Home ownership is expensive in Australia and the last thing you want to do, especially in a competitive market, is to overpay for your home and regret the decision later. The reality is it’s more important than ever for buyers to research the market, find out how much they can comfortably spend and stick to their budget.
The important thing is not to get too emotionally attached to any one house or property you are viewing. For this reason it’s worth investing in a buyer’s agent – a third party who can independently source, evaluate and negotiate a property on your behalf – who can tell you when to walk away and when to keep bidding.
At any given time there are always properties at all ends of the market selling over market value. Here are REBAA’s tips to avoid overpaying on your next property:
Research comparative sales in your neighbourhood
Compare recent sales prices of similar houses in the area/s you are looking to help you decide on an offer price.
Get building and pest reports
Make sure you get a professional building and pest report to understand the total costs required if more work is needed on the property. If unexpected repairs are needed, try to renegotiate the price and be prepared to walk away.
Choose a home with future needs in mind
Choose a home to grow with your family, one that has the potential to be extended or renovated. It may stretch you now but it may save you in the long-term in buying and selling costs.
Learn as much as you can about the seller
The reason behind a sale can often be a competitive advantage. Don’t be afraid to ask the agent as many questions about the seller as you can. On the flipside, keep your own personal finances and details to a minimum.
Be prepared to negotiate if you want the best deal and don’t be afraid to ‘haggle’ – it’s your money.
Understand the total costs of buying
Don’t forget to factor in the total costs of buying i.e. the mortgage insurance, stamp duty, building and pest inspections, conveyancing fees etc.
Take out the emotion – hire a professional
Spending money on a professional buyer’s agent can save you tens of thousands by keeping your wish list and budget top of mind.