In a rising property market, when homes sell quickly and for a lot, buyers often find themselves repeatedly missing out on properties they want to buy.
We know this can be a depressing, difficult and disheartening experience. And when it keeps on happening, you can start to wonder what you’re doing wrong.
Missing out on property can happen in any market. But more often than not it happens when demand outstrips supply and the market starts running hot, just like it is in 2021.
In our area, we’ve seen record-breaking price rises. House prices in Alexandria rose 30% over 2020 – a higher gain than anywhere else in Sydney. Meanwhile, in the first quarter of 2021, the median house price in Zetland rose $110,000 according to data from realestate.com.au – that’s more than $1,200 a day.
So, when buyers ask us how they can stop missing out on buying a property, here’s our advice.
1. Let the agent know you are keen
Sounds silly right? Why would you give your game away and let an agent know you’re interested?
The answer is that playing your cards too close to your chest means an agent may discount your interest. Then, someone makes an offer and the agent begins negotiating with them and you’re out of the loop.
In a hot market, it’s critical to communicate with the selling agent over any property you’re interested in. If they don’t know you’re genuinely interested, you may not be given the chance to even make an offer. Ask to be kept informed.
2. Request the contract
If you spot a property you’re interested in, always request a copy of the contract and have your solicitor or conveyancer do the due diligence. That way, you’re ready to act.
Buying a property can mean missing out on a few along the way, so ask around and find a solicitor or conveyancer who’s happy to review a few contracts before they start charging you.
3. Request the strata report
If you’re buying an apartment, villa or townhouse in a strata complex, part of your due diligence should include obtaining a strata report.
We appreciate that this can take some time, so to speed it up, at Clark Estate Agents we typically have the strata report ready for any of our properties to provide for free to any prospective apartment buyers.
4. Get your finance is in order
You can’t act fast if you don’t have the finance to buy. So make sure you’ve spoken to your bank or mortgage broker before you get too serious and get your home loan pre-approved.
After all, delays with finance are one of the most common reasons we see keen buyers miss out.
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5. Do your homework and act fast
If we had to give one piece of advice that covers it all it would be this: be prepared, be fast.
Being prepared means having done your research and due diligence in all areas: from getting finance in place to having been through enough properties to know this is definitely the one for you.
It also means getting a building and pest inspection. Line these up as soon as you’re interested in a property, if the agent doesn’t already provide one.
Taking these steps is what gives you the certainty to act. Now, once you see a property you like, don’t hesitate.
6. Be realistic about price
In a rising property market, it’s hard to keep track of the market. Prices feel like they’re going up every single day. That means a property that sold next door or down the road may not be that relevant even if it sold only six months ago.
Keep an eye on sales results on the major property websites, look at auction results, keep in contact with the selling agents, and watch any median price rises closely. That way you’ll know if you’re paying enough to snare the property you want by today’s standards, not yesterday’s.
7. Don’t be shy, make an offer
Even if a property is scheduled for auction, it never hurts to have a conversation with the agent about making an offer.
Make an offer before others can. It may not be accepted, but at least the agent will know you’re serious and often it can be a case of ‘first in, first served’.
8. Keep your eye on the prize
One mistake we see all too often is buyers focused on getting a bargain when they should be focused on getting into the market. If you’re only interested in getting a cheap price, you’ll find yourself missing out time and time again. Work out what it will cost to actually secure the property. Paying a fair price for you and the owner may mean you have to stretch. But that may be what it takes to actually walk away with the property. A few thousand dollars more now might be worth it in the long run.
9. Consider using a buyer’s agent.
While a real estate agent acts for the vendor, as the name suggests, a buyer’s agent acts for the buyer. They can be a useful source of information and expertise, and advise you on price, value, what to look for, negotiation tactics and how to put in a strong offer without paying over the odds. A buyer’s agent will bid at auction on your behalf and even have access to off-market sales that never get advertised through their contacts. They can give you a real advantage in a competitive market.
If you’re interested in buying, selling or renting a property in our local area, contact us today.