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You really want a property and are keen to put in an offer but where do you start? No one wants to pay more for a house than the market value, so how do you get the best deal? What is the magic figure to start the negotiation process?
Making an offer on a property is similar to playing a game of chess – each party waiting to see what move the other party is going to make.
What is the process?
The process of making an offer on a property can vary from state to state. For some areas, the first offer can be verbal, for others it is written. Make sure you’re across the rules and how the process works before you start.
It’s often best to make the offer in writing – this eliminates any confusion concerning what the offer and conditions were.
The negotiation process begins when you first meet an agent. They will likely ask a number of questions to understand your situation and formulate an idea of what your needs and your budget are.
Before getting to the offer, this relationship with the agent might consist of a number of phone calls, second and third visits to the property and possibly some inspections.
During this process and before you make an offer remember the following:
Have a clear understanding of the process. Ask the agent to explain how they intend to take offers on the property, then check with your solicitor to ensure they are happy with this. It’s a good idea to seek advice from you bank or financial adviser to ensure you can meet any terms.
Know what price you want to pay for the property and work out your strategy to accomplish this. Remember that this is a negotiation so go into it knowing what the maximum price you’re willing to pay is.
Research the property fully and ensure you’ve satisfied all your requirements.
Have an understanding of the vendor’s motivation to sell, their preferred settlement date and any other information that may make your offer stronger.
Remember to be patient. Some property offers can take a while and they can be stressful. Don’t rush offers if you don’t need to and consider putting a time limit on any offers you do make.
Should I get a valuation?
It can be a good idea to get a registered valuation on the property. Although this is generally done as part of the loan process, your negotiations would have already taken place.
If you want to get your offer on the table, you can always add a condition that it is subject to a valuation. However, the vendor might not accept this condition and you might miss out on the property.
If you are thinking about getting a valuation as part of the offer process, check with your lender to enquire which valuers they use to make sure it can be accepted as part of the loan application – you don’t want to pay twice.
Do your research
One of the biggest mistakes buyers often make is not researching the property fully before making an offer.
Speak to the agent to get an idea of the vendor’s asking price. Study other comparable properties that have sold in the area recently, which will help you determine how much you think the property is worth and make an informed offer.
If you’re interested in a property that is going to auction, ask the agent if the vendor is considering pre-auction offers.
Be upfront if you’re interested in the property. You don’t have to give an agent your life’s history but enough information for them to know to contact you and keep you in the loop if there is movement on the property.
How to offer at auction
Making an offer on a private treaty can be done in your own time, but an auction is different.
Auctions can be emotional so you need to keep cool under pressure. To get an idea of how these play out, it’s a good idea to attend numerous auctions before ‘the big one’. This way you can check out strategies used by other buyers.
Before the day, have all your inspections, terms and conditions, etc, completed and checked out by your solicitor.
On the day, know what you want to pay for the property and don’t deviate. Remember, deposits are generally 10% of the purchase price so ensure you have funds available.
Have a support network. If you’re not comfortable bidding at an auction, use someone that is – a friend, relative or buyer’s agent.
Source: Making an offer on a property
When borrowing to purchase a property the amount a lender is willing to loan will depend on the size of your deposit, how much you earn and what you spend.
There can be a difference between what a bank will lend you and what you can afford to pay.
Here’s what to think about before applying for a home loan.
Calculate what you can afford
The first step to considering how much you can afford to borrow is to draw up a budget.
Write down your monthly income and then account for all your expenses.
This will give you a good idea of how much you are already spending each month, and how much you have left over to potentially put towards a mortgage.
When doing a budget, you should always allow for a buffer for unexpected expenses and interest rate changes.
To calculate your borrowing capacity, consider your income, expenses, any personal debt and the appropriate type of loan.
Here are some tips to remember:
– Income: The general rule that commentators follow is that repayments shouldn’t be more than 35% of your gross income.
– Expenses: Make a list of current and future expenses, factoring in things like having children, the financial repercussions of unexpected events such as job loss, and interest rates rising or falling.
– Loan: The loan amount will dictate your monthly mortgage repayments so be wary of overstretching yourself. The bigger your deposit compared to the loan amount, the smaller the repayments will be. Use a home loan calculator to work out how much you will likely be repaying each month.
Make sure you fit the lending criteria
Lending criteria can vary greatly between banks, and will depend on factors such as the state of the economy and the size of the institution.
Common lending criteria can include:
– A minimum deposit based of the loan-to-value (LVR) of the loan. LVR is the proportion of money you can borrow compared to the value of the property.
– Employment status and current income.
– Previous credit card limits and personal debts.
– Your savings history or previous repayments history for any other loans (i.e. car loan).
If you meet their criteria, the lender will be able to advise you how much you’re able to borrow from them. Then it is up to you to work out if this is manageable with your current income and lifestyle.
Don’t forget about mortgage & lender fees
There are a number of different home loans available and they each come with their own set of fees and charges, including service fees, Lenders Mortgage Insurance and fees for different features.
– Service fees: Each institution will charge differently to cover the cost of servicing the loan. You should always get a legal advisor or conveyancer to review the mortgage contract as they will be able to advise on which fees are standard and which ones you shouldn’t have to pay.
– Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance: LMI is a fee charged by finance lenders when the deposit is less than 20% of the property’s purchase price.
– Special feature fees: Features of different loans can attract more fees or variable interest rates. For example, offset and redrawing accounts could cost more than a standard home loan.
– Associated costs: In order to get a home loan, you will need to reserve some funds for conveyancing, home and contents insurance and stamp duty. It’s important to factor in these costs from the outset.
Speak to a mortgage expert
How much a bank will lend you depends on your individual financial situation.
A financial advisor can assess how your home loan will impact on your overall finances, where as a mortgage broker can help you find the best deal on a home loan.
Sourced: How much you can borrow?