It's all about timing

By Nila Sweeney

In summary here’s a brief timeline of a property purchase:

1. Research up to three months before purchasing.
2. Have your loan pre-approved so you can move quickly when you find a good buy
3. Once you find a good property, move very quickly to make an offer and secure it 
4. Make an offer and negotiate the terms (small deposit, long settlement – especially in a fast moving market).
5. Ask for a contract to be sent to your solicitor as soon as possible so he/she has time to review it, send the front page to your broker and get them working on your unconditional loan approval. 
6. Make the offer subject to pest & building report and unconditional finance approval. Pest & building inspection should be done within three days of having your offer accepted. 
7. If there is no survey in the contract, your solicitor will order one to be done before you exchange. 
8. Once your solicitor is happy with the searches, survey and reports, exchange quickly so you don’t risk losing the property to a higher offer. Exchange is the best way to secure the property but don’t waive the cooling off period, as some vendors may ask you to do. 
9. During the settlement period prepare for your renovation. If you don’t need to renovate, get a few rental appraisals from different agents. Once you appoint a managing agent, ask them to start searching for a tenant so you have a tenant lined up to move in as soon as you settle to maximise your return. 
10. Request a minimum 12 month rental period and ensure your agent does thorough research on the tenants’ rental history. A good long-term tenant is important to your investment success.