Quick guide to buying and selling in real estate

12th May 2015 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Buy,Sell

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Buying or selling a home can be complex and time-consuming. Even before you make the ‘big decisions’ about which property to buy, which mortgage bank to select, or which agent you engage to sell your home, you have other important decisions to make.

You are more likely to make the right choices and avoid expensive mistakes by following these simple guides:

Know what you want

Start by making a list of all the essential features and amenities you require in your property, and then write a separate wish list of desired but non essential characteristics, to factor into your decision making when you find them in a property you can afford.

Be informed

Learn as much as you can:

  • Research the market value of property
  • Educate yourself about building terms
  • Attend auctions and monitor results.

Shop around

Educate yourself about the products and services offered by agents, legal practitioners, land surveyors, quantity surveyors, buyer’s advocates, mortgage banks and lenders.

There are many free services or sources offering advice – by shopping around you can put their advice into context. Websites – Style at home website – can be an excellent source of information. Seeking advice from different sources will give peace of mind that you are getting value for money and your needs are being met. Increasingly, web developers and software providers are developing websites and Smartphone apps that can assist with finding properties, locating agents or funding a home purchase.

Dealing with an estate agent

Although you can buy and sell property directly, most people will deal with an agent. There are laws that govern the licensing and conduct of agents. These laws prohibit unethical practices such as misrepresentations about property including the price, location, size and shady bidding.

Take your time

Never rush or be pressured into making hasty decisions. There is a lot of money at stake and you will be paying your loan off over many years. Make sure you are committing to the right property for you.

Thorough research can save you time and money – for example, you can avoid pitfalls like costly and time consuming building and planning issues.

Consider a building inspection

Before signing a contract of sale, consider engaging an independent qualified building inspector (surveyor or architect) to provide a building inspection report.

The fee for a professional inspection service is small compared with the cost of buying a property that needs unforeseen repairs. A qualified inspector will know what to look for and will see through any cosmetic improvements that cover up faults.

The inspector will provide a written report listing:

  • Faults in the property
  • Whether they can be repaired
  • How much these repairs are likely to cost.

You may be able to use the report to:

  • negotiate the price and contract conditions with the seller
  • develop a maintenance program if you decide to buy.

Read before you sign

While buying or selling you will come across different types of contracts such as loan contracts, authorities to sell and contracts of sale.

Ensure you understand all terms, conditions and fine print. Make sure anything agreed to verbally be put in writing so you know exactly what you are committing yourself to.

If something is unclear, ask for an explanation. If you are still uncertain, it is better to wait and seek professional advice before signing. You should keep a copy of all documents you have signed as a record.