We understand that buying a house is a very exciting time, however, it can also be very daunting, especially if you are a first home buyer. Below we have compiled a list of hints and facts to help you and explain the process!
Sell First or Buy First?
It seems frightening to sell your house before you have found your new dream home to move into, but truth is that most home buyers find their next property within a short space of time. By selling first, you will already have your finances organised and you will be in a strong position to be able to negotiate on price, time and even bid at auction. If you were to buy a new home prior to selling your house and include the sale of your home as a condition in the contract, you usually have a very short period in which to do so, which can put you under pressure to accept a lower offer. Sellers are also less likely to be negotiable on price and or terms.
Organise your Finances
Why look at a home until you know how much money you can afford to spend? It pays to go and see your bank or a mortgage broker to discuss your financial situation and how much money you can borrow. Remember that the cost of the home isn’t the only expense involved with purchasing property, you need to budget for building reports, stamp duty, legal fees, moving costs, insurance, valuations, etc. Set a realistic budget that you can afford and stick to it.
Searching for your New Home
The first step is to make a list. What do you want out of your new home?
– Size of home
– Number of bedrooms
– Type of property
– Garage and storage space
– Yard, pool, views
– Proximity to all amenities
– Plans for the future – pets, kids, downsizing, etc
Prioritise your list into your most important features and start searching. Drive through the area and surrounding suburbs you are looking to purchase in, search through the internet, sign up to newsletters or property alerts and look through property flyers. Establish a relationship with a local real estate agent that you trust, that specialises in the neighbourhood you are looking to reside in and one that will help you seek the property you are looking for and who is willing to go the extra to help you find it.
Negotiating and Making an Offer
Negotiating is a crucial part of the buying process! If you can make an offer that is attractive to the sellers in terms of price and very few conditions, you are more likely to have your offer accepted. The initial offer should include all the details of any conditions you are including in the sale. These might include being subject to a satisfactory building inspection, the sale of your current house, organising finance, a specific settlement date and anything else that is necessary to complete the sale. Ask your agent to send you a copy of the contract prior to signing it and get your legal representative to look over it. Once an offer has been accepted and a contract signed your real estate agent organise the deposit to be paid. Your agent will forward the contract to all chosen conveyancers and a copy to the vendor and purchaser.
Once all the conditions on the contract (if applicable) have been met the contract is unconditional. It is normal to organise a pre-settlement inspection to ensure the property is in the same condition as when you agreed to purchase it and all the fixtures and fittings that were specified in the contract as in place (dishwashers, remotes, curtains, etc).