Your guide to buying property

21 March 2020

Our top 6 tips for a successful purchase

Buying property can be a stressful experience. We hope these tips help you towards a smooth and seamless property transaction.

1. Use a combination of your head and your heart
Keeping a cool head is one thing but logic alone is often not enough. Buying a property can be one of the most challenging and emotionally charged experiences of your life especially for a property that really has an emotional/lifestyle connection. So combine looking with your head while listening to your heart.

2. Follow the PPPPP principle (Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance)
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. That way, when you find what you are after, you can act decisively.

3. Be flexible with your must have list
Priorities shift when one big item outweighs the others, so work out your real priorities, what are the must haves and what you may be 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. Leverage every opportunity to find the right property
Don’t just wait for the property to turn up. Get yourself known to agents at open houses and register to be on some hot buyer lists. Subscribe to Find out First alerts, ‘like’ agent’s Facebook pages and subscribe to all the portal alerts.

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. Think towards the future
When deciding on a purchase it is wise to take the view that your circumstances may change, therefore, you should also consider a property’s potential in terms of expansion, renovation or rental. Similarly, it is also wise to consider the re-sale 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.

Preparing to make an offer
Before you make your move on a property, ensure you are in a position to proceed. Have the contract examined by your legal representative; be aware of the terms of sale; do your due diligence on the property; arrange your deposit; have your finances pre-approved; and disclose the rules of engagement (process) of submitting an offer with the agent.

In the case of making an offer prior to auction, you must be prepared to exchange contracts promptly and unconditionally.

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

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 and access to the property. We can help with 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 events may happen so be prepared and welcome to home ownership!

Hot tips

> Get yourself a good finance broker early and lock in your loan. We recommend you talk to the team at Smartmove on 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.

For more information and advice please call one of our trusted advisers on 02 9949 7077.