day another headline tells us just how bad the property market is, but
loads of savvy investors are piling in and picking up bargains in this
period of weakness.
So, how do you find a property bargain?
Ben Seymour-Brown, manager of group direct sales for ooba (formerly MortgageSA),
suggests home hunters follow these five tips:
Learn to negotiate
For those wanting to hunt down a bargain, a buyers' market holds plenty
of opportunities especially if youre prepared to haggle on price.
Estate agents will always try and get the best price they can for a property,
but their businesses rely on transactions and they will be eager to shift
homes that have been sitting on the books. Sales volumes have dried up
dramatically so they will be very eager to notch up a sale.
Check for reductions
Thanks to the internet and websites like www.propertygenie.iafrica.com
it has been possible to see what comparable properties are selling for
and get a good idea of whats on offer.
It is also possible to see properties that had their prices reduced by
saving them in property search engines or using the website which shows
properties that had reductions. Anyone interested in a certain area nearby
should also keep a close eye on estate agent windows.
If you are serious about buying, use your knowledge of any reductions
and how long a property has been on the market to try and negotiate the
Register with reputable agents
If you are looking for a bargain, register as a buyer with several good
agents in your target area. Tell them what youre looking for and
what your price range is and they ring you as soon as they have a matching
property on their books. Theyll also let you know about price reductions.
Bargains dont last long so youll have to move quickly.
Closely related to the above, when a bargain comes up youll need
to know if you can afford it. If you let a reputable bond originator do
the home loan hunting for you, youll be sure to get the best rate
and know in advance how much you can spend all at no cost to you.
Sellers are also much more comfortable dealing with someone who already
has finance in place and will likely give your offer greater weight than
someone who has yet to secure finance.
Do your homework
You wont know a bargain unless you know what prices are in the area
youre targeting. There are many websites like iafrica.com's Property
Price Index that for a small fee will show you the actual selling prices
of properties. These are often quite far removed from what the asking
prices are. Be informed of what the recent selling price trends are so
you can grab a bargain when one comes up.