The Australian property market is staging a remarkable recovery, with Domain’s most recent data showing that, by the June quarter, capital city house prices had already gained $34,000 of the $60,000 lost during 2022.
Fuelling the recovery is a mismatch between supply and demand after new listing numbers collapsed in spring 2022. As a result, the total number of homes for sale in June across the combined capitals was 22% below the previous five-year average.
At the same time, demand is rising, with PropTrack reporting the number of highly engaged buyers interacting with properties on realestate.com.au during the four months to June was at its highest level in over five years.
This, in turn, is intensifying the competition among buyers and, ultimately, putting sellers back in the driver’s seat in many capital city property markets.
As a prospective homebuyer, navigating this competitive landscape can be challenging. Fortunately, there are some effective tactics you can use to get ahead of your rivals and increase your chances of securing your dream property.
Be prepared and pre-approved
Before beginning your property search, it’s essential to get your financial house in order. Start by reviewing your credit score and monthly living expenses, as these can impact how much you can borrow. It will also help to pay off any outstanding debt and reduce limits on or close any credit cards you don’t use.
Next, obtain a home loan pre-approval via an experienced mortgage broker, like Shore Financial. While pre-approval isn’t an iron-clad guarantee you’ll subsequently get the loan, it gives you a clear budget to work with. What’s more, with pre-approval in hand, you can act swiftly when you find the right property and demonstrate that you are a strong contender. This can give you a significant advantage over other buyers who may not have taken this step.
Act fast (but don’t rush)
In a competitive real estate market, desirable properties tend to get snapped up quickly. While it’s important to act fast, it’s equally crucial not to rush your decision. Do thorough research on the property, its location and comparable sales in the area. You can also seek advice from a buyer’s agent or other professionals.
A knowledgeable and experienced buyer’s agent can be a valuable ally, whether you’re buying your first home or an investment property. They have access to off-market listings, know the local property market inside-out and can negotiate on your behalf effectively. Choose a buyer’s agent with a track record of successful transactions and positive reviews from previous clients.
Stay cool, calm and collected
Emotions often run high when buying property. But it’s important to stay focused and disciplined throughout the process as this can help you avoid getting caught up in bidding wars that could lead to you overextending your budget. Always set a clear limit on how much you’re willing to spend and be prepared to walk away if the property exceeds that limit.
While price is important, some sellers prefer buyers who can offer flexible settlement terms. So being accommodating in this regard can help you stand out, especially if the seller has specific requirements or needs a quick settlement.
Don’t forget due diligence
Finally, while competition may be fierce, never compromise on doing your due diligence. Perform thorough inspections, get professional building and pest inspections, and review all necessary documents before finalising the deal. Making an informed decision is always better than rushing into a purchase that you may regret later on.