Brisbane's sales market

Finding (and locking down) a Brisbane property in this boom market!

Had enough?! We’ve heard your frustration. And we know you’re growing really tired of chasing down your next home or investment, competing with the crowds at those rushed, barely-seen-it-but-have-to-decide-now inspections, all vying for the same tiny handful of new listings. Submitting offers well beyond your comfort zone. You’re pleading to “Just. Make. It. Stop!!”

When home prices are rising 2% or more in a month there is real pressure on you. So here’s some quick help for buying Brisbane property in this boom market:

Don’t wait for it to appear on the internet. When I started in real estate home buyers looked in the window of our agency and rang us up on the telephone. You should try that again! With the cost (and delays) of loading new listings to the property portals, many, many listings are not making it that far and are snapped up by buyers on agency databases. Find out where you want to buy and get to know the local agents. Get onto their VIP alert lists like ours. We’re calling, emailing and texting buyers the minute we confirm new stock.

Be absolutely sure of your (real) budget. Research continually shows home buyers end up spending more than what they expect when they start their search. So instead of creeping up your budget as the market rises, do your planning early and get your preapproval for the amount you can spend. Bank of Queensland’s Brett Smith says it’s important to know each and every buying cost (not just the price itself) so you can shop within your limit. “Every home buying journey begins with a clear budget in mind and provides you with confidence in negotiating a winning purchase price. A conditional approval is valid for 90 days.”

Research first; shopping second. We’re still meeting home buyers out at inspections who aren’t really sure what they’re wanting. Bees Nees Sales Manager Rebecca Herbst suggests spending time checking the locations and sizes and styles of homes that meet your needs, exploring lots of options online, before you put yourself through the open home merry-go-round. “Once we get to inspections it’s pretty competitive at the moment. If you’ve done all your checking you’ll feel you can make quick decisions on what you see, otherwise you can easily miss out as the rush of offers go in.”

Ask the obvious question! Okay, so maybe we shouldn’t share this tip because agents (by law) shouldn’t be answering this question. But with so many listings now being offered by auction or without a price, it can be really hard working out what you should offer. So ask the agent: “How much do the owners want?” You needn’t waste your time asking the Bees Nees sales team this question, as we work hard for our owners to get the best price. But I personally had another agent answer this for me at an open home last month. Offered up the owners’ bottom line. It happens all the time. Knowing the answer doesn’t guarantee you’ll secure the property, but it’s a pretty valuable insight that other buyers mightn’t have!

Don’t panic when there’s multiple offers. With Brisbane property right now it’s almost expected there’ll be another buyer submitting an offer when you do, so stand ready. Make your plan and stick to it. We’ve written before on winning when there’s multiple offers (odd prices, focusing on non-price items etc) and it is not always the highest price that takes the prize. Ask the agent about conditions and timeframes and accommodate the sellers’ needs where you can. Remember too the listing price is just a notional starting point and it’s unlikely you’ll be asked for second offer. So make the first one your best and don’t let someone else buy the property for a price you would have been prepared to pay.

Get the contract right, but do it fast! Forget the phone calls and texts with the agent – until the sellers have signed you don’t have your property locked down. Ask questions of your lawyers ahead of time, ensuring you’re comfortable with the REIQ contracts (they’re used 99% of the time). George Sourris of Empire Legal says “A fast offer is a good offer, so make sure you have Solicitors ready who are conveyancing experts, and can get a quick turnaround with pre-contract advices.¬†That way, you can sign knowing that your best foot is forward to secure a property in this hot market!”

Meet the deadlines – or risk losing it! Once contracts are signed you need to put yourself in the sellers’ shoes: if your finance is due in 14 days but it’s delayed and you ask for an extension, they may well have another buyer (probably a signed back-up contract) at a higher price ready to take your spot. Matthew Jackson from Astute Finance says lenders are extremely busy processing loan applications, so the best approach is to be organised with all your documentation and completely upfront with your broker, telling them as much as possible about your financial position. “You should also reduce or eliminate other debts and excess expenses. The simpler these are to verify the smoother the application process.¬†Every application is unique, so the best approach is to act early and be prepared!”

Bees Nees Sales Consultant Brady Hope says home buyers need to stay on top of the dates for all conditions. “I think 3 of our current sales had the valuation booked on the day their conditions were due which caused a bit of unneeded stress. You’re the one at risk of losing the property so chasing down deadlines is important. Don’t leave it up to anyone else.”

With 2021’s price rises likely to top 20% it is a competitive time to buy Brisbane property. And we feel for those navigating the buying process right now. The rewards are certainly there for those that take the step, so we hope these tips might help!

Please share your suggestions in the comments. How have you handled buying in this boom market?!