How to know what you are searching for
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.