First Home Buyer's e-Course

Module 7: Make an offer

You’ve done the research and found a property that absolutely ticks all the boxes. The next step is to make an offer, have it accepted, and hey presto – you’re a first home buyer!

Right?

Here’s the thing: when you’re shopping for your first property, the chances are, the first one you fall in love with might not be the home you end up with. In fact, you’ll probably make multiple offers on many different properties, before you lock in your purchase.

Don’t get too discouraged if you keep making offers and they’re rejected. There are literally millions of properties in Australia, and you will find the right one for you eventually!

It can be disheartening, handing over endless weekends to the real estate Gods in pursuit of your patch of property happiness. But there are a few things you can do to minimise stress, streamline the process and increase your odds of having your offer accepted.

Step 1 - Make sure you’re ready to take action.

If you’ve followed each step of this e-course to date, then you’ve done the groundwork and you should have home loan pre-approval locked and loaded. This is so important, because it reassures the property seller that you are ready to take action.

Before you get ready to make an offer on a property, make sure you have:

  • Pre-approval ready to rock - they generally last 3 months, so if you’ve been property shopping for a while, make sure you get it renewed if it expires.
  • Access to your deposit - you’ll need to provide a deposit fairly quickly, so if the funds are tied up somewhere, transfer them to your savings account.

Step 2: Get super clear on the costs of buying a property

The costs involved in buying a property can be a surprise for people who have saved up a deposit and think they're ready to buy a home, only to discover there's more to pay.

From lenders mortgage insurance to legal fees and disbursements – yes, they’re a thing – the costs can quickly add up.

In fact, recent research from Finder shows that property buyers are paying upwards of $6,000 in upfront costs.

You need to budget for these funds and, like your deposit, they need to be accessible when you’re ready to buy. Click the button below to learn all the costs of buying you could be charged.

All the costs involved in buying a property, explained

Step 3 - Work out how to make an offer.

In the last module, we talked through some of the ways you can make your offer stand out and set yourself apart from other buyers. The aim is to put together an offer that is so irresistible, the seller can’t help but take a second look.

But it’s also a good idea to know what the action process of buying a property is. The rules and regulations around cooling off periods can change a little, according to your state or territory.

For instance, in Queensland, a cooling-off period of 5 days applies to residential property contracts. But if you make an offer on a property then change your mind and pull out during those five days, the buyer is entitled to deduct 0.25% of the purchase price from your deposit. On a $500,000 purchase, that’s $1,250.

The real estate agent can guide you in terms of what rules apply to you. You can make a verbal or written offer, although a written one is generally taken more seriously.

The written offer should include:

  • Your full name/s and address/es
  • The address of the property you wish to buy
  • Your offered purchase price
  • Your deposit amount
  • Details of your lender
  • Your preferred settlement period (standard is often 30 days)
  • Any conditions or clauses, such as “subject to finance”.

Often, the real estate will provide you with a template to fill out.

The property you want is going to auction? Here's how to make a pre-auction offer

Step 4 - Learn as you go.

You may go through this process of making an offer, haggling with the real estate agent and having your offer rejected a few times. It can feel overwhelming, relentless and exhausting.

The best advice here is to try to learn from each experience. Ask the real estate agents:

  • Why do I keep missing out?
  • Am I being really picky, or is the market moving too fast and I’m getting priced out?
  • What can I do to get the competitive advantage?
  • Are there any tips or advice you can give me to help secure a property?

Remember: every missed property and lost deal is a learning experience that will help you pivot your strategy and make more progress with your next offer.

To sum up:

In a perfect world, you'd only have to make one or two offers before a seller accepts and you're on the path to home ownership.

By following the tips and advice we've shared so far, it should help you put your best step forward, so you're in the best possible position to see your offer get accepted.

Your dream of home ownership is almost in reach – and with any luck, you'll be holding the keys in your hot little hands sooner than later.

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