You’ve done an inspection and it’s love at first sight. The property ticks every box and you’re already mentally furnishing the lounge. Your heart may begin nervously fluttering for another reason though – the burning question of “how do I put in an offer on a house?”
To increase your chances of securing the keys, here are some tips from Atria’s real estate experts.
Do your homework.
Serious buyers know the market. They’ve looked at recent sale prices for similar properties in the area and have a figure in mind. Find out why the vendor is selling. Have they purchased elsewhere and would be open to a quick settlement? This knowledge can help determine your next move.
Any offer must be at the upper end of reasonable, even in a buyers’ market, otherwise the vendor is unlikely to consider it. Of course this figure is dependent on your pre-approval for finance, and you should be very clear on what you can afford, and the limit of what you are willing to pay for a property. These factors are non-negotiable and must guide any discussion you have with an agent about an offer.
If you’re buying at auction, make sure you’ve attended four or five local auctions previously to get a sense of how it all plays out, before bidding on your dream home.
Assess the competition
Atria specialists suggest interested buyers attend the first inspection. This is an easy way to gauge interest in the property. If parties are scrambling for the contract on day one, it’s likely the property will attract or surpass its reserve price. If there is less interest, lucky you. Armed with your pre-approval and an unconditional offer, you might be able to jump the queue providing an early offer. Some vendors are likely to enter into a negotiation at this early stage to also avoid auctions, which increases your chance of success.
Avoid any nasty surprises
Buyer beware is a catch cry for a reason. It’s essential that serious buyers undertake a pest and building inspection on a property prior to making an offer. While it may seem expensive, it’s a drop in the ocean compared to buying a house riddled with termites, sagging stumps or faulty wiring.
Lead with your head, not your heart.
Buying a property can be an emotional roller coaster, however with financial decisions as monumental as this, you must check your heart at the door. The first decision is setting a hard price limit. You need to be able to walk away from a sale if the price goes higher – whether it’s at auction or private treaty.
If you aren’t successful, be philosophical. Maybe the next property you inspect will tick even more boxes. This mindset will keep you in good stead. If you don’t trust yourself to stay cool, have a trusted friend or buyers’ advocate available to seek advice from, or even bid on your behalf.
Negotiating like a pro.
There are many sliding doors moments in a property negotiation. Should you put in an early offer? Is bidding at auction a safer bet? If we knew the answers at Atria we’d be clairvoyant, but in every situation there are certain steps that can increase your chances of success.
In a negotiation, try ‘upping the ante’ by going old school and presenting a cheque to the agent with a deposit amount for your offered price. The agent will immediately speak to the vendor and you’ve just started a discussion on your terms. If that offer falls short, make gradual increases, but put a full stop in when you reach your limit. Remember, walk away!
In any negotiation there will be compromises. Be flexible and accommodating. Know where your hard line is, but allow an open mind on the settlement period, the deposit amount, or the conditions for existing tenants/vacant possession. These concessions can get you over the line and into your dream home faster.
An auction can feel like a baptism by fire. Prepared buyers know they are liable for a holding deposit if they win the bidding. Minimise the stress by having your online banking set up to be able to process the deposit.
Follow these tips and you’ll be ready to buy a home. To discuss your options for property ownership, speak to our experts at Atria. Confidence comes from experience and knowledge.
Call us on 03 8680 9421 or pop by our Bay Street office for a cuppa tea and chat.