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How to seal the deal on the home you love

6 Nov 2023

How to seal the deal on the home you love

You've seen the home of your dreams and now you want to own it. In this guide, we will run you through the steps to take in order to maximise your chances of securing the keys and making it yours.

Act quickly

There's a good chance if you like this home, other buyers will too, so get things moving as quickly as you can.

Check the process

Ask your salesperson: What is the process for buying this home? If it's an Auction, Tender or Deadline Sale, can you offer early? How will offers be handled once they are received? How quickly will they be presented to the sellers? Know the timeframe you are working to.

Finance first

Notify your bank or mortgage adviser immediately and send them the property info. Do they have any objections to this property? Do you need a finance condition in your offer, or can you obtain unconditional pre-approval for buying this home?

Do your research

Start by reading through all the information the salesperson has available in consultation with your lawyer. Make a list of the documentation or inspections you still need and order it (or book the inspection) ASAP. Decide if you will add conditions to your offer for any research that will take time.

Check comparable sales

This is a critical part of the process that many buyers overlook. Researching homes that have already sold will help you make an accurate offer. Ask your salesperson for all sales in the last 12 months in the same suburb (or nearby area) that are similar sized to the home you are buying. Find the closest matches and search for old listing photos online. Decide how they compare to the home you are interested in.

Decide on your value range

Ask yourself, what is the absolute maximum price I would pay for this home (top of your range), and what price would I love to pick this up for if possible? (bottom of your range). Is your value range realistic with your recent sales research? If not, are you being realistic about what this home should sell for?

Find out the owner's timeframe

Making the right offer is about more than just price. Find out what kind of settlement date the owners are looking for. Try to align your offer with their ideal date if you can to increase your chances of gaining acceptance.

Shoot your shot

Ready, set, offer. You've done your research, now it's time for action. Ask your salesperson to prepare the offer document based on the conditions you need. Check it over with your solicitor before you sign. Make your offer price an uneven number just above the closest round figure to make it more enticing. For example, offer $801,770 rather than $799,500.

Find common ground

Don't take anything personally in the negotiation phase. Many a real estate deal will fall over at the final hurdle, only a few thousand dollars apart when buyers and sellers decide they won't move another inch, only to lose the home (or the buyer) they've been searching for. Keep negotiations moving, even if you can only move a small amount. Stay patient too, sometimes owners need a little time to consider their options and adjust expectations.

Stick the landing

Now that your offer has been accepted, it's all systems go to finish your research and confirm your conditions (if any). The key to success in this phase is communication. Make sure your advisers (lawyer, builder, valuer etc) clearly understand your timeframe. Book any inspections immediately, and attend any builder's inspection in person if you can. On that note, it's a good idea to meet with all of your advisers in person, to minimise the chance of important information being buried in an email, or a lengthy PDF report.

Final step

Once your offer goes unconditional, book your moving truck and advise the salesperson when you expect to be moving into the property. This is also the time to book your pre-settlement inspection - the final check of your new home a day or two before your settlement date. Don't forget to set up utility connections, too!

If you follow those steps you can be confident you've done everything possible to secure the home of your dreams.

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