It’s winter, there are fewer properties on the market and prices are at record highs, can you still buy property?
The answer is yes – if you are organised.
When it comes to the quieter months, it is likely that there will be fewer properties on the market to choose from, however there will also be less competition from other buyers.
With less demand in the market, property prices are less likely to be pushed over emotional levels at auction.
This ultimately leads to sellers losing confidence, which is good for you as a buyer.
But you need to have a system so that you can make the most off the quiet times.
It is vital that you know how much the bank will lend you. Ask your mortgage broker to arrange pre-approval for your home loan. That way, you can make an offer with confidence.
Armed with your pre-approval you may also be able to offer a quick settlement; something that can be a major attraction for some sellers.
Do Your Research
Good mortgage brokers have access to databases such as RP Data; ask them to give you sales histories for the suburbs you are looking at. Once you have this data, keep it and update it as you follow current property sales in your areas. If you are organised you will soon be able to work out the value of a property.
Look for the hidden market
Believe it or not, one in ten homes sold were not listed on the open market. Often there are personal reasons why owners don’t want to publicise the fact that there house is for sale (for example, their business could be in trouble or they could be getting a divorce).
There are two key ways of tapping into this hidden market. One could be by befriending local real estate agents who may have housing stock for sale that they do not want to publicise. The other is to use a buyers’ agent; many of whom know where the hidden properties are and their value.
Wear Out the Shoe Leather
The best way of knowing how a property market is going is by attending as many auctions as possible. If you attend these week-in-week-out, you will soon get a feel for how things are going.
And, armed with your bank pre-approval, should there be a quiet patch one day, you can seize the opportunity, pounce and buy at a good price.
Know the Value of that property – TO YOU
Across the country auction clearance rates are currently just shy of 80 per cent. This means that two in every 10 houses do not sell at auction – clearly no-one was prepared to pay what the seller wanted on the day. With these properties, there are then plenty of opportunities to negotiate. But, if you are going to negotiate, be sure to know exactly how much you will pay.
Once you have decided on a figure, stick to it. After all, you know that there will be other properties passed in.
Graeme Salt – National Client Finance Manager, Chan & Naylor Finance Australia
Disclaimer: This article contains general information. Before you make any financial or investment decision you should seek professional advice to take into account your individual objectives, financial situation and individual needs.