Tips for buyers

Buying a property, particularly your first home, is one of the most significant financial (and sometimes emotional) milestones in one’s life.

At RE/MAX Coast we believe that buying and owning property is an exciting process, but we recognise that the journey can sometimes be long and a little stressful at times. So, we have compiled a list of tips to help buyers in their travels.

  1. Get your finances sorted
    There is nothing more frustrating than finding the property of your dreams, only to learn after negotiating your contract that you have been declined finance on your mortgage application. We highly recommend that, in order to prevent you wasting your own time and the time of the sellers, that you arrange pre-approval with your bank or mortgage broker. This process should give you a clear idea of what you can afford, allowing you to only consider properties that sit comfortably within your budget. Better still, pre-approval will expedite the contract process because you would have already provided, ahead of time, all the financial information needed for the banks to approve your loan application. This means you can more likely propose a shorter finance clause when you make your offer to purchase, putting you in a stronger position of negotiation.

    Remember too, if you plan on bidding at an auction you will want the peace of mind of pre-approval as auction contracts are NOT subject to any finance clause.

    At RE/MAX Coast we are happy to refer you to some fantastic mortgage brokers (regardless of whether you buy through us). These brokers provide free access to dozens of lenders. For more information email us at and we can send you details.

  2. Do your research
    Once you are clear on your budget it will be time to decide on the type of property you are after and to shortlist some suburbs. We suggest you also consider the suburbs next to your preferred suburbs, just in case, as these may offer more affordable options with more property inclusions. Remember, it’s good to keep an open mind.

    • Check the SOLD sections of real estate portals to get a sense of prices in your area
    • Do not rely heavily on automatic price estimates of properties on real estate sites – these can sometimes be very inaccurate. For example, they do not factor recent renovations, whether a property has a view, is waterfront or is at penthouse level versus ground floor.
  3. Do not miss all opportunities
    It is important that you are comfortable with your purchase. However, sometimes we meet buyers who are looking and find them still looking nearly 12 or 18 months later. They find themselves never finding what they think they want. Often this is because they are unable to tick items on their wish list using properties in their preferred suburbs. If a property search is extending beyond 6 months, chances are something needs to bend – either the wish list, or the suburbs you are considering or excluding.

The term ‘analysis paralysis’ will resonate with some people where the tendency to over-analyse will prevent seizing an opportunity.

Especially when a market is upward moving, waiting a period of 3 or 6 months can cost tens of thousands of dollars both in extra price paid and missed equity gained. Therefore, it can be helpful to take a step back, regain perspective and refresh yourself when searching for property becomes tiresome and tedious.

A property that is an 8/10 is sometimes worth considering especially where you can make some tweaks and at least begin your journey on the property ladder.

If you find the property you do love. Do not be scared to make an offer straight away – else do not assume that it will be available tomorrow.