How to navigate through the Property Market

September 5, 2011


Now, more than ever, the person that successfully buys the home they love is the person that is prepared in advance to buy. I have seen time and time again, nice people miss out on buying, not because their price offered was not good, but due to other factors that meant they were not ready to buy.

Ready means ready in the following ways;

i. Ready to make the move as soon as you find the home that suits

ii. Have your finances ready to go

iii. Your home is sold or well advanced on the market

iv. You know how much you can spend

v. You are reasonably well aware of the market in which you want to buy.


Before putting yourself through the process of looking for a suitable property, working out values, making offers and so on, I suggest you start right at the beginning and set some goals and parameters.

Work out why you want to move or buy?
If it is for your own home to live in?

i. What about the existing home is it that doesn’t suit my needs?

ii. How long will that be tolerable?

iii. When would I like to be moved?

iv. How long do I see myself living here?

v. What is the ultimate lifestyle I am trying to create?

vi. Do I have a timeframe in mind?

vii. Am I able to buy without selling or do I need to sell first?

If investment purposes;

i. What returns am I realistically expecting?

ii. Do I intend to ever live here?

iii. Am I more interested in yield or capital growth?

And general;

i. How long will finance take?

ii. What is my maximum budget?


We live in an information society. It is possible to get information about almost anything. Before you buy or start the process, it is essential to do some important ground work, so that you make the right decisions and get the right price.

i. Market research

a. Days on market

· How long do properties like the one I want to but take to sell?

· Am I prepared to risk a low ball offer for a good listing and miss out, especially for a new listing?

· What are the patterns if the listing is unsold after 3,6,10 weeks?

· Which agents behave which way in the market as to price and price adjustments?

· Which agents sell their stock in less than average/ more than average days on market?

b. List to sell price ratios

· Which agents are renowned for pricing correctly close to actual fair market value?

· What percentage below asking price is typical?

c. Actual sales evidence

· What are the most recent actual sales figures that compare to my preferred property?

ii. Location and lifestyle search

a. Where do I want to live?

b. Where can I afford to live?

c. Is location more important than the accommodation itself? (You rarely get exactly what you want)

iii. Finance

a. How much can I borrow?

b. What is my maximum budget?

c. Have I allowed for stamp duty/ Settlement agent fees?

d. Shifting costs

e. Murphy’s Law (Allow for a few thousand dollars for contingencies)

f. Current value of your other assets/ home

g. Do you know what your house is really worth now (not what an agent said it is worth)?

h. Is it worth getting a sworn valuation?

i. Can I move if I get a little less than what I hoped for?

j. The settlement and moving process/ do I understand it?

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