As one of the most affordable property markets in Australia at present, buyers on a budget are turning to Queensland. But while this might be a good time to be buying in the Sunshine State, your property search doesn’t end with simply finding the perfect house. You need to do your due diligence, as there are several things to consider before you make an offer:
1. Set your conditions upfront
Price is the most important aspect, followed by the deposit you’re willing to pay. But there are other factors to be considered in the purchasing process, to do with the conditions of the contract. Gauge the interests of the vendor – is he/she looking for the highest bidder? A long-term settlement? A buyer who can pay in cash right away? A very good offer that considers the vendor’s personal situation can turn the tide in your favour, especially when you’re anticipating competition.
2. Conduct a thorough inspection
This is one of the most important things you need to do before you finalise your offer, because knowing the exact condition of the property can give you some leverage in negotiations over price – especially if it turns out that the house needs significant renovation or repair. Be sure to include a ‘building and pest’ condition in the contract, with the sale subject to satisfactory results of a building and pest inspection from a licensed inspector. You should also conduct another inspection before you sign the contract and before settlement to ensure that the property has not changed since the last inspection.
3. Get your funding together
Before you start searching for property, try to save up the highest possible deposit amount – this could give you an edge if the seller is seeking a buyer who can settle quickly as a small LVR may make it easier to get your loan approved. Moreover, it minimises the amount of interest you have to pay, if you’re able to borrow less from the bank. Note that you should never offer to pay more than 10% of the Purchase Price as the Deposit for the Property itself upfront though.
4. Put your offer in writing
In Queensland, all offers to buy property must be made in writing; otherwise, the sales transaction is not considered to have begun. Hiring a good conveyancer can be a great help in this area, as they can review your offer and check that you have included the most appropriate clauses and conditions.
Note, however, that once the contract of offer is signed, there’s still a small window in which you can change your mind – this is called the cooling off period. This ‘five business day window’ allows you to pull out of the deal, however a fee of 0.25% of the purchase price may be payable.
5. Be prepared for counter offers
These are quite normal in Queensland property transactions. You don’t get much time to decide, so you may want to ready with an alternative offer in case the counter offer is not to your liking.
Remember: there’s no need to rush forward, even in a competitive market. Rushing is when costly mistakes can be made, so take your time when buying property to ensure you’re checking every item off your list and doing your due diligence.
This article is provided for general information purposes only. Its content is current at the date of publication. It is not legal advice and is not tailored to meet your individual needs. You should obtain specialist advice based on your specific circumstances before taking any action concerning the matters discussed in this article.