Category: Buying

Making An Offer On A House – Where To Start | Century 21

Not sure where to start when making an offer on a house? Century 21 has you covered with the basic know-how. Browse now for more information.

You’ve been spending Saturdays driving around to open inspections. You’ve weighed up the pros and cons of each house you’ve looked at. Now you’ve made your decision and it’s time to put in an offer.  Where do you start?

Making an offer on a property you have set your heart on can be nerve-wracking. Just like any negotiation process you have to start somewhere but you don’t want to put in too high an offer and pay more than the house is worth, nor start too low and possibly miss out.

Before you put in your offer

Before you even make an offer on a house, be sure to do some legwork. Research the property thoroughly online to determine a fair market price. Look at how long the property has been on the market and check out recent sales of comparable properties in the same area.

Next, ask the selling agent who showed you around the property for some more information. Ask him or her about any previous offers and what price they think the vendors will accept. Ask why any previous offers were rejected. Request a second property inspection to be sure this is the house you want and also to get to know the agent and show serious interest.

Once you are sure you want to put in an offer, decide on the maximum price you would be willing to pay for the property and ensure your lender has preapproved a loan for this amount.

Conditional and unconditional offers

Most vendors selling by private treaty, rather than auction, set a sale price above the price they will actually accept to leave some wriggle room for negotiation. If they have a good selling agent however who has advised them wisely, this will be very close to a fair market value.

Having done your research, you will know whether or not this is the case and can decide on a fair first offer accordingly with room for the vendors to negotiate down and for you to negotiate up. It’s not advisable to put in a very low offer that could offend the vendors and stop them from negotiating with you further.

Offers can be either conditional, where you put conditions on the offer, or unconditional. It’s highly advisable to make your offer conditional on certain requirements such as obtaining finance or subject to the results of building and pest inspections. If any problems arise after you have had the inspections done, then you can use these to negotiate lower on price.

Put it in writing

Not all states require that your offer must be in writing but it’s advisable to do so anyway in order to have a record of the negotiations and what each offer and its conditions are.

This should take the form of a formal offer in writing (either letter or email) to the selling agent outlining the price you would like to offer and any conditions.

You can also offer favourable terms to the vendors such as a shorter or longer than average settlement term to sweeten your offer.

The waiting game begins

The selling agent will pass your offer on to the vendors. Be patient, wait and see the vendors’ response and whether they come back with a counter offer. Negotiations can go back and forth for some time, so consider each of your responses carefully and keep your top price in mind.

Keep the tone of all negotiations formal and neutral. Aim for a win-win for both yourself and the vendors and the process should go smoothly.

If negotiations reach your top price, then spell out that this is your limit and you are unable to go any higher. At this stage, the selling agent will likely advise the vendors to accept your highest offer.

Once a price has been agreed, you are on your way to owning your own home. The contract can be finalised and, once signed by both parties and the deposit paid, the deal is completed!

With over 3,000 offices, CENTURY 21 is the largest real estate sales organisation in the Asia Pacific region. We’ll help you purchase the property of your dreams. For more information on making an offer on a house, buying or selling, please get in touch with a local member of our team now.

 

 

 


0 comments | Posted by Administrator on 07/12/2016 at 3:30 PM | Categories: Buying - Investors - First Home Buyers -

Making An Offer On A House – Where To Start | Century 21

Not sure where to start when making an offer on a house? Century 21 has you covered with the basic know-how. Browse now for more information.

You’ve been spending Saturdays driving around to open inspections. You’ve weighed up the pros and cons of each house you’ve looked at. Now you’ve made your decision and it’s time to put in an offer.  Where do you start?

Making an offer on a property you have set your heart on can be nerve-wracking. Just like any negotiation process you have to start somewhere but you don’t want to put in too high an offer and pay more than the house is worth, nor start too low and possibly miss out.

Before you put in your offer

Before you even make an offer on a house, be sure to do some legwork. Research the property thoroughly online to determine a fair market price. Look at how long the property has been on the market and check out recent sales of comparable properties in the same area.

Next, ask the selling agent who showed you around the property for some more information. Ask him or her about any previous offers and what price they think the vendors will accept. Ask why any previous offers were rejected. Request a second property inspection to be sure this is the house you want and also to get to know the agent and show serious interest.

Once you are sure you want to put in an offer, decide on the maximum price you would be willing to pay for the property and ensure your lender has preapproved a loan for this amount.

Conditional and unconditional offers

Most vendors selling by private treaty, rather than auction, set a sale price above the price they will actually accept to leave some wriggle room for negotiation. If they have a good selling agent however who has advised them wisely, this will be very close to a fair market value.

Having done your research, you will know whether or not this is the case and can decide on a fair first offer accordingly with room for the vendors to negotiate down and for you to negotiate up. It’s not advisable to put in a very low offer that could offend the vendors and stop them from negotiating with you further.

Offers can be either conditional, where you put conditions on the offer, or unconditional. It’s highly advisable to make your offer conditional on certain requirements such as obtaining finance or subject to the results of building and pest inspections. If any problems arise after you have had the inspections done, then you can use these to negotiate lower on price.

Put it in writing

Not all states require that your offer must be in writing but it’s advisable to do so anyway in order to have a record of the negotiations and what each offer and its conditions are.

This should take the form of a formal offer in writing (either letter or email) to the selling agent outlining the price you would like to offer and any conditions.

You can also offer favourable terms to the vendors such as a shorter or longer than average settlement term to sweeten your offer.

The waiting game begins

The selling agent will pass your offer on to the vendors. Be patient, wait and see the vendors’ response and whether they come back with a counter offer. Negotiations can go back and forth for some time, so consider each of your responses carefully and keep your top price in mind.

Keep the tone of all negotiations formal and neutral. Aim for a win-win for both yourself and the vendors and the process should go smoothly.

If negotiations reach your top price, then spell out that this is your limit and you are unable to go any higher. At this stage, the selling agent will likely advise the vendors to accept your highest offer.

Once a price has been agreed, you are on your way to owning your own home. The contract can be finalised and, once signed by both parties and the deposit paid, the deal is completed!

With over 3,000 offices, CENTURY 21 is the largest real estate sales organisation in the Asia Pacific region. We’ll help you purchase the property of your dreams. For more information on making an offer on a house, buying or selling, please get in touch with a local member of our team now.

 

 

 


0 comments | Posted by Administrator on 07/12/2016 at 3:30 PM | Categories: Buying - Investors - First Home Buyers -

Three tips for purchasing at auction

Three tips for purchasing at auction

Auctions can be intimidating, especially if you’re a first home buyer or have never attempted to purchase at auction previously. But it can be a fun experience and has the potential to result in a great purchase. Here are my top tips for buying a home at auction.

1. Familiarise yourself with the process
If you have time, attend auctions of similar properties to what you are looking for and in the same suburb. Listen and watch the process and become familiar with how it works. This will allow you to form a better understanding of the local market and to get comfortable with the auction process.

2. Set a limit
It is easy to get caught up in the pace of an auction and the desire to win. Overcome this temptation by setting a budget before you start. Know your upper limit and be strict with yourself on stopping at that limit. However, also consider having a small contingency set aside in case the difference between winning your dream home and not getting it is a matter of $1000 - $2000. Over the lifetime of your loan and property ownership, a small amount of extra money may be worth spending if you truly feel the property is worth purchasing.

3. Be informed
Ensure you have done your due diligence on the property itself. Make sure you have a building and pest inspection in hand and all your finances prepared. If possible, have your solicitor to look over the contracts in place prior to auction. Make sure that you know what conditions are in place, as some auctions require a deposit to be paid on the day.


0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 20/11/2015 at 2:43 PM | Categories: Buying -

Should you buy a house or an apartment?

It seems to be a very common question when it comes to buying real estate, particularly for first and second-time buyers – will it be better decision to purchase a house or an apartment?

As a starting point, the factors that go into making this decision are mostly personal preferences.  These include whether the property is an investment or to be your residence, the location that you’d like to live in, how many people will be living in the property, what types of maintenance you are prepared to carry out personally, and so on and so forth. 

Investment vs. Primary Residence
Many investors find apartments to be easier purchases for a number of reasons.  Apartments do not necessarily require the larger amount of external maintenance (e.g. gardens, pools) and attention that an individual house will need, and the building’s strata manager/committee will usually take care of most building and remedial work that is required.  However, having this advantage comes at the cost of strata levies to the investor, which may have an adverse effect on the rental income that the property delivers. 

Investors should also consider the length of time they plan to hold on to a property for and the capital gains desired from the investment.  Using historical pricing as a guide, we have seen that both houses and apartments experience value gains; over a short to medium-term period, houses and apartments appear to show similar price gains, however over the longer term houses may see larger growth in value. 

For investors, rental potential and income are other factors that require consideration.  Many real estate agents believe houses to hold appeal for a larger market of renters, including families with children and pets, who may steer clear of apartment living.  Houses also often allow a higher rent to be charged. 

Having said this, however, price is obviously a factor that will be of pertinence to many buyers, whether purchasing as an investment or home.  While some apartments can be more expensive than houses (e.g. penthouses with water views in costly suburbs), in general terms, houses are usually the more expensive purchase, especially if you are comparing properties in the same area.  Apartments therefore may be a more friendly purchase option, especially for first-time buyers.      

Location & Space
High density housing is commonly found in city areas and suburbs that are only a short distance from the CBD.  Thus, if you desire an inner-city lifestyle, an apartment may be the best property option.  However, if you wish to live further away from the city and have enough room to accommodate several people including children and pets, you may find the extra space (both internally and externally) that a house usually provides may be more appropriate for your situation. 

In the end, the choice between an apartment and a house very much comes down to your personal circumstances.  By thinking about your needs and thoroughly researching the property market at the time you wish to buy, you should be able to reach a decision that is suitable for your situation.

If you would like advice regarding your situation and the decision to buy a house or an apartment, please feel free to visit one of the many CENTURY 21 offices around Australia.         


1 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 04/04/2011 at 9:25 AM | Categories: Buying - Investors - First Home Buyers -

Why it is important to attend an open house before buying a property

Although they can sometimes be a great deal of work, the open house is one of my favourite aspects of the real estate selling process.  In most cases, much preparation will have gone in to ensuring that the property shines on the day, and owners are proud of what they are offering to the public. 

With property being one of the largest purchases that the average person will make over a lifetime, I am usually quite surprised to hear of situations where acquisitions are made by people who haven’t seen the property previously.   To me, the open house is an ideal way for prospective buyers to get a feel for a property and to ask questions of agents face to face in an environment where answers can be instantly understood and applied. 

I came across an article to this effect on the Sydney Morning Herald website recently, entitled ‘Chance to get all facts on the table’ by the chief executive of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, Enzo Raimondo. 

In the article, Mr Raimondo talks about the open house as an important and necessary part of the research needed to make what could be one of the most expensive purchases of your life, as they give you the opportunity to talk to agents and see a property of interest first hand. 

So how can buyers prepare for open homes and what should they be doing while attending?

Mr Raimondo suggests that before attending an open house buyers should make a checklist of important attributes and what they require from the property, such as architectural features or location. 

Upon arriving at an open house, Mr Raimondo recommends that buyers take the time to talk to the agents who are showing the house.  These people are experts, with both knowledge about the property and the local area, and even if the property in question turns out to not be what you are looking for, these agents can potentially keep you updated on other listings in their books that may be of interest. 

These agents can also keep you informed about the listing status of the property at hand, including letting you know when it sells or advising you of when to make an offer. 

In any case, properties can look very different in real life to how they appear in print or online.   Physically visiting a property before you purchase it will allow you to get a good feel for it, and to see whether or not you can envisage yourself living there. 


0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 21/03/2011 at 10:20 AM | Categories: Buying - First Home Buyers -

Home intelligence could add value to your property

It’s pretty hard to ignore the speeding train that is technology these days.  And I’m the first to acknowledge the opportunities for business that technology offers – over the years CENTURY 21 Australia has been able to utilise and embrace various innovations to achieve considerable success in the Australian real estate market. 

Beyond the office though – what types of technology do people wish to incorporate into their homes? As real estate agents we definitely focus a lot on beautifying, styling and readying a home for sale, and considering the value add potential of any cosmetic improvements that are made during a renovation or rebuilding process. 

But over recent years it is becoming apparent that people are increasingly placing value on the existence of technology in their homes.  And I’m not just talking about an entertainment system that ensures your DVD player is connected to your television, I’m referring to an entirely interconnected network that pretty much allows you to wire your home to respond to your every whim. 

An article by Paul Best recently appeared on the Sydney Morning Herald website, entitled ‘Unlimited control of your life’, which considered the ways that average suburban homes around Australia are turning into ‘smart homes’.

According to the article, processes of automation including controlling lighting, security, access to the house, communications and media distribution are usually what people first imagine when they think of technology in the home.  Recent advances however, as explained by Michael Staindl of Smart Systems, means that these intelligent systems are integrated, and your property’s lighting, security, heating/cooling, entertainment and communications all work harmoniously. 

The article uses the example of a security system which lets your cleaners in at prescribed times each week, and sends you an SMS when they come and go. 

The article surmises that the advent of such technological innovation in homes has been driven by the iPhone and iPad.  The apps available on these devices have given users a large amount of intuitive functionality and have started people thinking about what else is possible. 

The article leaves us with the message that smart homes are becoming increasingly standard, which gives home owners something to think about, even those who do not consider themselves to be all that technologically savvy. 

Incorporating technology into your home could be worth considering when renovating or building from scratch, as it seems to have the potential to not only make your life easier in the short term, but also could also add value to your property when it comes time to sell. 

 


1 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 15/03/2011 at 11:30 AM | Categories: Buying - Investors - State of the Market -

Good news for the rural housing market

It is no secret that rural Australia has had a tough time of late.  With the plethora of flash natural disasters experienced across the nation over the past few years, as well as extended periods of ongoing drought, it has been hard for our farmers to catch a break, as well as to encourage city-dwellers to consider a move inland. 

Australia is an incredibly urbanised country, with approximately 82% of the Australian population living in major metropolitan regions (Source: Federalism and Regionalism in Australia – Rural Australia and the need for reform). 

And with Australia’s growing housing shortage and worsening affordability in our cities, our rural communities could be good options for people looking to relocate out of Australia’s urban centres. 

The attractiveness of these options was reinforced with the recent release of the Australian Commodities report by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences which revealed that earnings from Australia’s commodity exports are expected to rise by 14 per cent to a record $251 billion in 2011 – 12.

This is excellent news for the residential property market in rural Australia, where such strong expectations for our commodity markets could very well translate to solid growth in rural property prices and an increased demand for many rural homes. 

It is my prediction that properties or rural homes that are in, or positioned close to, the areas that benefit the most from increased prices on world markets and bumper harvests, can expect to see the strongest growth in values. 

There is a good possibility that the strength of Australia’s commodity markets will see rising demand for rural real estate over the coming years, with farmers enlarging their current holdings, ex-rural based Australians returning to the country, and new players entering the market. 

There is no doubt that most Australians appreciate the beauty of rural Australia.  And with the state of housing affordability in our capital cities, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if some people start to consider a move to the country.  If commodity prices continue to improve, as we have seen predicted, they will act as further incentive for people to relocate to the fresh air and open spaces of rural Australia. 

 


0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 15/03/2011 at 11:28 AM | Categories: Buying - Investors - State of the Market -

Preparing to buy and sell Real Estate in Autumn

An RP Data study conducted in the middle of last year showed that autumn, followed by spring, is the busiest season for real estate, attracting the largest number of sales.  As we are now heading into autumn, this means that there are is a large amount of people who are currently preparing to either buy or sell real estate, or both. 

For those selling, it is important to make sure that your property stands out amongst all the other listings on the market.  Chris Gray, in an article on Real Estate.com.au entitled ‘Preparing your property for sale this autumn’ suggests that simple cosmetic alterations can vastly increase a property’s appeal to buyers, and gives sellers the following tips:

  • Declutter – remove all excess furniture, photos and other unnecessary items.  Buyers want to imagine how a property will look when they add their own touch. 
  • Perform a quick cosmetic renovation – simply replacing the carpet and repainting is affordable and can instantly refresh any property.  Stay away from do-it-yourself jobs, as the results rarely compare to a professional job. 
  • Style your property – Stick with simple furniture and a neutral colour palette so that potential buyers can imagine how they would add their own touch. 

It is amazing how even the most minor improvements can increase a property’s appeal and thus drive up its value.  And with the large volume of listings that autumn will see, it is important to highlight the value of your property to potential buyers. 

For those people preparing to buy property going into autumn, I think it is a highly worthwhile exercise to have everything necessary in order so that the decision to buy can be made quickly if need be.  This includes having mortgage pre-approval (if obtaining financing), appropriate legal representation and lining up a company to conduct the necessary inspections. 

Having said this, I don’t mean for people to rush into purchasing a property.  For those who think they will be in a position to buy over the next three months, definitely start looking at real estate now.  In order to get a sense of what you like, need and want (in terms of both properties and locations), it is important to have seen a large number of properties.  It can also be helpful to attend several auctions to get a feel for how they are conducted, as there is a possibility that you may end up buying through this method.

There is no doubt that autumn is a very exciting time for real estate and I wish all the buyers and sellers out there the very best of luck.  For any individual real estate enquiries you may have please feel free to pop into your closest CENTURY 21 office.


0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 28/02/2011 at 1:18 PM | Categories: Selling - Buying -

Things to keep in mind when purchasing property overseas

There seems to be an unprecedented number of Australians choosing to invest in property overseas at the moment.  And who can blame these buyers? With the current strength of the Australian dollar, as well as the relatively low prices of some international real estate, I can definitely understand how offshore property may look attractive. 

Purchasing a property overseas however can definitely be a complex process and there are a few things that investors should keep in mind, in order to make the experience as stress-free, and profitable, as possible. 

It may seem obvious, but you would be amazed at how many people quickly buy into an area without a good deal of research first.  If you are looking for an investment property then you need to ensure that the location of your intended purchase is a popular spot for renters and has displayed a good rental return in the past.  Areas containing universities and a generally young population are often good places to start your search.  You may also wish to avoid locales that have historically experienced inclement weather conditions with some frequency.  Such environments could increase the repairs needed to your property. 

Taxation is an important point for consideration when buying overseas.  If possible, look for countries that have tax agreements with Australia, as the existence of such a relationship should make it easier for you to facilitate your ownership of the property, both during the buying process and into the future.    

If you decide to go through an international buying agent, take care to make substantial enquiries to ensure legitimacy before transferring large sums of money to an offshore party.  There are some horror stories out there about unsuspecting buyers purchasing hugely inflated properties from such people, or just simply being ripped off, and having no legal recourse.  I’m not saying that such players are not of use – they are often hugely helpful and can help to make your purchase an easy process.  Just be careful and try to choose an agent who is accredited and comes recommended. 

Before buying a property overseas, make sure you consider all the additional charges that will be associated with doing so.  These can include travelling offshore to view properties, legal advice both in Australia and abroad, the costs of a buyers’ agent if using one, and the actual transactional costs related to the purchase.  These costs can often add up, sometimes substantially reducing the return on the property from what your initial feasibilities had indicated. 

Lastly, check to see if the country of your choice has online information sources with advice for overseas investors.  Such websites can be hugely helpful and inexpensive to access and are an ideal place to begin your search for an international destination in which to invest. 

Making an investment in overseas property has the potential to be an extremely profitable venture.  Just take care to consider all the steps involved to make sure your purchase is a viable and stress-free one.


0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 18/01/2011 at 11:13 AM | Categories: Buying -

Property Marketing - The different ways to find a new home

I often find that reading through the property lift out of a newspaper can be quite an enjoyable way to look at what properties are available for sale.  The beautifully laid out advertisements take on an almost picture-book like feel and in combination with my morning coffee make a great way to start the day!

However there is no doubt that my slow browsing is not the preferred method of the majority of home-hunters in the market.  The advent of the internet has seen online real estate search sites take off, with people able to isolate the exact properties that fit their criteria in a number of seconds with a few clicks of the mouse. 

But even the way real estate agents are using the internet to market their properties is changing.  And it most certainly pays to keep up with these shifting methods to ensure that you find out about your dream property the moment it is placed on the market. 

It is becoming increasingly common for agencies, as well as individual agents themselves, to operate Facebook pages.  Through this avenue they may disseminate information via status updates and posted links regarding new properties that have been listed with them.  Facebook’s photo sharing function also allows agencies to post images of individual properties, enabling viewers to get a better idea of the house or unit than they would have had from the two or three photos available in the paper or from online advertising. 

In synchronicity with Facebook, we are also seeing agencies creating Twitter profiles.  ‘Tweets’ are used to publicise new properties with links provided to either the online listing, or back to a Facebook page or other online photo album containing further information. 

To make sure that you take full advantage of the Facebook and Twitter updates given by different agencies, it could be a wise move to make a list of all the real estate agencies that operate in the locations in which you are interested.  Armed with this list you can visit their individual websites, Facebook pages, Twitter pages and the like, subscribing or ‘becoming friends’, to make sure that you start to receive a continuous flow of current information relating to possible buying opportunities in the areas you like. 

With knowledge of individual agencies, you can also ask to sign up to their database.  This will ensure that you receive all electronic communication sent out by the office which again will keep you updated about their property offerings. 

It is also worth noting the various internal innovations that real estate companies provide as search tools.  CENTURY 21 Australia, for instance, offers Smart Book, a unique search function that creates an online magazine filled with all the properties that fit your search criteria.  This tool uses dynamic data, so as soon as any information regarding a property is changed, or a new listing that fits your criteria is added to our system, your Smart Book will update itself instantaneously – meaning that you will always have the most current information and set of property options at your fingertips, without having to search again. 

With the property shortage that Australia is predicted to see in future years, it will certainly pay to develop novel ways to search for property purchase opportunities.  I have no doubt that the internet will continue to offer many unique avenues and I will strive to keep you informed about these developments.  


1 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 10/01/2011 at 10:00 AM | Categories: Buying - CENTURY 21 Solutions -