How to know what you are search­ing for

The Weekend Post - Real Estate - - Front Page - PETER FARAGO

With­out a list, buy­ers could be look­ing at prop­erty from dif­fer­ent an­gles.

“For ex­am­ple, he might want a lockup garage be­cause he wants a work­bench but she sees it as ‘it’s just a car, it can go on the street’,” Mr Bright said.

“You’re never go­ing to agree be­cause the prop­erty that meets both your re­quire­ments doesn’t ex­ist in your bud­get.

“Get an agree­ment on the list and if a house doesn’t meet the list, don’t look at it.”

Mr Bright said “must s” should in­clude agree­ment on the num­ber of bed­rooms and whether off-street park­ing was needed, while fea­tures like a sep­a­rate study and a lockup garage could be op­tions.

Clear com­mu­ni­ca­tion with selling agents is cru­cial.

“When yo u s p e a k to a n agent, run through the main fea­tures of your needs and wants and ask them if they’ve got any­thing that fits the de­scrip­tion,” Mr Bright said.

“You have to be clear with them or you will end up see­ing to­tally un­suit­able prop­er­ties.”

Buy­ers needed to let the agent know they were in the mar­ket to pur­chase but not get drawn into dis­cussing price.

“Tell them you’ll pay what­ever you think the prop­erty is worth based on your re­search and the con­di­tion the prop­erty is in,” he said.

Mr Bright said that by tak­ing an early morn­ing drive past homes they in­tended to in­spect, buy­ers could cross off homes that didn’t look or feel right.

He said the first in­spec­tion was a chance to see things that weren’t vis­i­ble on the in­ter­net.

“You should never buy sight un­seen. How does the floor­plan feel and how func­tional is it? Where does the light come in, do I have a good out­look?” Mr Bright said buy­ers should take notes, mark homes they wanted to see again and later rank them to de­cide which to fol­low up upon.

The head of home loans at in­dus­try su­per fund-owned ME bank, Pa­trick Nolan, said buy­ers also needed a lot of re­search to work out what a prop­erty was re­ally worth, es­pe­cially un­der the ham­mer.

“It can be dif­fi­cult to know ex­actly what a prop­erty will sell for at auc­tion ... Check out what sim­i­lar prop­er­ties have sold for in the area to get a rea­son­able idea,” he said.

He warned buy­ers not to act brashly for fear of miss­ing out.

“Sure, the prop­erty may seem per­fect to you, but if you miss out on this one, it’s a sure bet that another will come on to the mar­ket that sees you fall in love all over again,” he said.

There are also online tools to help buy­ers in their search.

Damien Brooks, Vic­to­rian st a te man­ager for reale state. com. au, said a new “dis­cover” tool al­lowed peo­ple to see which sub­urbs could meet their needs.

Mr Brooks said another tool cre­ated a page for ev­ery prop­erty in the na­tion, pro­vid­ing price es­ti­mates for homes not on the mar­ket, and help­ing peo­ple re­search what a prop­erty could be worth.

“When you make a prop­erty de­ci­sion, whether that be buy­ing or selling, try­ing to fig­ure out how much a prop­erty might be worth can be tricky at times, es­pe­cially if you’re new to the prop­erty mar­ket,” Mr Brooks said.

“Along with find­ing out the value of prop­er­ties in each area and de­tailed sub­urb in­for­ma­tion, we have our re­fined key­word search that helps peo­ple find spe­cific fea­tures such as pools or tim­ber floor­ing.”

PLAN FIRST: A com­bined list can help cou­ples search­ing for a home.

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