Get your dream home: how to win the property battle
You’ve been on the search for the perfect home for months and you’ve finally found the property that ticks all the boxes – number of bedrooms, size of land, in your preferred suburb and within your price range.
So how do you make your dream home yours? With the current market being a haven for vendors (fewer houses and more buyers), the answer is more important than ever.
Fortunately, Toop&Toop’s CEO of Sales & Marketing Genevieve Toop has shared the secrets that will help put you in front of your competitors – whether you’re making an offer or heading to the bidding battleground.
After going to the first, second and third open inspection your heart is set on the property and you’ve decided to put an offer on the house.
So, how do you make your offer the winning one?
Genevieve said the first step is to speak to the agent to get an idea of the vendor’s asking price and study other comparable properties in the area to help determine how much you think the property is worth and make an informed offer.
“In the competitive market that we are seeing at the moment, making your offer unconditional is a move that puts you in front of other buyers,” she said.
“Features of unconditional offers include having your finances approved and not subject to the sale of another property, as well as the offer not being dependent on the outcome of building and pest inspections.
“Some buyers may offer more money, but if finances are subject to the sale of the buyer’s other home, the vendor may choose an offer with a lower amount but one that isn’t waiting on finance, as it’s less risk.”
With unconditional offers you have to be absolutely certain that it is the right property for you, as once the vendor accepts your offer and contracts are exchanged, you are legally obliged to go through with the sale.
Speak with your solicitor or conveyancer as early as possible about the proposed purchase to ensure you’re protected under the contract and you’re satisfied with all the terms and conditions.
Genevieve said another move that will put you in front of other buyers is meeting the preferences of the vendor.
“It’s important to talk to the agent about the preferences of the vendor. This includes whether they want a short or long settlement,” she said.
“On occasions we have seen offers that feature the same conditions and price. Sometimes it could come down to a sentimental decision - say if it’s been a family home the vendor may choose to sell their home to another family.”
Genevieve said due to the current market favouring sellers, many homes are selling prior to auction with buyers putting up really strong offers. So it’s vital to speak with the agent and understand if you may need to come to the table prior to auction.
“For the vendor to take an offer before auction day, the offer needs to be really enticing for them - this not only means the price, but also the conditions,” she said.
“When considering a pre-auction offer don’t let your emotions get in the way and offer a price that will stretch you financially or conditions that will put you under further stresses.”
Genevieve said with recent highly competitive sales campaigns it’s important to tell the agent about your interest and intent for the property.
“When an offer is made on a property the agent then makes contact with everyone who has visited the property, so they too have a chance to put in an offer,” she said.
“However, if you put your poker face on and you haven’t let the agent know you’re interested, smaller agencies who don’t have the capacity to call or text everyone may miss you in their follow-ups.”
You’re going to auction…
Each auction has unique factors – how many bidders are registered and the market climate.
Genevieve’s top advice is not to be intimidated by the competition and keep how much you can afford at front-of-mind.
“Auctions can be very emotional and I’d recommend to bring a family member or close friend along who is removed from the property, but can help you with the process,” she said.
“We see so many people get carried away and stretch themselves too far. As a rule of thumb, people spend 20% more than they thought they would at an auction."
“For us, that’s great for our client, but as a buyer you want someone there who can talk you through the process and ensure you stay within your limits.”
Genevieve said coming up with a bidding strategy is also really powerful.
“It’s also a good idea to attend numerous auctions before ‘the big one’. This way you can check out strategies used by bidders,” she said.
“You want to bid really confidently no matter what your strategy is.
“Some people may choose to go close to their top price straight away and try to knock out the majority of competitors early, while others may choose to hold back until the end.
“Another strategy is doubling or tripling another bidder’s amount to try and intimidate them. When it starts to slow down towards the end and you’re going up in $1000 or $2000 increments with one another bidder, you might choose to double the rise.
“This gives the appearance to the other bidder that you want to buy that property more than them and that you can afford more.
“You want to appear that you want the home more than them, even though you may be nearing your limit.”
Other tips include positioning yourself towards the front of the auction near the auctioneer to gain a bird’s eye view of your competition so you can see your competition.
Other subtle moves include dressing to impress and keeping your body language and gestures positive and confident at all times.
If you miss out on that dream home
Genevieve said a lot of properties are selling off-market - before being published in the paper or on property listing websites.
“Agencies know of so many buyers searching for properties that we have a database to send properties to before homes go on the market,” she said.
“So if you’re looking for a property sign up to agency databases to get the first-view at those properties.”
If you miss out on that dream home because the price is high or you can’t meet vendor’s preferences, it’s not the end of the world. The most important factor when buying a home is that you ensure your offer is within your financial means.
It’s vital that you don’t stretch yourself too far or agree to conditions that will cause you financial stress.
Another home will be right around the corner and the learning you made from this experience will only make you more confident the next time.