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How to: Buy property in a red hot-market

By Lachelle Ferguson

Are you breaking a sweat trying to buy a home in a fiercely competitive market?

So what can you do if you need to buy and continue to get pipped at the property post?

Try these 5 expert ideas:

1. Never wait to find ‘the one’ before researching

Just as you’d never put a cart before a horse, never start researching the property market in the area you want to buy after you spot a property you want to buy.

“Buyers looking to stay ahead in a competitive property market should make sure that they’ve done their research in advance,” says Simon Cohen, Co-Founder of buyer’s agency Cohen Handler.

“Knowing the market and the value of property in the area means they’ll be able to act quickly when their dream house becomes available.”

2. Make auctions part of your Saturday routine
Justin Ferguson, Founder and Principal of Justin Ferguson Property Specialists, says it is essential you go to lots of auctions and take your cheque book.

“I have conducted and attended thousands of auctions both as an auctioneer and an agent and it amazes me just how unpredictable the result can be in any market especially a hot one,” Ferguson reveals.

“It’s all about percentages, sooner or later an opportunity will land in your lap. Always remember though ‘there is always another deal’.”

3.Become familiar with local sales agents

In order to beat rival buyers for those choice listings, you must be in constant contact with agents in the areas you want to buy in, recommends Director/Buyer’s Agent for Property Pursuit, Meighan Hetherington.

“In a red hot market agents have plenty of motivated buyers so their focus is not on calling you when they list a property, you have to keep in touch with them,” Hetherington says.

“That means being on all of their email databases, speaking to them at least weekly and attending as many inspections as you can in the area.

“Waiting for properties to come onto the internet may mean that you miss out on ‘off market’ opportunities so you have to be very active.”

Ferguson agrees. He says: “The real estate business is a high octane game.”

“Building a relationship with these agents will keep you at the top of the queue if an opportunity pops up.

4. Know the values better than anyone else

This will give you the confidence to act quickly on an offer when an opportunity arises. “Don’t nickel and dime in a hot market when you negotiate,” Ferguson says.

“If it’s a good property and it’s what you want, go in hard with a reasonable offer.”

Try to negotiate a cooling-off period but, if you can’t, let the agent know you are keen and then do your due diligence – pronto.

“Then come back with an unconditional offer, being prepared to do the deal straight away.”

5. Keep the 3Fs in mind

When a market is red hot every week can feel like a rollercoaster to a prospective buyer: butterflies in your stomach as you wait to find out if your offer is accepted, followed by the big drop of frustration when you miss out – again.

Avoid these extreme ups and down by remembering three simple “F” rules, Hetherington says.

“Buying in a red hot market needs a cool head. You must be first. You must be fast. You must not let ‘fear of loss’ cloud your judgement,” she says.

“Being fast does not mean making rash or ill-informed decisions.

“You must know where to access all the relevant information very quickly when a property becomes available. Before you even inspect the property gather all the recent sales data to determine fair market value, look at comparable rental in the area, assess infrastructure projects, review schools, shops, transport, accessibility.

“Then when it comes time to inspect the property you can look at the layout, features, room sizes, finishes, condition, potential and maintenance requirements.

“Armed with all of the information you can then make a quick decision about the appropriateness of the property, the right price to pay and move forward with an offer.”


For more information on buying, selling or leasing please contact Ray White Narraweena 9984 7100 or Ray White Narrabeen 9970 6777

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