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“Buying a house can be a daunting experience. Madeleine and her team made it so much easier to bear. They helped guide us through the process and were always approachable and open to our requests and questions.”

Graham and Sarah (via RateMyAgent)

1. Do the research

Learn as much as you can about home buying and mortgage applications at the planning stage.

Look at properties for sale and properties that have been sold in the area you’re interested in to get an idea of property values.

Remember that knowledge is power and never more so than when entering the property market.Remember that knowledge is power and never more so than when entering the property market.

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2. How much you can borrow

Talk to mortgage brokers and financial institutions early on to establish how much you can afford to borrow and therefore, how much you can afford to pay for your new property.

Viewing properties outside your price range are not only a waste of time but it can make the buying experience disappointing and more stressful.

Make sure the information you give your mortgage advisor is accurate and up to date.

Without accurate information, the advisor cannot advise you correctly.

You’ll need to provide details of your income, assets and liabilities.

And don’t forget to allow for the expenses you’ll incur during the purchase process such as conveyancing, stamp duty, property inspections and removal costs.

3. Selling to buy elsewhere

Many buyers also have a property to sell.

This is a familiar dilemma and a situation that needs careful handling.

Our many years of experience have shown that the most effective strategy is to sell before attempting to buy.

Buying first could place you under pressure to sell your current home quickly and achieve a lower price than you might otherwise have got.

It’s a good idea to make the sale contract on the original property dependent on you finding the new home that’s right for you.

If this sounds like you, get started by finding out how much your property is worth. From there, together we can work out what your options are.

4. Obtaining your loan

A loan pre-approval which specifies the amount you have available to spend is a powerful bargaining tool.

It allows you to act swiftly when you find a property you’re interested in which is important when there are a number of other interested parties.

The seller is more likely to favour an offer from a buyer with pre-approved finance than from those without.

Changing jobs while you’re applying for a mortgage could be a mistake because finance institutions prefer borrowers with stable employment records.

A sudden job change can sometimes result in the loan being declined.

Check with your broker beforehand – all banks are different and their rules can change from week to week.

5. Choosing the right property for you

Here at Hicks Real Estate we know how hard it can be to choose one property over another, especially when you’ve viewed a number of them.

The strategy we like to recommend is one we call ‘the game of nines’.

It works like this; you make a list of nine features you definitely do, and nine features you definitely don’t want in your new home.

Whenever you view a property you assign a score based on your lists.

This system can help you make a decision when otherwise it seems impossible!

6. Take your time

Don’t be hurried or pushed into buying until you’re absolutely sure the property meets all your requirements.

Ideally, you’ll view a number of homes before facing the dilemma of comparing and making a decision.

Remember to explore the immediate neighbourhood to assess whether the local amenities suit your needs and, if necessary, check on the local schools.

One of the greatest challenges you’re likely to face when buying is an emotional attachment to a particular home.

You may find a property you absolutely love but try to think logically.If it doesn’t meet your requirements you’re very likely to regret the decision to buy it.

If it doesn’t meet your requirements you’re very likely to regret the decision to buy it.

Your list of nine wanted and unwanted features will help you here.

Try not to become too friendly with the seller as this might influence your decision and lead you to overlook faults you might otherwise have noticed.

7. No Regrets

Finding your perfect home and having your purchase offer accepted is a major milestone, yet there are still things to do.

Make sure you have a building and pest inspection done by a certified contractor to uncover any major hidden faults.

Minor problems with the house can be a reason to re-negotiate the purchase price or you can request that the owner rectifies the problem as a condition of the sale.

House prices are on the rise. Find out the value of your property now.

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Hicks Real Estate is a Brisbane based, full-service real estate agency supporting buyers and sell as well as renters and property investors. With almost 20 years experience in the local market, we are the real estate experts you can rely upon.