10 Tips On How To Purchase A House In Today’s Market

Many buyers believe they need to outsmart agents to get their dream home for less than what it is worth. But in the market today it isn’t about outsmarting the agent, it’s about knowing the top 10 tips on how to purchase a house in today’s market. Trever Molenaar has detailed 10 of the best tips for you to ensure that you use real estate agents to benefit your house buying and move away from believing that real estate agents are out to ‘get you’. In most cases, they are good people that are trying to help but they are employed by the owner to get the highest price.

Below are the ten best tips for any buyer looking in today’s market.

Thirroul Beach

1. Be Nice

It costs nothing to be nice. If you are looking in a hot area agents will remember you and want to help get you into the good aka affordable listings. By building rapport with the agents they can essentially become a buyers agent for you and contact you with up-coming properties if it is in your area of interest.

2. Always be looking


In most areas in the Illawarra and especially Northern Illawarra, there are more buyers than sellers. Most people wouldn’t remember the days of the agents driving prospective buyers around but those days are definitely over. The internet has changed everything and you can know everything about anything in a few clicks, especially properties. Register with as many real estate portals as you can ( and are the two biggest) and individual agencies for pre-market, coming soon, and off-market opportunities. We have our mm buyers private facebook group. Make it a habit to online shop, drive around the streets you want to be in looking for new signs, and get to know the agents in the area – See point 1.

3. Know your product

Do your research! Attend open houses, gather sold prices, and keep an eye on the market. You want to get to a point that when you see a property come up, you can quickly evaluate whether you could live there (have a list of must-haves and ones you are flexible on) and what you would pay. However, remember that if your research on a property takes too long a good buy can come up and pass by if it is snapped up quickly. Also, it is worthwhile noting that real value and emotional value are two very different things.

4. Don’t be afraid to look in alternate areas

I have sold many homes over the years to people who have pigeonholed themselves into one suburb and would not look elsewhere. Some have missed the boat and are unable to purchase to this day and others for whatever reason purchased in neighbouring suburbs and have been happier they did. By broadening your search you will open up choice if anything else, and in the Illawarra, we are so lucky to have access to great beaches and schools from most of the suburbs.

5. Be certain of your finances

Seems simple but the percentage of buyers who look on any certain day that can act is quite small. Going to the bank and asking what you can borrow is not good enough in today’s climate. Find a bank or financial institution you trust and ask all the questions before you find your dream home. What is the rate? Is it variable or fixed? What happens if I default? Can I fix a percentage of the loan? What if I sell in a fixed term? Then go one step further and apply for ‘formal approval’ this will mean you can act the day you find a home whilst others are left waiting. Having formal approval up to a certain value is very helpful when negotiating to leverage a lower offer.

6. Be in a position to jump

This means your finances (as above) but also your contractual options. Engage a solicitor or conveyancer before you start looking is ideal. In most cases, they won’t charge you until you find a property. You may have a family solicitor or better yet ask the agents you are dealing with who they deal with. Speed in real estate can mean the difference between securing a property or not and your conveyancer has a lot to do with that.

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7. Word of mouth

Speaking to locals in the suburbs you want to buy is a great source of information on who is moving. Agents are useful for this too as they are in constant contact with prospective vendors, and if you like a particular street they can contact prospective buyers to see if they would be interested in putting their home on the market. Buying without competition is great for buying well (not so much for the seller).

8. Learn to negotiate

Pride has more to do with negotiation than you may think. If either party feels they are losing it can jeopardise the sale.

Sometimes if you are making a low offer try and substantiate to the agent/seller why. If it’s valid and they can see your point there is a much better chance you can make a deal. This combined with a note on why you love the home can help.

Offering terms to an agent/seller that will benefit them is a major factor in getting the home for the right price. This could mean extended or shortened settlement, larger deposit, releasing of deposit, or rent back options. You can even negotiate on furniture!

9. Understand the process

It’s good to understand the process of purchasing a house and selling. For example, when do you sign the contract, when is it legally binding, what are the terms or lingo used, etc. Either your agent, broker or solicitor can help with most of this.

10. Try before you buy

I don’t mean living in someone’s home before you buy it! I’m talking about attending a few auctions, check out some open days, and get a feel for the market. Asking for help does not show weakness, it means you will have the knowledge you need to purchase a house in today’s market.

The last tip or piece of advice I can give is sometimes if you find the house of your dreams you may just have to pay for it. Constantly comparing every home to the one that got away can be very counter-intuitive, if you’ve missed the one you wanted take a break for a bit and start fresh when you can look at a potential home without saying ‘Oh but it doesn’t have a laundry shute like the other one’.

I hope these 10 tips on how to purchase a house in today’s market have been helpful, we know it’s so tough trying to purchase a home with demand skyrocketing but there is hope and every day we see many happy buyers purchasing homes. Get in touch if we can help with any of the steps above, you can contact us here or call 02 4228 9758.

Trever Molenaar
Trever has worked in the industry selling property for over two decades. This lifelong profession has enabled him to master the art of negotiation. Trever’s own personal values relate through to his professional life 
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