Open homes this weekend? What to check when heading along
House-hunting is one of the most fun and exciting parts of the home-buying process, and the more houses you look at, the more you'll get a feel for what you do and don't like. It’s a great idea to head along to open homes, so you can take a look around and see if the property is right for you.
Things to keep in mind
- Get there early to avoid crowds and so you can take a good look around, without someone following you. Alternatively, if you see a place that you’re really interested in, you can always contact the agent and try to view it earlier.
- Ask the agent questions about the house, such as how long the property has been on the market, how much nearby properties sold for, what chattels are included in the sale, if there have been any alterations on the home and are they permitted.
- There are usually flyers available for you to take. It’s a good idea to take one and make notes on it about what you like/don’t like. If you’re going to lots of open homes, it can be hard to remember which one had the great indoor/outdoor flow and which one had a beautiful bathroom.
- It can be easy to fall in love with a property, so remember to review your wishlist to check the house is ticking all your boxes, or if you’re happy to make some sacrifices.
Do your research
- Start with checking out the neighbourhood to see what’s in the area, such as public transport options and school zones.
- Look at how much similar houses in the area have recently sold for.
- Get a copy of the property file from the local council and compare these to what you saw when you went to the open home.
- Ask the real estate agent if they have a copy of the certificate of title and LIM report. And if it’s a unit or apartment, also ask for copies of the body corporate meeting minutes.
Arrange to have a private viewing to look through the property in your own time and without the crowds. This allows you to go through again and look for things you may have missed the first-time round. It’s a good idea to go at a different time of day to when you first viewed it so you can see it in a different light.
Make an offer
If you’re happy with everything and want to make an offer, talk to your bank to get your finances in order and discuss what the next steps are. The bank can also help you put some appropriate conditions into your sale and purchase agreement, so you can complete the necessary checks (e.g. Builders report, Lim report, Solicitor’s approval etc.) before going unconditional.
If it’s going to auction, you’ll need to have worked through all your conditions before bidding, as buying at auction is the same as putting in a cash or unconditional offer.
Stay tuned for our next video, which will go through the auction process and highlight what you need to get sorted before going to auction.