Q&A: Making an offer on a property

By Anouska Linz

Making an offer on a property

Q. Before I put in an offer on a house, what paperwork should I organise? I have been to a few auctions and it is very competitive at the moment. Is there anything I can do to be ahead of other buyers?

A. Getting as much groundwork done as possible before making an offer will be extremely beneficial for you. It can take time to find the right house; so many buyers often rush the offer stage and end up overpaying or missing out. One of the main things you can do beforehand is organise your finances. By obtaining a formal pre-approval, not only will you know your borrowing limit, but once you make an offer, the lender can process your application quickly, saving you valuable time.

You can also organise a solicitor to help with the legal aspects of making an offer. They can give you personalised advice in regards to the contract and making an offer. Once again, if you do this early, when it comes time to signing the contract, you and your solicitor can work through it quickly.

Most importantly, before you go to make an offer, you need to know your purchase limit. Many buyers end up overpaying for a property when their emotions get involved. Remember, there are other houses out there, so don’t make an offer you can afford.

Financial advice

Q. I am looking to invest in property, but the process is new to me. Should I seek professional financial advice? Is it necessary?

A. A financial adviser can give you personalised financial advice to help you make informed decisions about managing your money. Whether a financial adviser is necessary or not depends on your own situation. If you find that you have trouble saving or spending, it may be worth speaking with a financial adviser to see if you need help.

A financial adviser can help you with goal setting, protecting your money and building your portfolio. They can also work out your long term and short term goals such as saving for retirement, children expenses and property investing and then implement a plan to help you be successful. It is important to know how you can protect your money in case an unexpected illness or injury pops up. By seeking financial advice, you can put provisions in place to avoid future financial stress.

A financial adviser can also help you build your investment portfolio and help you manage these investments. If you are new to property investing and unsure about the processes, it may be worthwhile having a quick chat to an adviser to see if they would be beneficial to you.

Renovation no-go

Q. I only have a limited budget for my renovation project, so I will only be able to renovate a few areas of my investment property. What are the best rooms to renovate which will help improve the property’s value?

A. Many renovators make the mistake of thinking that all renovations will improve the property’s value, but that’s not always the case. There are some upgrades which may not increase the price tag. Some examples include swimming pools, complex gardens and excessive upgrades.

Swimming pools can be an impressive feature in a home and most people may love the idea of having their own pool, but the reality is that most Australians don’t want to clean and maintain it. A swimming pool could also limit the number of potential tenants interested as it may be considered a safety risk for people with children and pets.

Landscaping can make a huge difference to the look and feel of a property; however, if it is over the top, it may become a turn off for buyers. Not everyone will want to spend their weekends out pruning and weeding. If you are able to create a simple, tidy garden that requires minimal effort, it may become more appealing to buyers.

Unnecessary upgrades can end up costing you a lot of money, with no reward. Projects such as changing the plumbing or air conditioning unit will most likely not be recognised by the buyer. Although it is important for your property to be in working order, if you are making changes just for the sake of change, it may not improve the property price tag.

Anouska Linz is Manager, Online Sales at State Custodians and has over 10 years’ experience in financial services, both in broking and banking. Holding a bachelors degree in accounting, Anouska quickly discovered a love for mortgage lending and assisting people to achieve their home ownership goals. She leads a team of highly experienced lending specialists who are passionate about finding lending solutions which result in real wins for the customer. She is also a massive netball fan.

For more information on our home loans, visit www.statecustodians.com.au or call 13 72 62.