Assemble your property A-team

Tips

Surrounding yourself with the right team can help the property purchasing process run smoothly. When you've found that perfect place, you'll want to move in and begin enjoying your new home (or start profiting from the investment) as soon as possible.

Of course, there's more involved in such a major purchase and there can be many uncertainties. As with any venture, prior preparation can go a long way to ensuring you get the result you desire.

"It is very important to access the right team of advisers when buying a property," says Frank Ganis, Macquarie's Head of Personal Banking – Intermediaries.

"When a customer has all their affairs in order and has been properly advised on what they can borrow, they are in really good shape to apply for and be successful in taking out a loan. When they haven't been properly advised by the correct range of experts, a smooth purchase can be far more challenging to achieve."

A mortgage adviser will be your greatest ally when it comes to financing your purchase, Yellow Brick Road executive chairman Mark Bouris says.

"They have the ability to independently assess all your borrowing options; not just the interest rate, but all the features that you might need to optimise your purchasing power and your conduct throughout the life of your loan," Bouris says.

Loan features that will be most valuable will vary depending on your aims. Investors may find a fixed rate loan that allows them to 'set and forget' suits best. Owner occupiers may prefer to make extra repayments or change from monthly to fortnightly repayments so they can pay off the loan more quickly.

It's wise to speak with a mortgage adviser early in the process to ensure you have realistic expectations of how much you can afford and what options are available.

So you've identified a property that seems just right. But what lies beneath its appealing exterior? For a few hundred dollars, it's worth hiring a structural surveyor and a pest inspector to examine the property before you buy.

The search

If you lack the time to hunt for a property, you could consider using a buyers' agent to do some of the leg work.

"Buyers' agents can visit properties for you and help shortlist those that might fit your requirements. They have strong connections with real estate agents and an intimate understanding of the markets in which they operate. They can also represent you during sales negotiations."

"Real estate agents work for the seller, but they can also give buyers valuable information," says Century 21 Australia chairman Charles Tarbey.

"Real estate agents can provide an overview of past sales, which helps in identifying what the price of a property should be," Tarbey says. "They have a long list of current and historical sales data and a strong understanding of the suburb and its demographics."

"Demographic information can be useful for families and investors as it can help them make decisions based on their specific needs," he adds.

Found it!

So you've identified a property that seems just right. But what lies beneath its appealing exterior? For a few hundred dollars, it's worth hiring a structural surveyor and a pest inspector to examine the property before you buy.

The Law Society of NSW reminds buyers that when you sign a contract, you're expected to take the property as it stands, defects and pest infestations included. Pre-purchase inspections can identify problems before you sign.

If it turns out the place is riddled with termites or needs a new roof, you might be able to negotiate a lower sales price to account for the failings. If the problem is severe enough, you might be persuaded to walk away from a deal.

Before you sign anything, you'll probably want to engage a solicitor to advise you on the legal aspects of the purchase process and transaction.

A solicitor will act in your interests to make sure you understand and are not disadvantaged by the sales contract.

They will conduct background checks on the property with council and government departments, looking at details such as zoning, land tax and transport proposals that might affect the property.

They can also help you understand your obligations under the mortgage and assist you in claiming any government grants to which you're entitled.

A solicitor will represent you at the settlement when the property title – or ownership – changes hands. It's rarely necessary for you to be at the settlement yourself.

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Unless stated otherwise, this information has been prepared by Macquarie Bank Limited ABN 46 008 583 542 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 237502 and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether it is appropriate for you. All applications are subject to Macquarie's standard credit approval criteria.