Buying Tips

10 Tips For Buying Real Estate
1. Decide On The Type Of Property You Want
2. Shop Around For Finance
3. Establish Your Price Range
4. Prepare A Locality List
5. Buy Or Build?
6. If You're Buying Land...
7. If You're Buying An Investment Property...
8. Find Suitable Properties
9. Inspect Multiple Properties
10. Make An Offer
A Glossary Of Common Real Estate Terms


1. Decide On The Type Of Property You Want

* Vacant land

* Farm

* Commercial property

* Investment property

* Your own house or unit

2. Shop Around For Finance
* Consider the interest rates on offer and the interest types being offered. In particular...

* Are there any penalties such as early payout, extra payments of fixed interest loans?

* How is the interest calculated and how does that affect the frequency of repayments?

* What are the establishment fees and other charges?

* Is insurance required and/or provided?

* What deposit is required?

* What additional deals are offered? (eg: mortgage offset accounts)

* Remember that the days when banks were almost the only source of finance for property transactions are long gone!

3. Establish Your Price Range
Establish the price range that you can realistically afford in conjunction with your financial planner and/or lending organisation.

4. Prepare A Locality List
Prepare a locality list for the property based on your personal preferences (ie what facilities are required and available? transport? close to schools? close to shops? views? acreage? etc etc)

5. Buy Or Build?
Do you want to buy an existing structure or build your own?

* Can you afford to wait for the building to be constructed or do you need to move in straight away?

* Are you confident with managing the construction process?

* Is finance an issue?

6. If You're Buying Land...
* Ensure the boundaries to the block are clearly marked

* Check for any encumbrances and/or restrictions

* If building on the block - does the design suit the land?

* If the block isn't flat - will there be extra costs associated with retaining walls, footings, etc

* Does soil testing need to be done?

* If the block is rural - is water and sewerage available if required?

* What about phone and power access?

* If buying in a planned subdivision - where will future roads go and what will be the impact on your block?

7. If You're Buying An Investment Property...
* Buy with your head and not your heart

* Ensure facilities are readily accessible for your intended occupants

* Evaluate maintenance and repairs costs and consider tax implications for negative gearing and/or capital gains where applicable

* Find out relevant rental and occupancy rates in the area

8. Find Suitable Properties
* Listings in newspapers

* Agencies windows

* Internet sites

9. Inspect Multiple Properties
* Accept professional advice from real estate agents but remember it 's your decision

* Don't be pressured into a sale until you are ready

10. Make An Offer
Make an offer on properties that meet your criteria even if you feel that the asking price isn't right. You never know when you'll get lucky!

A Glossary Of Common Real Estate Terms
New to real estate? Here's a glossary of common terms that are used in real estate transactions that might be helpful:

Agency type
The way you decide you want your real estate agent to sell your property. The amount you can expect the agent to do differs with the type of agency you choose. In general, there are 5 common agency types in use in Australia:

* Open listing (General Engagement to Sell)
This means putting your property for sale with many agents. Agents will not be able to devote as much time selling your property with agency type.

* Multi-Listing
Putting your property for sale with a group of agents who combine properties. Similar to an Open Listing except with only one agent in control.

* Sole Agency
One agent acts for you taking responsibility for the sale of your property, but you retain the right to sell it yourself. Having given the agent your confidence, you can expect far more service and attention.

* Exclusive Agency (Exclusive Sole Agency)
Similar to the Sole Agency, however you will gain absolute attention from your agent as the difference is that you now don't have the right to sell privately. This is the most assured way of best using the professional services of a real estate agent

* Auction
Another form of Exclusive and highest form of Real Estate selling. Simply, an Auctioneer puts a property for sale in a public gathering and sells it to the highest bidder.

Authority agreement (Vendor's Statement)
Document signed by Vendor to give the real estate agent authority to sell the property and includes the agency type.

An offer to buy a property at a given or stated price which is being sold at an auction.

When a group of real estate offices or team members inspect a vendor's property to determine the best way of promotion and confirm price.

Any property other that the freehold land. Generally meaning personal property such as fixtures like light fittings, curtains etc.

Conditional Offer
An offer made conditional, for example on availability of finance or sale of other property.

Contract of Sale
A formal written agreement which states the terms and conditions of sale.

A person/company who acts on behalf of another to assist the transfer of property form one owner to another.

Cooling off period
A stated time after contracts have been signed, in which time a purchaser can change their mind and rescind the contract.

A document whereby an agreement is made, obligation entered into or property conveyed and is under the seal of the parties in the document.

The amount of money placed in trust as evidence of the intention to purchase.

Money paid out by the agent, which can include advertising, rates, taxes, insurance, service fees.

Signing of a document

Exchange of Contracts
Exchange of contracts occurs after both purchaser and vendor have signed the contacts and the contracts are physically exchanged from one party to the other.

Anything that is built on the land, for example the house.

Give authority to another person e.g.. Solicitor, agent, friend, to act on your behalf.

Legal fees
Money paid for legal work completed by Solicitor or Conveyancer.

Listing (or 'to list')
Recording that a property is for sale.

The market is the buyers that are around at the time a property is for sale.

Market price
The amount of money that the buyers at the time are willing to pay for a property.

A legal document signed as security for the repayment of money when you borrow money to purchase property.

The lender of the money.

The borrower of the money.

Possession date
The day the purchaser receives possession of the property. This is usually the settlement date.

Advising the public and interested people that a property is for sale.

A list of questions that a purchaser puts to the vendor, usually through the solicitor or conveyancer, to determine information about the property such as rates, title, rents, etc.

Service fees
Money paid to professionals for their work.

The completion of the sale. Documents and money settled between parties.

Settlement day
The day of completion of the sale. Vendor receives money, purchaser receives possession of property.

A qualified legal person who acts on behalf of another to assist the transfer of property form one owner to another.

A person or company, usually the agent or solicitor, with whom money has been deposited pending the sale of property.

Document that states the owner of the land and the way the land or property is classified by the Government Surveyors.

Types of Title

* Old System
The original system of passing title from one person to the next. Records are checked for transactions on the property for the last thirty years or more.
* Torrens Title
A more simple title that checks the present owner's financial obligations before proceeding with the transfer to the new owner.
* Company Title
Usually on a block of units owned by a company and run by a board of directors. You purchase shares in the company rather than owning a title or deed.
* Community Title
A cluster of homes sharing amenities such as a driveway, drainage etc.
* Strata Title
Usually on a group of dwellings such as units and run by a body corporate, you purchase a Title deed.

Unconditional sale
The point at which the contract is binding.

Vacant possession
The property will be vacant at settlement.

A registered and qualified person who makes a financial valuation of a property.

The person selling the property.