Tips

How to Buy Your Dream Home During a Pandemic

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BY YING CHAN

IT won’t be a breeze; I’m not going to sugar-coat it – when demand outstrips supply, the buyer’s market becomes super competitive. Low stock levels plus record low interest rates only add fuel to the fire.

The metrics don’t add up because we’re in a pandemic (or hopefully coming to the tail end of it), and yet there are so many buyers out there. But in this crisis, which continues to be unpredictable, you can still be a winner!

STAY CALM

When you accept that there’s tough competition, you focus on the important stuff – independent market value assessment, value of the house to you, value of the house to other buyers, north-facing orientation to the rear, walk time to public transport, commute to work, childcare options, school options, floor plan, how much work is required, etc.

Once you come across a home that seems to tick all the boxes, book your inspection in pronto because time is of the essence in this competitive market.

KEEP YOUR OPTIONS OPEN   

Widen your search parameters. Don’t limit yourself by going too narrow. Set your searches wide on the real estate portals so you get new listing notifications just outside your parameters.

Never underestimate what might come along – it could be ideal for you.

COMMUNICATE WITH THE SELLING AGENT 

If you build a rapport with the selling agent, you’ll have clarity on the seller’s perspective and be in a better position to negotiate, especially when it’s a private sale. Discuss your offer and terms with the selling agent and put your considered assessment of market value and market sentiment to good use here.

When you accept that there’s tough competition, you focus on the important stuff – independent market value assessment, value of the house to you, value of the house to other buyers, north-facing orientation to the rear, walk time to public transport, commute to work, childcare options, school options, floor plan, how much work is required, etc.

Once you come across a home that seems to tick all the boxes, book your inspection in pronto because time is of the essence in this competitive market.

UNDERSTAND THE VALUE

Take the time to assess each situation and weigh up the pros and cons. What is the opportunity cost? When will a similar property come up again? How much should I pay to secure it now? Will I pay more for the same thing in a few months’ time when restrictions continue to relax? Are there other similarly priced options in the area? Do I wait to see what else comes up?

Look at all the comparable sales, not just recent sales. Go back and find older sales of similar properties and look at the rate of price growth over time. Is it in line with the local market or has it performed better? Look for similar properties in neighbouring suburbs.

GET HELP FROM THE RIGHT PEOPLE

A homebuyer’s journey can be tiring, with unforeseeable hiccups along the way. However, if you can get educated with all the pertinent information you need to make good decisions and if you can find the right person to support you through this journey, living in your dream home will become a reality sooner than you think.

‘Helping clients succeed’ is Ying Chan’s business motto. She thrives in negotiating or competing at auctions. Once a medical sales consultant by day and avid renovator on weekends, Chan decided to turn her hobby and passion for real estate into a profession, and was appointed as a buyer’s and vendor’s advocate at a leading property advisory firm in 2012.

In 2018, Chan founded Eclipse Property Advisory to help time-poor clients navigate their property purchase or sale journey with confidence.

Chan can be contacted at 0424 146 193 or [email protected]

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