10 ways to build your buying confidence in 2024.
Buying a home is a significant life decision that can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, feeling confident in your home-buying journey and the decisions you make along the way is crucial. To help you get started, we’ve outlined our top 10 ways to build your buying confidence in 2024.
1. Finance first.
Before your property search even begins, you need to know how much you can afford to spend! Talk to a mortgage broker and/or bank, and be sure to shop around for the best deal taking into account rates, fees and fine print.
House hunting can take more time than expected, so check if there is a time limit on your pre-approval as this may expire at a certain date. Also, find out if you are eligible for any government schemes or grants for buyers.
Don’t forget to also factor in the other costs of buying including building inspection reports, removalist fees, stamp duty etc.
2. Get clear on what you want.
Before you start searching draw up a property wish-list to help keep your search on track. Consider the following:
- Your non-negotiables i.e. number of bedrooms and bathrooms, accessibility, parking, yard size etc.
- Property features & local amenities for your lifestyle and family size (now and in the future)
- Things like wall colours can be easily changed, while alterations to the floor plan, kitchen or bathroom can be costly
Read more about creating a property search brief.
3. Research your local market.
Speak to your local agency for an in-depth suburb report and area analysis of recent sales and attend open houses to compare property features and asking prices. Read more about researching the property market to buy.
4. Attend inspections.
Now is the time to start attending as many open for inspections as possible. The more homes you visit, the more you’ll realise what’s within your budget and what you’re willing to compromise on. Get ready to clear your calendar on a Saturday which is when most open home inspections are held, with many homes also open mid-week too.
Learn what to look for when inspecting a property.
5. Understand the process of buying.
Now is the time to familiarise yourself with the terminology and process of buying a property. Read up on the main ways property is sold, along with what happens when contracts are exchanged (including a cooling-off period or whether this is waived under a ‘66W’) plus how final property settlement works.
6. Learn about property titles.
A property title is a collection of rights and regulations tied to a property. Freestanding houses typically have a freehold title while units, townhouses, villas, and commercial spaces are usually governed by strata or company titles, with different regulations and responsibilities applying to each. Always check the title of any property you’re considering and research what your responsibilities would be.
Read more about buying a strata property.
7. Be aware not all listings are advertised.
Don’t just rely on property portals for new listings, as some properties are sold ‘off-market’. In this case, property details are shared via a dedicate website or buyer’s agent networks without being advertised to the wider public. Check if your local real estate agents do off-market listings and register your interest if so.
8. Find a good local agent.
A skilled and experienced real estate agent can be your greatest ally when buying, providing valuable market insight and helping you navigate the entire process. Find out who covers your area and check their client reviews on Google or Rate My Agent. Word of mouth is also a good way to find out who can help you so ask around for recommendations.
Chat to your local agent about your budget and requirements; that way they can let you know about relevant upcoming listings before they go live.
9. Brush up on your negotiation skills.
Negotiation is a crucial part of buying property – from the final price to the length of settlement, to fixtures and fittings, everything can be up for discussion. Once you’ve found a place you like, find out everything you can about it including sale history, inclusions, reasons for selling, time on the market and so forth, and use this to inform your final negotiations.
If you’re not confident negotiating brush up on your skills beforehand or ask a family member, trusted friend or a buyer’s agent to accompany or represent you. Read more tips on negotiating.
10. Be patient and keep emotions in check.
Buying a home can be an emotionally charged process, where feelings of excitement can quickly turn into disappointment. To help keep your emotions in check, remember:
- The market is competitive and you may not be able to secure that dream property you’ve fallen in love with
- If you miss out, new stock will always come to the market
- Check your budget and wish list are realistic – get a reality check from a professional if you seem to be getting nowhere
- Taking a partner, friend or family member along to inspections provides an important sounding board for decision-making
While each buyer’s journey differs in nature and length, following these tips and having the correct information at your fingertips means you will be ready to move quickly and confidently when the right property comes along.
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