparent manner, and apply this to ‘Private Treaty’ and ‘Prior to Auction’ sales.

Exchanging Contracts
Please be aware that under NSW law, there is no such thing as a verbal contract and by law, an agent must submit all offers to a seller. Once you have an offer accepted, be aware that until such time as contracts are exchanged, a seller has the right (despite any assurance to the contrary) to change their mind and either renege on the sale or accept a higher offer. Once an offer is accepted (or the hammer falls at auction), you will need to sign the contract and pay the required deposit. This is done either unconditionally or, in some cases, with a cooling off period.
So when negotiating, ensure you understand which of these are applicable. Once executed and exchanged with the seller, the property is yours and you cannot be gazumped. A contract exchanged with a cooling off period gives the purchaser the right to pull out of the contract with the loss of 0.25% of the purchase price but does not give any such rights to the seller.

Most contracts are now issued and exchanged digitally so be prepared with the understanding of what is involved. As always, ask the agent any questions.

This is when ownership is transferred, full payment is made and possession is granted. Prior to settlement there will be plenty of checks and balances undertaken by your legal representatives while your finance broker will be finalising your finances.

There are a number of things for you to do as well including arranging utility connections, packing, removalists, insurances, mail redirection, pre-settlement inspections and access to the property. We can guide you on all of these processes.

Post settlement
Once you have the keys and possession of the property, you are now responsible for whatever happens next. Some unexpected bits and pieces may occur, so be as prepared as possible and welcome to home ownership.

Our hot tips

• Get yourself a good finance broker early and lock in your loan. We recommend you talk to the team at Smartmove Mortgage Advisors on 02 9968 5000 for the most professional service.

• Decide on good legal representation when choosing a solicitor/ conveyancer so that you fully understand what is required. Talk to your Agent for recommendations.

• Create strong relationships with some agents with whom you feel a connection. All our agents are greatly skilled and experienced and will be happy to help on any purchase whether it is through our company or not.

• Be flexible with your wish list. Narrowing down your options can be costly and could result in missing opportunities that could have otherwise ticked most of the boxes.

• If you’re buying at auction, bid with confidence and know your limits.

• Make it known that you’re interested, have a go, have fun, be positive and be successful.

• Do not make any assumptions on how things are done as the terms and conditions of sale can vary considerably from agent to agent. Ask questions as to how they handle multiple buyer negotiation, and seek clarity on anything you are unsure about.

For more information and advice please call 02 9949 7077 and speak with one of our trusted advisors.