Pros­per from a pri­vate sale

Herald Sun - Property - - FRONT PAGE -

WHILE auc­tions de­mand much of the glory and at­ten­tion of me­dia cov­er­age, most homes are sold by pri­vate sale, which is the tech­ni­cal term for the straight­for­ward method of of­fer­ing a home for sale, usu­ally with a price or price guide.

With pri­vate sales, the buyer can of­fer to pur­chase at any time and with any con­di­tions.

Here are my tips for suc­cess­fully buy­ing a home listed in this way.

Let us imag­ine the sce­nario of a free-stand­ing home priced at $500,000. Be­fore you start, es­tab­lish the mar­ket you are in.

Is it a seller’s mar­ket, or a buyer’s mar­ket? A strong mar­ket means you may have to of­fer full price and go fur­ther if other of­fers are on the ta­ble.

In our sce­nario, this means that the $500,000 price could end up at $510,000-plus. In a quiet mar­ket you can of­fer a lower price — maybe $475,000 — and work up.

The sec­ond step is to work out the seller’s sit­u­a­tion.

Why are they sell­ing? How long has the home been listed? Have there been any pre­vi­ous of­fers? If the sale fell through, why?

Ask the agent ques­tions like this Price guide: Agent: di­rectly. They must dis­close any de­fects or is­sues of which they have a clear knowl­edge.

How­ever, a seller who listed only a week ago and has a packed open house will not feel un­der any pres­sure to sell im­me­di­ately and will be wait­ing for that ‘‘top’’ of­fer.

Al­ter­na­tively, the ven­dors may have bought an­other house be­fore the sale, cre­at­ing fi­nan­cial pres­sure, or maybe there is other bad news forc­ing a quick sale.

If that sit­u­a­tion is com­bined with slower mar­ket con­di­tions, this can be the time to make a lower of­fer.

The third step is to un­der­stand what you are buy­ing. You need to un­der­stand the ti­tle of the prop­erty, the bound­aries and ease­ments. Look at the build­ing be­fore the build­ing in­spec­tion. How old is it? Look in the roof, study the struc­ture from out­side, open and shut doors and win­dows.

Check the ap­pli­ances, hot wa­ter, heat­ing and cool­ing. Also, ex­am­ine the electrics and con­sider broad­band avail­abil­ity and speed.

Now check in­sur­ance. If there is an is­sue, find out why. It may af­fect your whole at­ti­tude to­wards the prop­erty and cer­tainly will af­fect your abil­ity to ar­range a mort­gage.

Next, visit the prop­erty at var­i­ous times of the day. A quiet street with am­ple park­ing could be packed at other times.

The sixth step is to grab a mate. Th­ese are the real es­tate agents’ night­mare as they can scup­per a sale. But if th­ese peo­ple re­ally know you well, drag them along. They are there to pur­sue the ‘‘feel­ing’’ and con­di­tion of the home and match it to their knowl­edge of your likes.

Get­ting your fi­nances in place, and ap­point­ing a lawyer be­fore mak­ing an of­fer, makes you look like you are se­ri­ous.

If the mar­ket is strong you may have to sell your of­fer and terms to the agent. But never bow to pres­sure. Make sure you have the pur­chase checked and don’t com­pro­mise your due dili­gence.

Don’t be afraid to quote is­sues you feel jus­tify the lower of­fer; a seller is not at­tracted to a buyer of­fer­ing low with­out jus­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Act pro­fes­sion­ally and un­der­stand the agent acts for the seller, not you.

Hav­ing a lit­tle in­sight is a sure way to buy your dream home at the right price. An­drew Win­ter is host of

on The Life­style Chan­nel

18 Roys­ton Ave, Ber­wick Prop­erty:

253 Shaws Rd, Wer­ribee Prop­erty:

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