Like any great milestone in life, timing is everything when buying a house. When you buy can have an impact on a number of important factors such as the house you buy, the area, and the price you pay for it. So if you’re considering jumping onto the property ladder, you might be asking yourself but when should I start looking and when should I buy? From an agent’s perspective, there are key questions you need to ask yourself first and foremost.
Have you banked on your finances?
Understanding the parameters of your bank requirements is essential. It is standard practice for your bank to assess you according to their lending criteria, which essentially weighs up your income capacity versus outgoings such as mortgage repayments and expenses. Knowing how much your bank is willing to loan you should determine the kind of houses you look for and the price range for which you aim for.
Have you given yourself a ‘cushion period’ for prior research?
If you’re a first home buyer, this is most likely to be the most high- involved purchase decision you’ll have made to date and that means that you need to be educated enough to spend your money. I normally advise 3 months of prior research to my clients. This ensures they have sound foundational knowledge of the current property market and have developed criteria for what they are looking for in a home. Start researching on general house prices, house trends and have an understanding of what you can buy for the budget you are working with. This will allow for you to make more informed decisions come negotiation time, and the more educated you are, the lesser the likelihood of making regrettable decisions.
Do you have an experienced adviser?
Just because someone has purchased a property, it doesn’t mean they can purchase well. Remember this when choosing an advisor, whereby the more qualified they are, the better. Ensure it is someone who is not only experienced, but is someone you can trust such as a family member or friend who has a sound investment portfolio.
Have you taken time of year into consideration?
Spring and summer are generally regarded as prime selling and buying seasons in the real estate calendar. This is due to an improvement in weather and ability to maintain a more attractive garden. However, I think this means it is important not to overlook winter and autumn as opportune buying times. These periods are quieter because there is normally a reduction in demand but excess in supply- particularly during the Christmas/ holiday period. Home buyers can opt to take a break from their property search; however agents can be eager to pass on property hastily to avoid starting the New Year with mature listings and their vendors can grow apathetic with property maintenance. For you as a buyer, this can mean less competition over the properties you want and the ability to negotiate.
About the author: With more than 20 years experience in real estate, Barry Sloan’s specialist knowledge of the industry has helped thousands of clients confidently take the next step in their property journey. As a fully licensed real estate agent and senior auctioneer, Barry’s personal motto is ‘chase down every potential buyer in order to secure the highest price from the market on behalf of his sellers so that they can achieve their property goals’. He is a newly appointed member of the sales team at realestateVIEW.com.au and handles new business nationally. Although now out of main stream residential selling, he still loves being a part of real estate as he has been his entire working life.
Research your market with our Property Price Estimates tool.