The Ultimate Savvy Buyers Guide To Real Estate

The Complete Step-By-Step Guide To Buying Real Estate In A 'HOT' Property Market!

Contents

How to buy a house

Buying real estate is one of the most exciting times of a person s’s life! Regardless of if you’re buying a new family home or building an investment portfolio, buying a new property is a BIG deal.  

And while it should be a memorable time filled with fun and excitement! Sadly, for most, it’s a time engulfed in stress and frustration. 

See, buying real estate even in a “buyer friendly” market can be a challenging task. After all, it’s a BIG decision, negotiated between opposing sides, each with their own agendas and a lot of emotion involved.   

Fact is… it’s rare to see a ‘straightforward’ real estate deal. Even the simplest of real estate transactions “on paper” can throw up a curveball or two along the way.   

The goal of this guide is simple – to help remove confusion from the real estate process! 

And walk you step-by-step through our process of how to buy real estate. And in doing so, help you avoid the most common mistakes ‘rookie’ property buyers make.  

So regardless if your a first time buyer or you already know how to buy a house – there is something in this guide that can help you negotiate your next property deal.

Now, let’s start with the most critical part of buying real estate. Understanding the parties involved wants to achieve out of the deal.  

See, a negotiation starts with understanding who you’re negotiating against. And to quote Sun Tzu’s, The Art Of War… 

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

- Sun Tzu's, The Art Of War
How to negotiate when buying a house

How to negotiate when buying a house

To negotiate a good deal on a property for sale under “private treaty” conditions (non auction), you must understand what ALL  parties involved  want in the deal. This way you can create an offer that’s Win-Win-Win!  

Now, we do break down the finer details of the property negotiations in the chapter titled: How to make an offer on a house

But, first, we need to go over the all too often overlooked part of a negotiation – the preparation!

So, let us talk about the three KEY people involved in a property negotiation and look at what a good deal might look like to each of these parties.  

The Buyer (You)

When buying real estate, understanding what you need out of a deal is a vital starting point. See, it’s possible in a ‘hot’ real estate market that your full list of wants may need to be flexible. 

We’ve all been guilty of letting our desires run away with us from time to time and finding ourselves with a list of “must-haves” that do not meet the reality of the market… or our budget!  

Now, let me be clear… I’m not suggesting you sacrifice everything on your Wishlist without a fight! In fact, the opposite. You should fight for as many things on your ‘must-have list’ as you can get into the deal. But my point is this… 

Sometimes, to get a good deal, you may need to walk away from the “perfect deal” – or risk ending up with nothing.    

The Real Estate agent  

Now, I know for some people, the mere thought of having to deal with selling agents can send a shiver down your spine. But consider this…  

Real Estate Agents are the middlemen (or women) in a back and fourth negotiations. Fought between two emotional parties. On one side you have the buyer who is desperate to secure a new home for their family. On the other side are the sellers who have their future balancing on the outcome of the sale of their family home!   

There’s a lot on the line!  

Now, of course, the selling agent is working on behalf of the vendor. And their job is to work hard to get the best deal possible for the sellers. But, real estate agents only get paid if the sale of the property makes it through to settlement!   

Understanding this can be critical in crafting a winning real estate deal!  

And let me tell you from experience a lot of “sales” fall over before settlement for assorted reasons. And each time this happens it costs the agent time and money. And leaves the vendor frustrated with the sales agent.  

So, a WIN for the agents, is not simply an offer that makes the sellers happy. It is the deal that is likely to proceed through to settlement.   

If you work hard to make the sales agents job easier, in turn, they will work harder for you! And recommend your offer to the sellers to and get a deal over the line.   

The Seller  

There is an idea that all sellers are “greedy fat cats” out to screw over the buyers for as much money as possible. Yet, this is often not the case at all.  

While no one wants to sell their home for a lower than market value price. But, here’s the thing…

In most situations, sellers have a reasonable goal of achieving a “fair” price for their home. And underpinning this is the want for a smooth, speedy transaction. After all, they’re on the market to sell their home. And no one wins if it’s sitting on the market for sale for months on end.   

Now with all this said, of course, a seller is not going to turn away more money for no good reason (that’s just madness). But they may go for a lesser offer on the sale price if your terms are better suited to their needs. Let me explain…  

Imagine a property listed at $410,000  

 If you offer $400,000   

  1. a) have no finance clauses (cash offer)
  2. b) can exchange unconditionally within three business days, and  
  3. c) have a favourable settlement timeframe that accommodates the seller’s next move.  

Vs   
 

A higher offer of $410,000 that needs…  

  1. a) needs a 30-day finance clause 
  2. b) cannot go unconditional until they sell their current home, and  
  3. c) need a 90 day (about 3 months) long-drawn-out settlement date 

The seller is likely to take your deal! As the other offer price, even though it is higher by $10,000 has far less favourable terms for the sellers.  

The Bank (*if financing) 

OK, so you’ve put together a deal that satisfies you, the selling agent, and the vendors. But if you’re financing there is one other party you need to please – the bank.  

Now you’re thinking at this point “it’s OK I’ve already got my pre-approval” That is fine, but remember… 

The amount you are “pre-approved” for is contingent on the value of the asset you are loaning against. The bank will determine the value of this asset through a bank valuation on the property. 

And this is where a lot of deals fall over! 

See, it is fine to offer over the asking price to secure a deal. But what if the bank value comes in lower? 

The bank-appointed property valuer may value the property 15% under what you have agreed to pay! Meaning, you would have to pay the balance of 15% in cash to secure the finance (on top of your deposit). Could you afford this? 

Another side note – it also pays to keep in regular dialogue with your broker. With the rapidly shifting landscape of the lending markets… You want to ensure your pre-approval will still be valid once you have acceptance on a property.   

Ok, so now we understand the parties involved and how to best construct a win-win-win for all three parties. Let’s talk about getting prepared to buy…  

A little bit of preparation 

Your Wishlist:   

Your first step in the process of buying real estate is to create a Wishlist of all the things you ‘must-have’ in a new property. Write them out on a spreadsheet and rate them from highest priority down to least. This enables you to take the emotion out of the process and identify your ‘non-negotiables’.    

Wishlist:  

  1. Four bedrooms
  2. Master bedroom separate from kids rooms
  3. Master bedroom at the back of house
  4. Two bathrooms
  5. Within 5 mins of kids school  
  6. Modern, luxury finish (no renovations needed)  
  7. Double story home (or a floor plan over 300m2 if single story) 
  8. Quiet, safe street  
  9. Large backyard   
  10. Double lock up garage   
  11. North facing kitchen  
  12. Swimming pool  
  13. Outdoor entertaining area  
  14. City views 
  15. Bathtub in ensuite  
  16. Ducted air conditioning   
  17. Media room  
  18. Close to public transport   
  19. Walking distance to a park   
  20. Within 10 minutes drive of a shopping center  
  21. Not under a flight path   
  22. Gated community  (if possible)

It may sound like a simple thing. But, when you’re in the throes of negotiating on a property, emotions run high. And it is easy to overlook these more minor things. The last thing you want is to agree on a deal the heat of the moment that you regret after the fact.    

Understand potential future value 

Something few buyers look at is the potential for adding future value. While it may not be in your plans now! You never know what the future holds. There may be situations arise where you want to add value to your property later on. It is also good to understand the potential scope for improvements, as it can add instant value. 

Things to look for are:  

  1. Is there a possibility of adding another bathroom 
  2. Can you do a minor renovation (paint, floors, kitchen & bathrooms) 
  3. Is there scope in the floorplan for an addition/extension  
  4. Can the garage be converted into another room 
  5. Can you knock down and rebuild a dual income property  
  6. Can you subdivide the land into two lots   

You’ll need to check with your local shire around zoning and governance to see what is possible. And understand the cost of each versus the potential boost in value.  

Get your finances in order  

It’s critical in a hot market, to have your finance pre-approved. If your paying cash, have the money in an account that you can access when needed. This will help you to provide “cash” terms on your offers.  This will make your offers more favourable. Any offers with a finance clause will less favourably to the sellers. You could even find yourself missing out of the home to a cash buyer – if your offer was higher (happens all the time)   

Sell your current home before offering on the new house  

Offers subject to the sale of your existing home (or any other home) are rarely accepted by the vendors. There are far too many variables that could affect your ability to close. Not to mention, most vendors want to sell their home fast, settle quickly and move on.  

Now you’re prepared! You understand the parties involved and you’re clear about what to look for in a new property. Let’s look at the process of buying a new property – The Savvy Way!   

how to find and appraise a house

How to evaluate a house

Searching online  

Search realestate.com.au and domain.com.au. Check other less well-known sites, such as… homely.com.au or realestateinvestar.com.au (paid tool). Take your time to Look close at the pictures. Often, the reality is not as good as the well-photoshopped images online.  Make a shortlist of all the properties that meet your Wishlist brief.  

Desktop valuation and pre-inspection searches  

This step will require access to a few paid tools. However, this small investment will more than pay for itself when it comes time to negotiate on a deal. The paid tools we recommend and use are: 

  1. RP Data 
  2. Archistar.ai. 

But you can also use free tools such as, 

  1. Google maps
  2. PD Online
  3. real estate.com.au 
  4. Facebook groups 

Things we are looking for at this stage are…  

  1. What did the vendor pay for the property?  
  2. Has the property been listed for sale previously? 
  3. Are there any easements over the property?  
  4. Is there any fall on the block?   
  5. What are the comparable sales in the area?  
  6. What is the lot’s zoning?  
  7. Location – is it close to power lines or busy roads, etc.
  8. What is the local crime rate?  

Pre-inspection questions (call the agents)  

So, the next step is to call the sales agent listed on the property and ask a few questions. Here are a few questions we like to ask upfront… 

  1. Is it still available or already under contract?  
  2. Is it rented or owner occupied home?  
  3. Do they have any offers currently? 
  4. Why are the vendors selling?  
  5. Have they already purchased elsewhere?  
  6. How is the agent going to deal with offers/ present them to the vendor?   
  7. What are the vendors preferred terms?  
  8. What would the vendors sell for (some agents will tell you)?  
  9. Can you get through for a private inspection?  
  10. If, not private inspections – confirm the date/time of the next open home.   

Also, remember to ask the agent if they have any ‘off market’ properties? Often the agents have upcoming listings they can share with you when the time is right. Bear in mind, they will wait to sell the current listing before they release the other property. The agent will do this so they do not end up with two listings competing against each other.   

Physical inspection  

Where possible try to get a one-on-one inspection; as it will allow you a bit more freedom to inspect the property. Take someone with you who knows about building or at very least a second person to look over things. Things to look for…  

  1. Signs of water damage, look in the wet areas and under the sinks  
  2. Signs of mould, look in the wet area and along the roofline for mould stains  
  3. Signs of pests, look for droppings or signs of pest activity in the cupboards
  4. Signs of bad wear and tear, do the walls have excessive damage relative to the age of the home
  5. Pool fence certificates should be hung on the pool fence or within the pool fence.   
  6. Signs of fencing damage, look for termite damage, give it a shake to see if the foundations are solid  
  7. Condition of the oven and cooktops. Open all appliances and take a good look inside  
  8. Condition of taps and showerheads. As you go through turn on/off all taps (check under the sinks after you do for signs of leaking water)  
  9. Check for cracks in the brickwork or if the doors not closing well with uneven gaps around the doors. This could mean the foundations have shifted over time due to movement in the soil beneath the slab.  
  10. Tap the floor and wall tiles and listen for a “drummy-hollow” sound! this may indicate the tiles may become loose.  
How to make an offer on a house

How to make an offer on a house

When it comes to timing your offer to purchase a property, you have two options…
 
  1. Go hard early and lead the field of offers
  2. Wait last minute and try and come over the top
Either way, you want to clarify with the selling agent you have interest in the property and intend to make an offer. Ask them to keep you in the loop on what is happening before accepting another offer.
 
Why go hard early with a firm offer?
 
Use this strategy when you feel you feel you’re in a strong position and want to lead the field of offers. Understand any early offer will be shopped around to other interested parties to try and draw out a counter bid.
 
By bidding early, you establish yourself as a leading buyer to the selling agent and, in turn, the seller! 
 
“Often the sellers will go with the buyer they’ve been working with from the start –  if final offers are close.”
 
Ok, so why wait last minute and try and come over the top?
 
Sometimes you have no choice – if a property has been listed online for some time already, chances are they have interested parties with offers in already.
 
The advantage of offering close to the deadline is, you are able to get an indication of where the competing offers have come in!
 
This can help you position your offer for a knockout blow.
 
Tighten up your terms
 
To give yourself the best chance of success, you want to have tight terms. 
 
Ensure your terms are as close to what the vendor wants – if not exact! This will help you secure the deal if other bids are comparable to yours. 
 
If you’re the second highest offer with the best terms you will likely be the winning offer.
 
Show your seriousness about buying
 
When possible, put your offer forward on a signed contract! This shows your seriousness and helps with getting exchanged contracts. 
 
Not all agents will allow this and will have another way they like offers to be submittedIn this case, still request a copy of the contract and have it complete, so you can send it through asap if your offer is verbally accepted.
 
Give yourself an out clause (if needed)
 
As a general rule, leave a building and pest term in the contract. 
 
Call your building and pest inspectors prior to see how soon they can get to the property. By doing this, you can shorten the building and pest term to just a few days. This will help win against another party who goes a typical seven to fourteen-day building & pest.
 
By leaving the building and pest condition, you also allow yourself to pull out of the contract if things don’t line up post exchanging contracts.

  

The back-and-forth negotiations

Once your offer is submitted to the selling agent… You wait!

If you’re lucky, the agent will come back and tell you, “your offer has been accepted.”

But most likely – especially in a hot property market. The agent will come back will any counter-offers from other bidders. At which time you will have the opportunity to increase your bid or bow out of the race.

If you want to increase your offer, first push the agent to indicate what a “good” offer would be. 

Now, legally speaking, the agent can’t disclose the other offers! But, that being said, they will try their best to give you a bit of helpful guidance… wink, wink!

It’s always a good idea to submit your offer on an odd figure and never end on a zero or a five. As most other offers will bid the nearest round figure ie $550,000, so if you bid $552,750, you’ll edge out the underbidders.

Calling the selling agents bluff!

Look, this isn’t a Hollywood courtroom, and agents won’t risk losing a sale by “bluffing”, so take the agents feedback at face value, especially once you are in the final stages of negotiation.

While sure early in the process, agents may fake interest from other buyers by saying things such as… “they have a few people looking to offer soon,” etc. Once the stakes get real, they will rarely try any funny business, and you can act on what they are telling you.

And you don’t want to lose your dream home over one “bad poker call” so to say!

Going unconditional & Settlement  

Now you have an offer and acceptance, and the next thing is to exchange contracts…fast! Especially in competitive markets. The deal can still fall over if someone swoops in with a better offer before contracts are exchanged.  

You’ll need a conveyancer 

Your conveyancer is a lawyer who specialises in real estate dealings. They facilitate the legal transition of the ownership from the vendor to you. They oversee all the title and property searches and look after your best interests. 

Going Unconditional

Once both parties have satisfied all contract conditions. The contract is now unconditional and can now be set for settlement. 

*note if you do need a finance clause this will need to be met first. The bank will send a property valuer to value the property. If the valuers price is in line with the sale price the bank will then give you a “full approval” on your finance.  

Building & pest issues 

If there are any issues found during the building and pest report. You can request a discount off the price from the sellers to cover the works needed to rectify the issue. 

Now the seller can refuse this request and offer to cancel the contract at this point. So, you may have to decide if you are happy to move forward regardless or if you too would like to pull out of the contract. 

In our experience, the vendors will negotiate a price reduction. As it is easier to move forward on the deal in place (at a reduced price), rather than go back onto the market.  

Requesting extensions 

Things can come up and delay your ability to go unconditional. At this time you may need to request an extension on time. 

In this event, your conveyancer will send a written request to the vendor’s lawyer. It pays to call the selling agent first and flag the request to not spook the vendors. The vendors can either grant the request or use this as a chance to pull out of the contract altogether.  

So it’s always best to honour the original agreements set out in the contract. 

Settlement day

Is the date and time the transfer of ownership for the title of the property from the vendor to yourself is complete. At this point, the property is officially yours…(Time to pop the champagne)  

Moving in 

Once the property has settled, the keys will then be released from the real estate agent, and you can move into your new home 

how to buy a house at an auction

How to buy a house at an auction

Buying at auction   

While auctions are great, as it cuts out the need for the back-and-forth negotiations. 

Auctions do throw up their own set of challenges (especially for inexperienced buyers). 

First things first – you must understand auction conditions. It’s unconditional at the fall of the hammer! Meaning no finance or building and pest clauses etc. allowed after the fall of the hammer.

Once you are the winning bid – you now OWN that property!  

Let’s go through our steps for winning at auction:  

Pre-auction inspection  

You’ll need to do your building and pest report before the auction. 

Sometimes the agent will have this already, and you can buy a copy from them. If one is not available, you will need to arrange a time to have your inspectors go onto the property.   

Preparation  

Know the value of the property! 

Look at previous sales, factor in what the agent is quoting, and the current market conditions. 

Get as clear as possible on what price the home will likely fetch at auction. Simply turning up and hoping for a low price rarely pays off at auction. 

It is better to be realistic from the start to avoid wasting your time and falling short on the day. 

Settle on a budget  

In a perfect world, you will never go over this budget. Yet, being realistic this is often not the case. 

Sometimes you could be one extra bid away from securing the home! So you may still bid over your budget (should your finances allow). 

After all, if you feel you can secure the home for a few thousand more, and it is worth going over a little. It does pay to have someone with you who knows your budget to ensure stick within your bidding means and don’t go crazy on price.   

Like the famous song The Gambler goes… 

“you got to know when to hold them, Know when to fold them… know when to walk away… Know when to RUN”  

Pre-register for the auction –  

To save time and stress on auction day, register to bid at the auction with the listing agent prior. To do so you will need to provide an ID and complete a registration form. 

On the day you will still need to sign in and collect your bidding paddle! You will use this paddle to place verbal bids during the auction.  

Positioning yourself at the auction:  

Position yourself close to the auctioneer so you can see and hear the auctioneer’s calls. It can help if you can see the other parties bidding against you too.  

While there is not much to be learned from looking at the other bidders. It can help to know how many people are registered and where they are positioned around the room.  

*Note that auctions attracted lots of Neighbours, friends, and sicky beaks. So the size of the crowd does not say how many actual bidders there are.   

Control the pace  

When bidding at auction, the auction will race off at a rapid pace. This is what auctioneers do to try and create a frenzy and get people overbidding. 

Going fast early in the bidding is not a bad thing as it will quickly eliminate many underbidders. 

Once it’s down to just a few, you can try and slow the pace by taking a few seconds longer to bid or lowering the bid price.  

Try to slow it down well before your budget is exhausted! As other bidders may see this as you get close to your limit and may encourage them to bid back against you. 

As it gets down to the nitty-gritty, bid back fast with small nominal figures. Then throw in a few more significant bids to try and land the knockout blow.    

Meeting reserve and going “on the market”  

During the bidding process, the auctioneer may make it known the property is “on the market”. 

This only happens when the sellers have passed their pre-set reserve price and are happy to now sell the property. At this point, this call may attract new bidders to come in (or other bidders come back in). 

It is a common strategy by some to only start bidding once the property is ‘on the market’. However, in some states the auctioneer does not have to reveal if the property is on the market! So, it’s best to bid from the start with the assumption the property will sell under the final hammer.  

If the bidding dries up and the property has not met the seller’s “reserve price” the property will then “pass-in.” At which point the selling agent will negotiate with the highest bidder to see if they can broker a sale price.  

Vendor bids: 

In some states, the auctioneer can place one “vendor bid”! A Vendor Bid is a bid by the seller; it is used only when the price action is slow, and the reserve has yet to be met. Typically the auctioneer can only place one vendor bid and must make it know when it’s being placed. 

Missing out at auction!  

At the end of it all, no auction bidding strategy will beat a buyer with a larger budget. Especially if they are willing to overpay for the property! So, don’t get too disheartened if you come up short. There are always other opportunities. And hey, your dream property may be listed online tomorrow.  

Other auction formats:  

Off-site auctions

While most auctions are run at the property. Some agents prefer to run their auctions off-site, such as in their offices or a board room of a hotel. As long as you’ve inspected the property prior and completed your due diligence . Off-site do not change the auction conditions for you.  

Online auctions

Due to recent events with the pandemic, there has also been a rise in online auctions. As it sounds, these are an auction run online (think to bid on eBay). 

You will need to register prior and verified before being able to bid. You’ll then be given directions on how to join the online auction from the selling agent. 

On the night you’ll need to log into the auction software before the auction starts.  At which point, you’ll be able to place bids and see the other offers online as you go. When bidding online, ensure you have a good computer with a strong internet connection and clear audio.  

how to buy property in australia (when overseas)

Firstly, If you’re a non-citizen or intend to buy the property in common with a person who is a non-citizen. Ensure you check the implications with the foreign investment review board. You may find there are taxes and other implications will affect your ability to buy real estate on Australian soil.  

Assuming you are an Australian citizen moving moving back home from overseas. How do you facilitate the purchase of a new home when you are currently living in another country?  

Now, buying remotely comes with some challenges. Let’s be brutally honest; it puts you at a massive disadvantage to local buyers. Especially in a ‘hot property market’ where agents already have many local buyers to work with.   

There’s no way around this; you’ll need someone on the ground to interface with the agents for you. You could enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member. Or you will need to hire a buyer’s agent like Savvy Fox buyer’s agents.   

Using a buyers agent (buyers advocate)

You’re finally ready to buy a house. Whether it’s your first property purchase or third, it’s a process that can become rather time-consuming and, quite frankly, stressful.   

Buying a home is a complicated and expensive process and it’s not as easy as everyone makes it seem on social media. Why take on all of the hard work when there’s a professional waiting in the wings to help you? 

This is where the amazing talent and time of a Property Buying Agent comes in. They’re the ones that take on all the hard work associated with buying a property. 

They’re also the one person you can rely on during the whole process. Let’s take a look at why you should use a Property Buyers Agent.  

What is a Property Buyers Agent? 

So you’re probably wondering what is a Property Buyers Agent and what do they do? Quite simply, they’re a real estate professional who is equipped and fully licenced to represent the client i.e. the person or persons buying a property. They represent you and your interests in all things related to buying a property. 

They differ from Sellers Agents or Listing Agents who represent the seller and who would have the seller’s interests in mind, not yours as the buyer. 

Buyers Advocates are licenced professionals who will be your port of call from the beginning to the end of your property buying experience.  

For example, with Savvy Fox, a Licensed Buyers Agent and Registered Property Valuer, you would enjoy the following services: 

  • Searching for listed and unlisted properties  
  • Evaluating and comparing properties 
  • Negotiating the purchase price and conditions on your behalf 
  • Preparing or reviewing contract documents, coordinating inspections and other due diligence 
  • Managing the settlement process to completion. 

 

Why Hire A Buyers Advocate? 

Now that you know exactly what a buyers advocate does, here is why you should hire one to help you seal the deal on your next property.  

Understanding of the Real Estate Industry 

Property Buyer Agents have an in-depth knowledge of the real estate market. They have an understanding of what to look out for when buying a home and know what questions to ask at a showing.  

For instance, if this was your first property purchase, you might not necessarily know to ask about water damage, mould, or any pest problems related to the property. Your Property Buyers Agent would though.  

The market also fluctuates and, seeing as purchasing property can be a long process, things can easily change between when you first started viewing and when you’re ready to sign the dotted line.  

With an in-depth understanding of the trends in the property market, a Property Buyers Agent like Savvy Fox will ensure that you’re paying the right price. Or, whether you need to up your offer for a chance at being accepted.  

Buyers Advocates also have extensive networks and databases of listed properties, whereas you might only be looking at the popular listings online. This means that they could find some gems of properties on the market that you never would have found yourself! 

Knowledge of the Location  

If you haven’t lived in a particular suburb or region, it’s always a good idea to hire someone who knows the lay of the land. They’ll also have a good grasp of the values of properties in that area and how well it will do in the future.  

For instance, if you’ve spent your whole life in Sydney and you’re moving to Byron Bay, your buyers agent in Byron Bay will know the local market far better than you would. 

If you have specific requirements for the property, they’ll be able to narrow down the search. Your requirements could include the number of bedrooms in the house, whether it’s an apartment or a free-standing house, being close to schools and shopping centres and your price range.  

Your agent will be able to navigate the entire search process so that you don’t have to. 

 

Scheduling Showings 

Everyone has busy lives as it is. Between work, managing home life and kids’ schedules, who has time to coordinate showings of houses? That’s where a Gold Coast Buyers Agent like Savvy Fox comes in. They would basically be like your personal assistant in finding a home.  

They’ll coordinate times with the sellers and listing agents where necessary. They might even be able to schedule numerous viewings back-to-back, instead of staggering them over several days. All simply to save you time! 

 

Industry Contacts 

When buying a house, there are several stages in the process. At each, there are different industry professionals that you’ll need to deal with.  

An agent will be able to connect you with the different people necessary at each stage of the process, instead of you having to source these companies or people yourself.  

The companies or individuals you’ll end up dealing with will include mortgage companies and banks, law firms and contractors and inspection companies. 

 

They’re Master Negotiators 

Since your Property Buyers Agent will know what to look out for at the showings, they’ll also know how that translates into the offer you will need to make. They’ll then be able to advise you and negotiate on your behalf. 

A Buyers Advocate will also be able to do a comparative analysis of the property against the current market. So, they can advise on whether a property is overpriced and what your offer should be. You’ll then be able to make an informed decision on the offer.  

If you don’t have an agent, you’ll end up having to do the negotiations yourself. So unless you can talk your way in and out of anything, it’s probably best to hire a professional.  

Buyers Advocates like Savvy Fox have insider knowledge that is invaluable in property negotiations – making sure that you get the best deal on your dream property. Even better, Savvy Fox is a Registered Property Valuer so you can be sure you’re paying the right price! 

 

Keeping Everything on Schedule

There are almost always delays in property buying transactions. That being said, it is possible to avoid them. Hiring an agent can eliminate some of these delays, as they will do follow-ups and make calls to the necessary people involved to make sure everything happens on time. 

There are unavoidable instances where there are delays in the process. However, having a Buyers Advocate on your side can help speed things up and get you into your new home sooner rather than later. 

 

Understand How to Write up Contracts 

Unless you studied property law and know how to deal with the paperwork involved in buying a house, always get a professional involved. 

Buying a property is a big deal. It’s probably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make in your life! 

So, instead of spending agonising hours trying to figure out all the contracts associated with buying a house, let your Property Buyers Agent handle all of those details.  

You will still need to understand the contract, but at least you wouldn’t have to write it! 

 

What To Look For In A Property Buyers Agent 

They need to be on your side. Unlike the Listing Agent, your Property Buyers Agent needs to have your interests at heart. 

You should also make sure that they are licensed and have experience. After all, you don’t want to risk putting the biggest purchase of your life into the hands of an agent who doesn’t have the experience needed to negotiate in your best interests.  

It’s also important not to choose a Buyers Agent simply because they have the lowest fees. You want to make sure that you’re getting the best service and the best deal. So, it’s worth paying a little extra to make sure all your needs are met. 

The Bottom Line 

We all like to have control over what we do and we tend to want to do things ourselves. Buying a house is often not one of those things we can or should do on our own.  

This is where experienced professionals, like Savvy Fox Gold Coast Buyers Advocates, come in handy. It’s always best to have someone on your side, with your interests at heart. They can guide you through the whole process and make sure that you find your dream home at the best price possible.  

Working with Savvy Fox

You’ve made a smart choice in choosing to work with us! 

What happens now… 

Firstly, I wanted to set the expectations, so we are both clear on what happens moving forward. While each property search is different, and you have your specific search requirements. 

There is a lot we can share from the thousands of properties searches we’ve completed over the past 20 plus years.  

Time frame: While it’s impossible to predict the exact moment we will secure your property. We can share that our overall average time from initial search through to purchase is approx. 6-8 weeks. 

Communication: While we do aim to maintain regular communication via calls, emails and WhatsApp. How much communication we have generally depends on when we find suitable options to present to you.  

Some days we’ll have exciting property options to share – but other days may be a little slower we might not have anything to share.  

Sending you properties: We will be endeavouring to send property options every few days. Before we present any property to you, we first do our due diligence on the property.  

After all, it can often take days (sometimes weeks) of consistent hard-work to find you a genuine opportunity. So, when we present it we want to make sure it stacks up.  

We don’t like to send you properties that don’t meet your wish-list, simply to “look active” as this just wastes everyone’s time.  

After all, we are working to find you the BEST property (not just any old property).  

Patience with the process: While we know our efforts will pay off in the end, we need to consider timing is a factor in any real estate deal.  

So, if at any stage you’re wondering why you’ve not found the place yet, be patient as we are working as hard as humanly possible to find & secure your dream home.  

After all, our goals are the same – to find and secure your dream property as fast as possible. 

“Teamwork makes the dream work” We encourage you to be involved in the process as much as you like. After all, the more communication we can have ‘back & forth’ only helps us understand and achieve your property goals faster.  

So feel free to send through any properties you’ve seen online that you love or any potential properties you would like us to look over.  

If you’re wondering, how exactly do we find your perfect property? 

Here’s a breakdown of what we do to find and secure your next property! 

Online searching – every day we spend hours scrolling through online listings to find any newly listed opportunities.  

*Note, we don’t send properties through to you until we speak to the listing agent and complete our due diligence (see below). 
 

We also use advanced software and algorithms to scrap the internet and send us direct alerts for any new properties listed outside realestate.com.au that meet your search criteria.  

Online appraisals and vetting – while a lot of properties listed online look great at face value. Before we present a listing to you, we’ll look at the property in detail. Some of the things we’ll look up are: 

  • Analyse the sales history on RP Data looking at previous comparable sales in the area. 
  • Look at when (or if) the property was previously renovated.  
  • Check the property for any negative easements or overlays.  
  • Call the agent to discuss the property and ensure it’s still on the market (frustratingly, most properties listed online are already under contract) 
  • arrange private inspection times w/ the sales agents.  

Only once a property has passed our desktop valuations, is confirmed to be still on the market – will we send the property through to you for your approval/feedback. 

If you like the property and want us to inspect it further – we’ll arrange a time to view the property. 

Private inspections: Often, we can leverage our personal relationships with the real estate agents to inspect a property before the public open home. Viewing before public showings allows us to get a jump on the competition and in some cases secure the property for you before the public get a chance to see it. 

Inspection process: Regardless if it’s a private inspection or public open home. When we inspect a home, we do more than walk through the property. We dig deep into the house’s bones, and we look at any/all potential defects and physical issues with the property. 

We also look at any future work and factor in the costs involved with potential renovations or upgrades that can add future value. 

We will then record walkthrough videos with our commentary on each aspect of the property. And send these videos through via WhatsApp with our report and opinions of the opportunity.  

But not all opportunities will be listed online! 

And our job is to find you the perfect property, and often these are ‘off-market’ or ‘pre-market’ properties.  

And this is where we shine! Here are just some of the ways we find and source off-market or pre-market opportunities for you. 

Off-market (pocket listings) 

Sometimes we may already have potential off-market properties to suit your brief. 

See, we are relentless in our pursuit of off-market properties. So, we run outreach campaigns every single week regardless of if we have a buyer yet, to find pocket listings. 

pocket listing is a homeowner who is open to selling their home, but does not want to list their home online. So, they allow us to keep the listing “in-our-pocket” and if we ever have a good fit with a buyer, we can begin negotiating with them for sale.  

Pre-market (via real estate agencies) 

Email alerts to local agents: in each area we have a specific email list to the agents on the ground. We send out weekly updates and briefs on your specific property requirements to these agents.  

Calls to local agents: Emails are great, but we don’t leave it there, we are on the phone to all the local agents weekly (if not daily) to discuss your property needs and find any listings that may be coming up which may suit your needs.  

The agents will allow us to screen and view and potential upcoming listings before going to market – giving us first chance to secure as an off-market deal.  

Local agents’ sales meetings: Due to our relationships with local real estate agencies, we will get invited to attend their weekly sales meetings – to present your brief to the entire sales teams. And discuss potential pre-market opportunities with the agents in person. 

See, sales agents love working with buyers agents. As it means they do not have to spend money on marketing the property and know they are working with professionals who understand the process.  

Pre-market deals are great, but we don’t stop there… 

We will also find you 100% Off-market opportunities  

One area we shine here at Savvy Fox is finding real off-market properties for you.  

Now, these are much harder to find, but the reward is often worth the effort.  

Here are a few ways we find 100% off-market opportunities for you. 

Letterbox drops: We will relentlessly target areas with personalised letters, looking for people interested in selling. Walking the streets also gives us a chance to identify target properties via a curb side appraisal.   

Personal mail outs: We will go through 1000’s of listings online. If we identify specific properties that fit your brief, we will then mail out a stamped personal addressed letter to the owner asking if they are interested in selling. This strategy works well if the properties are in unit complexes, we cannot access the mailboxes, rural areas, or gated communities.  

Door knocking: If we come past a property that we believe is a perfect fit, we will knock on their door and ask in person if there is any interest in selling.  

Direct calls: If we’ve found a place that fits the brief, we can often find the owners phone number online and give them a call directly.  

Finding off-market opportunities does take a lot of work, here’s why… 

Off-market properties work for all parties involved: 

  • Less competition (obviously) you avoid the need to get into bidding wars with other potential buyers.  
  • Better deals, while off-market homeowners will not sell for a bottom-dollar, they are happy to take a fair market price. As they know, they can save thousands of dollars by not having to engage a selling agent in the process. 
  • The homeowner avoids listing their property online; mainly if they are selling due to financial stress, they may prefer to sell quietly without listing online.  

But here is the IMPORTANT part… 

Regardless of if it’s a property we find listed online, a pre-market opportunity or an off-market find – have confidence we are working to find your dream property every single day of the week (including weekends).  

Some days we will have success and exciting news to share – but others will be a little slower we will not have anything to share. It can often take days (sometimes weeks) of consistent arduous work to find each genuine opportunity. 

After all, we are working to find you the BEST property possible.  

And while we know our efforts will pay off in the end, we need to consider timing is a factor in any real estate deal. So, if you’re wondering why you have not found the place yet, be patient as we are working as hard as humanly possible to find & secure your dream home 

Remember, our goal is to find and secure your dream property as fast as possible.  

Welcome to Savvy Fox. 

For more details on how I can help you find, negotiate and secure your next property…  Please complete the form on this page to book a free (no obligation) 30-minute consult with myself…

Book Your FREE 30-Minute  Chat With Jacqueline

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