Create a household budget to help you determine manageable loan repayments. Be prepared for the "hidden" costs of purchase, including solicitor's fees, building inspections and taxes.
Your mortgage provider will advise how much you can afford to borrow, it's important to have your finance in order before you start looking as this may save disappointment later. Request a letter of approval from your lender, this may be required on the day of auction.
Make a detailed list of all your requirements, including location, size and features. The more specific your list the more refined your search will be, saving you valuable time and energy. It's a good idea to prioritise them as this will help you better qualify your choices.
Ask your Morton and Morton sales agent for a list of recent sales in your preferred area. Your agent can also provide you with valuable locality information, including schools and facilities. Try to attend inspections and auctions in your area to get a feel for the market.
Once you have found your ideal home, we recommend that you arrange for a building and pest inspection. This is to help ensure you don't inherit costly repairs.
Once you have found your ideal property, you may decide to pay the asking price or make an offer, dependant on your opinion of its value. Ask your agent to send a copy of the contract of sale to your solicitors. Remember, the agent is acting in the best interests of the vendor, so if you are making an offer less than the asking price, you may risk losing the property to a buyer prepared to pay the asking price. Once an agreed price is reached, it is usually best to exchange contracts as soon as possible.
At an auction all interested parties have an opportunity to put their best offer forward and the property will usually be sold on the day. This method is the best and fairest way to sell a property which is expected to generate much interest. To familiarise yourself with the process it is wise to attend as many auctions as possible prior to your auction date. If you are unfamiliar with this method you can authorise someone to bid on your behalf.
New laws, which came into effect on September 1, 2003, affect all agents and bidders at auction in NSW. Largely they are designed to help eliminate 'dummy bids' and agents falsely understating prices. These have gone a long way to increasing buyer confidence in the auction process.
Part of these rules requires that all bidders register with the selling agent/auction house, prior to auction. If you would like to read more on these new laws the details are outlined in the Department of Fair Trading's Bidders Guide.
If you have decided to buy a property that is to be auctioned discuss your interest with the listing agent well ahead of the auction date. They will guide you through each step and help you to be prepared on the day.
Overseas buyers must seek approval from the The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) before purchasing real estate in Australia. There are a number of rules and requirements that apply to foreign investors however these rules do not usually apply to Australians living overseas.
Now that your offer has been accepted, a deposit will be required, usually 10% of the purchase price. At this time your solicitors will sign and exchange contracts between you and the vendor and a settlement period will also be agreed upon, on average this is sixty days.