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Properties for Sale Northern Beaches

Discover real estate for sale with the Northern Beaches #1 Property Group.
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Saturday, 25 May

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We’ve pulled together some basics to help you get started buy your Northern Beaches property with us.

What is the first step of the home buying process?

How exciting! Buying a home is the great Australian dream.

The first step to buying a home is to look at your finances, decide what you want and then bring those two together to see what you can afford.

Did you know there are a number of grants out there that you may be eligible for when purchasing your new home? You don’t necessarily need to do this step first, but if you know what’s out there and get a head start on the application process, this will help you have a clearer view of your finances when it comes time to buy.

How long does it take to buy a home?

This really depends on how ready to go you are.

Do you know what you’re looking for? Are you mentally prepared to make a purchase? These need to factor into your time frames first.

If you are just shopping around to get a feel but don’t yet have finance approved, you’re probably not in a position to make an offer. Once you have completed your finance application and had your finance approved, you are ready to make an offer on the right place.

It also depends on the marketing strategy the seller is using. For an auction, you will need to wait until the Auction day before you can bid. For a Private Treaty sale, your offer is submitted by the agent and could be accepted as soon as the same day.

Remember to always add the settlement period onto your expected purchase time. A standard settlement is around 6 weeks.

What is a seller’s market?

A sellers’ market is a colloquial term which refers to a real estate market where there is less stock (that is, properties) and more buyers. In this type of market, sale prices are often driven up with many buyers fighting for the one property. This leaves Sellers at an advantage, hence the name.

What is a buyer’s market?

A buyers’ market is a colloquial term which refers to when there is a lot of stock (or properties) on the market and fewer buyers. More choice gives buyers more opportunity and eliminates an element of competition and therefore reduces price. This leaves Buyers at an advantage, hence the name.

How much do I have to pay an agent to help me buy a house?

Nothing at all! At Upstate, we are here to help you from start to finish at no cost to you. We will even help you find the right finance, get you pre-approved and find the right solicitor to help you at settlement. It’s all part of what we do!

What kind of credit score do I need to buy a home?

In Australia, a credit score is a rank between 0-1200, and is how lenders (such as Banks) determine how reliable you are with a loan, based on your past experiences or track record. On this scale, a score between 500-700 is considered average. Anything below average is where a buyer could struggle to be approved for a home loan.

How much do I need for a down payment?

Typically, most real estate contracts ask for a 10% deposit to secure a property. However, depending on your financial position, if you have guarantors or some other factor, your deposit may be lower or higher than this.

There are also additional fees on top of the property sale price that you must consider when arranging your finances (such as Stamp Duty). If you qualify for the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme, this will waive some (or hopefully all) of the stamp duty you are required to pay on a transfer of sale.

Should I sell my current home before buying a new one?

We believe this depends on your circumstances and how comfortable you feel about the transition. In a sellers’ market, buying first might be your best option as your property should be sold quite quickly. Discuss your options with your agent and family first.

How many homes should I view before buying one?

Although there is no rule of thumb on this, most buyers feel more confident and familiar with the property market when they view quite a few homes. After viewing, say 5 properties, this generally provides you with an understanding of what is out there and the typical value in the current market.

Of course, if you find your dream home or investment, go for it. But if you have the time to start looking, even before you are ready to buy, it could really help you address that fear of the unknown. Being well informed is always a good thing!

What is earnest money?

You may be interested in purchasing a property but still need to complete any searches, appraisals and inspections before locking it down. Earnest money is a deposit paid in good faith to the seller to show your commitment to the purchase, while allowing you time to conduct any additional requirements before closing the deal.

How long can the seller take to respond to my offer?

You’ve found your perfect property and you’ve made an offer – fantastic! Now it’s in the seller’s court to respond. Technically, there is no set time as the seller is entitled to take as long as they like (however, waiting too long is obviously counter-productive for them too).

Once your offer is submitted, they might accept pretty quickly, OR they could wait a week until their next Saturday open home to see who comes through and if any higher offers come in. If you want to secure the property, you can contact the agent and negotiate with them to increase your own offer and get the property off the market and into your hands!

What if my offer is rejected?

It’s quite normal, don’t stress. Unfortunately, most buyers will experience a rejected offer through their purchase process, and although this can be a little disheartening, it all part of it. If your offer is not accepted, work with the agent to see if the Seller will come down in price to meet you in the middle to secure the sale. If another offer comes in higher than your approved finance, you can always go back to your finance specialist and see if your approved loan can be stretched any further, as your circumstances could have changed since starting your buyer’s journey.

Should I order an inspection report?

Although this step is not compulsory, it is highly recommended that a Building & Pest Inspection is conducted before you make an offer. Not only will it give you peace of mind knowing you are making the right decision, but your finance could actually be knocked back by your bank if this step is not conducted, as it is their investment too. Ask the selling agent as these reports may have already been conducted.

If termite damage is found, will the seller pay the cost of repairs?

If you do a Building & Pest Inspection and something turns up, you need to act. Technically, it is neither the seller nor the buyer’s responsibility. In most cases, a resolution between the seller and buyer can be discussed and reached, and then added into the contract of sale so the sale can proceed.

Do I need to do a final walk-through?

A Pre-Settlement Inspection is not compulsory, but we would definitely recommend a final walk-through. This is your opportunity to check nothing has changed with the property since the contract of sale was signed. The Pre-Settlement Inspection is your only opportunity to address this before settlement.

Exactly what land, buildings and furnishings are included in the offer? Are appliances, certain fixtures and other personal property included in the purchase price?

With most properties, there are several standard inclusions, but there can also be other non-standard inclusions, too. It should all be detailed in the Contract of Sale.

In the Contract of Sale, the included fixtures and fittings will be ticked or listed. Standard inclusions are blinds, built-in wardrobes, clothesline, curtains, dishwasher, fixed floor coverings, insect screens, light fittings, range hood, solar panels, stove, pool equipment and TV antenna.

Any non-standard fixtures and fittings will be included in the ‘other’ section. These can be negotiated with your solicitor, for example, if the property has a hot tub that you would like included in the sale. This can be requested by your solicitor and if an agreement is made, the contract will be amended.