Buying a property can be extremely difficult, especially if you don’t know how the process works, you don’t have a clue about the marketplace you are searching in or you haven’t bought for a long period of time. Let us give you some advice;
1: Ask an agent – There are such creatures as Buyers’ Agents and they will be able to assist you with your purchase. These people normally cost a small fee that is negotiated between yourself and the agent however they can generally negotiate a better asking price due to their local market expertise. If you don’t want to employ a Buyers’ Agent, then seek the help of a trusted Agent who can conjunct with another that you may not feel confident working with. This doesn’t cost you anything but it will allow them to achieve a fee for service by assisting the listing agent in selling their property (any decent Agent will share their commission to achieve a good result for their vendor in a shorter period of time).
2: Conduct your own research – Knowledge is power these days, and there are so many places to seek the information you require. A good start is the internet or investment journals which are normally based on statistics. If it isn’t too far, take a trip to the area that you are looking to purchase in so you can get a feel for the demographic, culture, livelihood, development and investment potential within the suburb. Failing that, join local chat sites and ask: the locals will always tell you the truth!
3: We are not saying you don’t have to pay for costly reports but….. – You don’t need to pay for investment printouts as the most accurate source of real estate information is Landgate and REIWA. Your Real Estate professional can provide you with a printed summary of current listings, recent sales and rentals within the area direct from these agencies. These sources collate data from all of the properties listed and sold in WA as reported through legal means. There are plenty of companies that claim to do the same but will cost you an arm and a leg. Why not let us do the hard work for you!
4: Once you find “The One” – A home is one of the most important assets that you will ever purchase, it’s not like buying a pair of shoes that if they don’t fit you can take them back. If your home doesn’t fit you can take it back but it’s guaranteed you will lose a huge amount of time, not to mention wasted money with fees such as stamp duty that you would have just paid. When you find the one, you will get the feeling straight away. Whether that be excitement, happiness or downright knowledge that this is the invesmtent for you. No home will ever be 100% perfect even if you do build it, you will need to visualise the things that can be changed to suit you, your family or your lifestyle within your set budget. When you know, it’s time to engage your Agent to take you through writing the offer on the property. An offer is a legal document and by law, it is required that every section be explained to you prior to signing and a copy of the Joint Form of General Conditions is provided to you at the time (this is the rulebook regarding buying and selling real estate). If you are unsure or need some support, take a friend or family member with you to write the offer.
5: Offer negotiation – The offer can be accepted, declined or countered and the agent should convey the result verbally and in writing to minimise any misunderstandings of the outcome. If the offer is low and the Seller feels it worthwhile to commence negotiations they may provide a counter offer. You have the opportunity to respond at this point. You also have the same rights as the Seller. Remember, it is the Seller’s home and whilst you are looking to achieve a bargain, they are looking to achieve a fair market price for their home. If the initial offer is acceptable, or the negotiation of an offer ends in an offer being accepted, the finer contract details and special conditions are carried out. For example, submitting the deposit, carrying out the building and pest inspections and obtaining your finance. If an offer is declined you have the choice to walk away or write another more suitable offer that can be agreed upon.
6: Offer through to settlement – On acceptance of an offer you will need to nominate a Settlement Agent, their role is to ensure all of the contract details are met by both buyer and seller and to liaise with agencies such as Landgate and Financial Instituions to ensure that transfer of the titles occur and all fees are paid at settlement. In most cases you are able to nominate a Settlement Agent to represent you however some brokers and agents have specified people that they would like you to work with. If this is the case, make sure their fees are decent. All special conditions that are attached to the contract must be met and the final inspection can be conducted as per the Joint Form of General Conditions, unless otherwise specified in the contract. The final inspection is your last chance to get into the home and check gas, electrical and plumbing prior to the property becoming yours.
7: Congratulations the property is yours! – Following settlement, the home will officially be yours. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have appropriate insurance to cover your home and contents where required. Whilst the Agent may be able to liaise with the Seller with certain questions that you may have following settlement, they have no rights or obligations to act on anyone’s behalf after the settlement date.