Buying a new home can be exciting and extremely daunting all at the same time. Especially if you’re buying your first home.
Sure, open homes can be fun. Imagining what your life will be like in your new home. But on the flip side, it’s such a big investment, how can you be sure you’re making the right choice?
There is a sure-fire way to help you be more confident with your house hunt and that is to enlist the help of property experts.
After all, you don’t know what you don’t know. While your friends and family will no doubt give you their best advice, normally this is only based on their own thinking and experience.
Enlisting the help of experts will allow you to tap into years of experience and industry knowledge that both your friends and family don’t have so you can be sure to ace your house hunt.
Read on to find out what experts you need to engage to help secure the best home for you.
A buyer’s agent is a great expert to have on your team to help you ace your house hunt. They're fully licenced real estate agents and have all the skills and qualities that regular real estate agents have with one big difference…they work for you!
Also known as buyer’s advocates, buyer’s agents will do the legwork for you to find a property. Perfect if you've been looking for ages and can’t find the right home, don’t have the time to attend property inspections or simply don’t want to search for a home yourself.
A buyer’s agent can do all the negotiating for you and even bid at auction on your behalf. Who doesn’t want a trained property negotiator on their side?
Trying to find the perfect home is one thing, let alone trying to secure it for the best price. A buyer’s agent can take care of it all for you.
Another added bonus about engaging the services of a buyer’s agent is their extensive list of contacts. They typically have a list of industry contacts and are often able to view and even secure a property before it’s even hit the market. Now that’s definitely a benefit!
Using a buyer’s agent here in Australia is still not as common as it is in other countries, it's very common in the US for example. Many Aussie home buyers still choose to undertake the process themselves, which is perfectly fine if you're confident in your home buying skills.
But if you’re not 100 per cent confident, then hiring the services of a buyer’s agent is definitely a good way to go.
Engaging the services of a mortgage broker is really a no-brainer. Sure, you can use online calculators to get an estimate of how much you can borrow to buy a home. You can even visit your local bank branch and discuss taking out a mortgage with them.
But if you truly want to ace your house hunt then it’s wise to visit an independent mortgage broker.
Why? They can review your financial situation in greater detail, get to understand what your ultimate goal is with buying property and advise on which loans, from the wide range available across numerous lenders, will best suit your individual needs.
When taking out a home loan, the interest rate is important to consider, but it’s not the be all and end all when choosing the best loan for you. You also need to consider any extra fees and charges, loan administration costs, special features that are included in the loan (such as construction drawdowns or offset facilities). A mortgage broker will be able to go through all the pros and cons with you and explain everything in detail.
They can also run through financial scenarios with you without lodging any applications that may affect your credit rating. The best part is, their services are often provided at no cost to yourself.
A solicitor or conveyancer is a definite must-have advisor for your house hunt expert contacts list. They're the ones who handle the settlement of your property once you have found the right one and have agreed on a price.
The conveyancer will review your property sale contracts and do all the necessary searches to ensure you're not buying a property with serious flaws.
Some of the things a conveyancer will look out for when reviewing your contract and undertaking searches are:
- Any outstanding debt or caveats on the property which you may not know about.
- If there are any illegal or unapproved structures on the property.
- If the property is subject to covenants.
Your conveyancer will also handle the money side of the transaction as well. They will arrange a settlement date and liaise with all parties, including the banks, to formally arrange for the transfer of the property from the seller to you.
It’s super important to make sure that you return any required forms back to your conveyancer as soon as possible to avoid any delays in your settlement. Check the laws and restrictions in the state where you're buying your home as some states require you to engage a solicitor in the same state the property resides.
These are the three experts you should enlist as you commence your house hunt and before making an offer on a property. Keep a look out for part two of this guide where we'll talk about the additional experts you need to ace your house hunt.
Katie Marshall is a Designer, Project Manager, Property Investment Advisor, Author and Founder of Chicks and Mortar®. Chicks and Mortar® helps empower women to make smarter, more profitable property choices. Find out more at chicksandmortar.com.au
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