5 Tips for Buying over the Christmas Period

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More people will travel this year, making up for missed Christmas’ with loved ones. The likely impact is a mass slowdown in buyer activity at the end of December and throughout January. This trend is likely to reveal an opportunity for buyers who are committed to sticking around. Buyers could be rewarded with nabbing a great deal while the competition is low. In fact, some of the best buying we have ever done at Buyer’s Domain in our 13 year history has been in mid to late December.
To take advantage of the quiet time in the market, here are our top 5 tips:
  1. Keep up the search. There are a lot of distractions with Christmas parties and end of year events. However, persistence is key when searching for real estate. To keep on task, set alerts on the real estate portals to receive daily updates for new properties. You’ll also benefit from setting aside time each week to check in with local agents for any off-market properties. It can be tempting take a break and start searching again in the New Year, but that’s what everyone else is doing. With less competition during the holiday period, you have a higher chance of securing a great property at a great price. Keep your eye on the prize!
  1. Get your team of ready: If you find a property that ticks all of the boxes and there is an opportunity to negotiate a great price, you want to be ready. This means ensuring your team of professionals e.g. mortgage broker, solicitor and inspectors are prepared and available to help. These professionals are often busy over the holiday period helping other purchasers and sellers in time for Christmas or before the New Year ticks over. Or they could be on holidays themselves. So it is important to manage expectations and make sure your team is available.
  1. Be flexible with inspections: If you want to increase your chances of securing a great deal during the holidays, you may reconsider booking a holiday. While other buyers may be interstate or overseas and unable inspect property, it’s a great opportunity to avoid competition. If you are sticking around, call the local agents in advance and let them know you are available and that you have your team ready to go when the property of your dreams pops up. When checking in with the agents, ask who in their office will be listing properties over the holidays. Agents who are still working will be hungry to get deals done while the competition is away, so stay close to these agents.
  1. Consider the terms. While price is paramount, there are other terms to be negotiated. Sellers are distracted during the holiday period and sometimes the certainty of selling their property or the timing of the sale and the date of settlement are important. It’s vital to talk to the selling agent and ask about the vendors’ preferred terms. For example, does the vendor hope for a shorter settlement before the end of the year? Or does the owner wish for a longer settlement into the new year? You may also want to consider if there are any terms aside from the price which are more favourable to you. For example, if you are an investor, could you gain access to the property before settlement in order to host open for inspections so you can find a tenant? Think about the win-win for both parties and craft an offer that represents a good deal to you and a compelling offer for the owner.
  1. Don’t be scared to make a low-ball offer. Submitting a low-ball offer can feel uncomfortable so it is best to take emotion out of the equation and treat the offer as a business transaction. If you have evidence to support your offer such as comparable sales, then you should feel confident in submitting your offer. The worst an owner can do is say “no”. If your offer is rejected, do your best to extract a counteroffer from the owner. The aim is to engage the vendor into negotiations and land on a price and terms that suit you best.
If you are in need of assistance with your property search or acquisition over the Christmas period, contact us today at nick@buyersdomain.com.au.

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