Buying Tips

  • Speak with your financier or your Finance Consultant to arrange the best loan to suit your needs.
  • Prepare a short list of preferred suburbs that suit your lifestyle, bearing in mind affordability and accommodation requirements.
  • Research sales in those preferred suburbs. Inspect every property in your preferred suburb so you have a feel for the prices. Attend all open homes in the area.
  • Develop a relationship with one of our professional team who specialise in your preferred area. Your Homeland Real Estate Sales Consultant will be able to advise you of any additional information you may need and also inform you how you can register on our website to automatically receive notification of any new listings that hit the market.
  • When you find a property that suits your requirements, ask your agent to send a copy of the sale contract to your solicitor or conveyancer.
  • If you are considering making an offer, we recommend that you contact your Homeland Real Estate Sales Consultant promptly who can guide you if you are in any way unsure of the process.
  • Your solicitor can arrange a building inspection to make sure you are aware of any possible major defects.
  • Following your solicitors or conveyancer’s advice on the sale contract and taking into consideration the building reports, you are now able to make an informed decision to proceed with the purchase of the property.
  • Once negotiations have been finalised, you will be required to sign the sale contract and pay a 10% deposit. Your deposit will be held in a trust account until settlement. At settlement, contracts will then be unconditionally exchanged.
  • On settlement day it is advisable that you do a final inspection before settlement takes place. This is to ensure that the property is in the same condition as when you last inspected it, and that all inclusions are as per the contract you signed.

BUYING YOUR HOME

Buying a home is an important event. For some people, it’s the biggest financial event of their lives. But it’s not just about money, it’s also about feelings. Our representatives knows how you feel and have all bought a home at some stage in their lives. They know what it means to spend days, weeks or even months looking for the right home. It can be a nightmare of frustration and heartache. Or it can be one of the best experiences of your life.

Finding the right agent will make finding the right home a whole lot easier for you. I wish you every success in your search for your home and many happy years living in it.

PLEASE SIT DOWN

Before you go looking for a home, sit down and talk about it. We will arrange a time to suit you, so that you can explain exactly what you want, where you want it and what price range you wish to pay. We can provide you with a selection of homes specifically based on what you want.

One of the most frustrating parts of buying a home is having to look at homes you don’t like. If the agent knows what you are looking for, you will save yourself a lot of frustration.

BRING YOUR PARTNER

Buying a home is often a joint decision. Include your partner at every step and you’ll reduce the chance of being frustrated when one person likes something and the other doesn’t It can be hard to avoid an argument if frustration sets in. Reduce the frustration by involving your partner as much as possible

AREA RESEARCH

Before you go looking for homes in an area, check out the area. Make sure you really do want to live in that area. Often you can buy a better home at a cheaper price in a different area. Ask yourself what is most important to you – the area or the price. Usually, it’s both, but which comes first? If you place the area first, then the home may not be exactly what you want. If you place the price first, the area may not be as convenient for you. It’s a big decision, so give it plenty of thought.

FINANCIAL RESEARCH

If you are borrowing money – as most buyers do – make sure you get the best rate possible. Seek independent advice and know exactly how big a financial commitment you wish to make. Always ask yourself what could happen if something goes wrong. Be safe financially and you’ll never lose sleep worrying about whether or not you can afford the next payment.

Our agent may offer you suggestions but agents are rarely qualified financial advisers. Agents cannot give ‘independent’ advice if you are buying or selling with them. Our agents should not receive kickbacks from lenders, so at least their suggestions will be impartial. Still, you are urged to seek independent advice.

BRING YOUR CHEQUE BOOK

When you are ready to inspect homes, bring a cheque book or a deposit in case you see something you like.You don’t go shopping without a purse or a wallet, so please don’t go shopping for a home without being able to pay a deposit. This does not mean, of course, that you have to buy anything. It just means you are ready to buy.

If you are ready to buy, please bring your cheque book so that you will lessen the chance of being disappointed if the home sells to another buyer who does bring a cheque book.

MAXIMUM PRICE

Know the highest price you are prepared to pay. An APPROVED agent – like most agents – is employed by the seller and is therefore the seller’s agent. It is unethical to sell a home to you at less than it could have sold to another buyer. To buy the right home you should be the buyer who is prepared to pay the best price for that home.

AUCTIONS

You will rarely see an auction being conducted by our agents at JOP. Most auctions involve deceit and trickery. If a home is offered by auction, we should compensate any homebuyer for loss of inspection and legal fees should they not become the buyers of the home. It is well known that both sellers and buyer often lose money at auctions. Auctions are generally best for agents, not consumers. You should not have the stress of auctions with Just Our Property.

PRICES QUOTED

We will not mislead you about the prices of homes. There will be no “price ranges” showing a low price in order to bait you. We offer homes for sale with specific prices. However, please understand that JOP are not the owners of the homes being offered. Sometimes a home may be sold for MORE than the “asking” price. If there are two or more buyers who wish to buy at the full asking price, each buyer will be given the opportunity to offer their highest price. Subject to the approval of the owners, the home may be sold to the buyer who makes the highest offer. All offers will be confidential between the buyer making the offer, the agent and the owner of the home. Offers from different buyers will not be disclosed to other buyers thus protecting the owners from under-selling their homes. For this reason you are encouraged to offer your best price at all times.

INSPECTIONS

JOP agent will make it as easy as possible for you to inspect homes at times to suit you. You will rarely see homes open for inspection at set times with anyone being allowed to wander through. Please understand that the only people who should inspect a home with a JOP agent are those who are genuinely interested in buying the home. For security, all people who inspect a home for sale must be identified by the agent. And, besides, when you buy your home, you will not have that nervous feeling about those hordes of strangers who have snooped around your home.

PRICE HAGGLING

JOP agents try to follow a ‘NO HASSLE, NO HAGGLE’ concept. Real estate is notorious for tricks and games but our agents have strict codes of ethics and client care. We believe good ethics is good business. It is much more pleasant for everyone to be ‘open’ and ‘upfront’, rather than indulge in what is often called “commercial reality” (telling lies).

Please understand that the best homes sell readily, usually within the first month of being offered for sale. It is best for you, therefore, to make your best offer and give yourself the best chance to buy the home you want. If you can afford it, pay a little more for the right home. The years of happiness you enjoy will be well worth avoiding the hassle of haggling and the risk of losing the home you really want.

GAZUMPING

This is a term which means that someone else offers a higher price than you and buys the home, often without you being given the chance to reconsider the price you wish to pay. Gazumping can be emotionally devastating for buyers. If there is another buyer interested in a home that you are interested in, an APPROVED should advise you of this.

You should be given the opportunity to offer your highest price which will mean that you have every fair chance to buy the home you like without the fear of being gazumped.

THE HOME YOU WANT

When you find the home you want, you will be asked to declare the highest price you will pay for the home. If your highest price is acceptable to the owners, you will most likely be able to buy the home. However, until such time as the owners have signed a legally binding contract, you cannot be certain that the home is “yours”.

GAZUMPING – BE AWARE

With most home sales, there are three groups of people – sellers, buyers and agents. The sellers want the highest price, the buyers want the lowest price and the agents want a commission. For the buyers and the sellers, this is a dangerous formula. Most times, the agents are in no danger because they get their commission no matter what happens.

BUYERS

Many buyers are hurt because of a practice known as gazumping. Here’s what happens: You find the home you love and you VERBALLY agree on a price. Later, the agent says someone else wants to buy the home. How could this happen? It’s quite simple – someone else offered more money. You have been gazumped.

Sometimes you are given the chance to “match” or “better” the increased offer. Other times, you get no chance because the home is sold and you have not been asked if you would be prepared to pay more. This can be heart-breaking.

SELLERS

If you are selling a home it is only natural to want to sell to the buyer who offers you the highest price. But what if you verbally agree to accept a price from one buyer and then another buyer offers you a higher price – what do you do? It is easy to say, morally, that you should honour your word. In practice, it is not that easy. You may not have realised, at the time you received the first offer that someone else was prepared to pay more. If you give your word based on incorrect information,should you still be bound to honour your word and lose thousands of dollars? This is a difficult ethical dilemma.

AGENTS

When agents are paid by the sellers, the agents have a duty to get the best price. This does not mean that agents should mislead buyers, but it does mean that agents have a duty to protect the value of the sellers’ homes. If an agent gets a second offer for a home after a first offer has been verbally accepted, the agent has a duty to inform the sellers. The agents do not own the homes they sell. They are just agents – the people in the middle of the transaction. If an agent does not pass on an offer to a seller, the agent could be in big trouble.

CONSUMER INTERESTS

In all transactions, the interests and well-being of the consumers should take precedence. But in real estate, there are TWO groups of consumers – buyers and sellers. Problems occur because the interests of these two groups are in direct opposition to each other. The sellers want the highest price, the buyers want the lowest price. The agent is in the middle.

Gazumping can seem dreadful for buyers when they are forced to pay more or when they miss out on the home they love. But it can also seem dreadful for sellers when their homes are sold for less than market value. After all, gazumping is only caused because a home was being sold for less than the market value. [The “market-value” is the best price that ANY buyer is willing to pay.]

SOLUTIONS

Whenever gazumping appears in the news, outcome the old clichés about what must be done to stop it. A common solution, touted by agents, is that auctions solve the gazumping problem. But the nature of auctions make it virtually impossible for consumers to avoid being hurt. Someone always loses at an auction. Always.

Buyers can count on nothing being certain until the sellers sign a legally binding contract. Between the times the sellers verbally agree to sell and the time they sign the contract, lots of things can happen. The sellers may get a better offer, they may decide not to sell or they may decide to increase the price. There are six words that buyers should remember – DO NOT GET YOUR HOPES UP. Until the contract has been signed by the sellers, NOTHING is certain.

OFFERS

If you have your heart set on a home, be careful not to offer too low a price. Understand that the lower the price you offer, the higher the risk that another buyer will offer more and gazump you. Some buyers try to be too clever. They try to get the home they love for a bargain price. Once you find the home you love, you have to consider whether you want to take the risk of losing it by offering less than you are willing to pay. Sometimes it is best – for your heart’s sake – to make your highest offer and just be prepared to walk away if it is not accepted or if another buyer offers a higher price. It is tragic to lose the home you love because you bluffed too hard. Be warned – gazumping occurs because the price of a home is too low. If you place too much pressure on the sellers to lower the price, don’t be surprised if they decide to accept a better offer.

MEET THE SELLERS

If possible, try to meet the sellers. It is hard for sellers to gazump you if they know you and like you and if they believe you have been fair with them. Many sellers are happy to sell to nice people even though the price is not quite as high. A retired doctor recently sold his home to a young couple despite having two other buyers who were prepared to pay more. The young couple wrote him a letter telling him how much they loved his home and how they wanted to raise their family in his home. When the other buyers – both of whom were high-earning professionals – discovered the reason the doctor had chosen to sell to the young couple, they both said the same thing, “It’s great to see that there are people like Dr Murphy still around.” Most people want to do the right thing.

AGENTS

All agents should warn buyers that nothing is certain until contracts are signed by the sellers. If agents were forced to honour their words, many of them would be more careful with the claims they make. The day is coming in real estate when agents are going to be held much more accountable for the verbal statements they make to consumers.

If you are trying to buy a home for a lower price than you are prepared to pay, insist that the agent informs you if another buyer offers more. This will give you the chance to increase your offer before the home is sold to the other buyer. Ask the agent to give you this assurance in writing. There is a letter on page 230 of the book ‘Real Estate Mistakes’ that you can use for this purpose.

TIPS FOR FINDING THE RIGHT PROPERTY

  • Prepare a list of requirements for your new rental property, allowing for some flexibility. For example, will a carport be adequate instead of a garage if there is other storage.
  • Take a drive around the area that you are looking at, including adjoining areas. You may find a nearby suburb is equally appealing and may offer better value for money.
  • Check our website daily for updates on our latest properties, or subscribe to our Rental Property Alert to have them sent directly to your inbox.
  • Take advantage of our open for inspection times or make an appointment to view properties that interest you.
  • When you find a suitable property, be ready to apply. You will need to provide identification and references… see the Tenancy Application page on our website for further details.
  • Give as much detail as possible on your application form to avoid delays, and improve your chance of success.
  • Pre-apply with our office so that when the right property comes along, you’re ready to go!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why do I need to provide so much information with my application?

Apart from helping to establish that you will make a good tenant, the properties managed by our office are protected by Landlord Insurance Policies. These policies require documented evidence to confirm the following:-

How long will it take to process my application?

We will commence checking your application as soon as we receive it; however the total time taken depends on how readily we can contact your references and how many other people have applied for the same property. Average time is 1-3 days.

What can I do to improve my application?

Be organised. Make sure that you have all of the necessary documentation to accompany your application, and provide plenty of contact numbers for your references.

What can I do to improve my chances of success?

We look for tenants with good rental history. Most importantly, we need to establish that your rent has been paid on time and the property has been well maintained and cared for.

What if my application isn’t approved?

Normally there are several applicants for each property, and unfortunately not everyone can be approved. We will advise you if this is the case as soon as we receive confirmation from the owner of the property. If you are interested in another one of our rental properties you may request to transfer your application to that property.

PRE-APPLY AS A TENANT

“The Best way to take the stress out of renting!” With Just Our Property, you can submit your application for pre-processing even before you find your ideal property! With new properties coming in daily this is the best way to increase your chances of success.

“The Best way to take the stress out of renting!” With Just Our Property, you can submit your application for pre-processing even before you find your ideal property!

Once you have found a suitable property you simply advise us of the address and we submit your details to the landlord for their decision.

ONCE YOUR APPLICATION HAS BEEN APPROVED…

On approval of your tenancy application, you will be asked to pay a holding deposit equivalent to one week rent. This deposit not only secures the property for you, but also becomes the first weeks rent when the tenancy commences.

Your property manager will then make an appointment with you to sign the Residential Tenancy Agreement and Rental Bond form. A signed copy of the agreement will be handed to you, along with a copy of the New Tenant Checklist.

Prior to collecting the keys to the property, you will be provided with a detailed Property Condition Report, which forms part of the Residential Tenancy Agreement. This is an important part of the agreement that will be used to determine any damage or costs that you may be responsible for at the end of the tenancy. It is important that you complete the “tenant agrees” section of the condition report, sign it and return one copy to the agent within 7 days of the commencement date of the tenancy.

The balance of money must also be paid to the managing agent, prior to the collection of the keys. This includes the full bond and advance rent.

RENTAL BOND

Your rental bond will be lodged with the NSW Department of Fair Trading. The bond is held as security against any damage or undue wear and tear. The bond will be refunded promptly after you vacate, provided the property is left in as close as possible to the same condition as when the Residential Tenancy Agreement commenced (allowing for fair wear and tear) and there are no monies owing.

The bond will vary depending on the price of the rental property, and in NSW the maximum rental bond that can be asked for is 4 weeks rent.

LENGTH OF TENANCY AGREEMENT

The length of a tenancy agreement varies within NSW, however the standard term is usually 6 months for the initial agreement. Other lease periods may be negotiable.

Once the tenancy agreement has expired, the tenant may be offered a new fixed term lease, or alternatively the tenant can stay in the premises at the same rent (or at an increased rent if the rent is increased in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act 1987), but otherwise under the same terms unless or until the agreement is ended.

CONNECTION OF ELECTRICITY, PHONE, GAS ETC

You can contact each of the utility providers separately or utilise the services of a free utilities connection company such as ConnectNow to have all of your services connected at once. You can arrange to use ConnectNow by signing the appropriate section of your application. Water will remain connected at the property and you will receive your first water usage bill during the first three months of your tenancy.

PAYING RENT

When you sign your Residential Tenancy Agreement you undertake to pay your rent on or before the due date. If at any time you are unable to meet your rental payment commitment please make immediate contact with your Property Manager.

Acceptable methods of payment will be shown on the application form and on the front page of your lease.

RENTAL INCREASES

The rental can be increased on the property only when the current tenancy agreement has expired, or is due to expire. A minimum of 60 days written notice must be given before the landlord can increase the rent.

PROPERTY INSPECTIONS

During the period of your tenancy the premises will be periodically inspected by the landlord or the landlord’s agent. You will be given appropriate notice, (no less than 7 days) that the inspection will take place.

The purpose of these inspections is to check on any repairs or maintenance concerns the tenant has. It is also the job of the agent to ensure the property is being maintained in a satisfactory condition by the tenant. Our first inspection is usually carried out in the first 8-12 weeks of occupation; and thereafter usually on a 6 monthly basis.

REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE

You may request a repair via our online Repair Request Form, or by submitting your request in writing or via fax. Repairs are attended to as promptly as possible, however, it is often necessary to obtain the landlords approval and/or quotes before any work can commence, so unfortunately a time lag is sometimes unavoidable.

TERMINATION OF THE TENANCY AGREEMENT

Your residential tenancy agreement is a legal and binding contract, providing protection for both you and the landlord.

If you intend to vacate at the end of your Residential Tenancy Agreement you are required to give 14 days’ written notice prior to the expiration of the fixed term of the agreement.

Once the fixed term has expired you are at liberty to continue living at the property or to vacate. If you intend to vacate, written notice of 21 days must be given prior to the vacating date.

NOTE: Verbal notice will not be accepted It is essential that you return keys on the due day as rent will be charged up to and including the day the keys are returned.