This is a skillset in its own right – from research and negotiation to the actual acquisition. If you’ve never bought property before, remember you are essentially buying (but also risking) a substantial chunk of your hard earned money. You’ll be up against skilled and seasoned real estate agents so if you aren’t familiar with real estate laws in the state your property is in, you’re actually quite vulnerable and likely to be misled. This is where an independent buyer’s agent or buyer advocate comes in. They can assist you with some or all the aspects of researching, searching, negotiating and acquisition and they are paid by the buyer, so they legally represent your interests.
Once you’ve found your ideal property it’s imperative that you send the contract to a conveyancer or solicitor to review and provide feedback before you sign it, even if you have the benefit of a cooling off period. Remember that contract law is always written in favour of the vendor. Your conveyancer will identify and help you address any areas of risk in the contract so that you are making a fully informed decision to proceed or not. They will also be able to draft special conditions in your favour to add to the contract.
Before an auction or when signing a contract, make sure you have the property attended by a building and pest inspector or include special conditions in the contract to that effect. They are part of your risk reduction process and the inspection will identify if there are any cosmetic or structural problems so that you can factor the cost of those repairs into any subsequent offer.
Once the contract is unconditional and if it’s an investment property, then you need to interview and engage a property manager to look after your precious asset on your behalf. Interview several managers as they will all offer differing levels of services. Also remember to ask for current testimonials.
By following these steps and engaging the relevant experts, you’ll give yourself the greatest chance of making sure your property buying experience is as painless and successful as possible.
What tips do you have to share with us about your property buying experience?
Miriam Sandkuhler is the founder of Property Mavens, a specialist property advisory firm in Melbourne. She excels at identifying high-performing property and strategically building a client’s portfolio with high capital and income growth assets. She is also a passionate advocate of fair play for all and complete accountability and transparency in the real estate industry. For more information visit www.miriamsandkuhler.com.au