Preparing to buy quickly

Preparedness can make or break your ability to snap up those great homes before they are sold out from under you.

In his recent column in Switzer, John McGrath gives some great advice about the need to move quickly – and how to do it.

Here’s what he had to say:

John Mcgrath

When you’re a buyer trying hard to get into a hot market – and new listings are being sold within an average of just nine days, you’re facing up to a challenge.

That’s why it’s important to prepare yourself to move quickly when a suitable new listing hits the market.

Before I get into my best tips for doing this, let’s have a look at some pretty amazing stats from CoreLogic RP Data canvassing average selling times across the capital cities right now.

As you’d expect, it’s a ‘hot market’ scenario in Sydney.

Nine days is seriously fast but that’s the average selling time for apartments in Constitution Hill near Parramatta in western Sydney.

It’s 12 days for apartments in Rosemeadow near Campbelltown in the far south-west as well as in Jannali in the Sutherland Shire down south.

Houses are selling fastest in Acacia Gardens near Blacktown in western Sydney, where the average days on market is just 16.

It’s followed by Kareela in the Sutherland Shire at 17 days and Werrington near Penrith in western Sydney at 18 days.

CoreLogic RP Data senior research analyst, Cameron Kusher points out that rising home values, low interest rates and short supply in many areas is creating a level of urgency among buyers that will keep average days on market low for the foreseeable future.

This information is based on private treaty sales in April 2015.

So, how do you prepare to buy quickly in a hot market? Here are my top tips:

1. Get your finance pre-approved.
You need to be 100% sure you can pay for the home before you make an offer

2. Have your solicitor and building/ pest inspectors ready to go.
Under no circumstances should you sign a contract of sale before you’ve had the appropriate legal advice from your solicitor.
Unlike an offer, a contract is a binding document

3. Create a list of your non-negotiable features and stick to it, so you can quickly sort through new listings

4. Attend the first inspection, which might be a midweek open

5. Contact agencies individually and ask to have your contact details put on their buyer databases.
This is much more effective than simply signing up for new property alerts on the major property portals.
Of course you want to do this too, but being on individual agency databases means you will probably get early notification of a new property BEFORE it is displayed on or – and that’s a significant advantage.

6. Build relationships with the top selling agents in the areas you are targeting.
If you position yourself as a serious, ready-to-go buyer, they will keep you front of mind.

7. Don’t play games with offers.
Low-ball offers are a waste of time in a rising market.
Look at recent sales of similar properties and make a good, solid first offer to get the ball rolling.

8. If the property is scheduled for auction, tell the agent you are interested and want to be kept informed.
Many properties are selling prior these days so you want to make sure you are included in any pre-auction negotiations.

9. Most states allow a cooling off period on private treaty sales, so you can move quickly and back out if you change your mind or find out about any problems with the deal.

10. When making an offer, put it in writing and mention that your finance has been pre-approved.
Verbal offers come and go but a written offer shows a higher level of commitment.
To further demonstrate how serious you are, sign the contract and attach a deposit cheque.
The agent can’t bank the cheque until the vendor has exchanged contracts with you.

Follow these tips and you’ll be well placed to snap up the next great property that comes along.

Want more of this type of information?


Australia's leading independent property commentator, brings together leading authorities on the property market. Each week at Real Estate Talk we take a fresh look at the property market so you get all the facts to help you make the right choice.

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