Finance

4 tips to avoiding common real estate traps

Think board games about property buying and ‘Monopoly’ is likely the first to come to mind. After all it is the quintessential game about real estate, money, and arguments over the rules of free parking.

Yet, in reality, property buying is more like ‘Mouse Trap’. It’s a complex mix of competing interests and potential pitfalls, with enough moving parts to make even the most skilled multitasker blush.

Like Mouse Trap, property buying has been known to leave players baffled, out of pocket, and pretty certain that they’re missing more pieces than not.

Here are four tips for avoiding common real estate traps. Follow these rules and you can take some of the chance out of the real estate game.

  1. Always conduct a (thorough) property inspection

The inspection or open house is there for both yours and the seller’s benefit.

It’s your opportunity to get a better understanding of the property. And, it’s the seller’s chance to give you the full picture, so there are no nasty surprises down the track.

So, don’t be shy. Give the property a thorough inspection, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Check for cracks and signs of mould. Look for water stains and corrosion. Open and close doors. Ask to look behind that strategically placed in-door plant. You never know what you might find.

This is your chance to inspect the property inside and out. The last thing you want is to discover issues after you’ve made your purchase. So, don’t get caught out in future, conduct a thorough inspection before you buy.

  1. Never skim over the paperwork

How many of us actually read the fine print?

Whether we’re assembling a piece of flat pack furniture or starting out with a new game, it’s all too easy to skim over the instructions. How many of us are skimming this article right now? Be honest!

When it comes to buying a property though, you should never ever skim, glance over, or speed-read the paperwork. Because, not understanding the ins-and-outs of your purchase now, can result in serious ramifications in future.

So, before signing any contacts, make sure you read the document closely. If there are any sections you don’t understand, consult a lawyer or conveyancer. They’ll be able to explain the finer details while also making clear your legal obligations and responsibilities.

  1. At auction, know your limit

If you’re like many of us, buying a property will be one of the largest purchases of your life. So, it’s important to keep your cool and do the right thing, especially on auction day!

Auctions are exciting by nature, particularly if you really want a property. Rushes of adrenaline, quickened heartbeats, sweaty palms and indigestion, they’re all symptoms of a thrilling auction. Don’t worry if you get a little nervous, it’s only natural.

However, you can’t let that nervousness result in impulsiveness or rash decisions. People frequently overspend at auctions and this can cause them significant financial difficulties later on.

When it comes to auctions, know your limits. There will be other properties. Always be ready to walk away if the asking price is beyond your means.

  1. Get professional advice and support

Strictly speaking, you may be able to purchase a house with almost no outside help. But should you?

Buying a new home or investment property can be difficult at the best of times. Add the stress of having to do the paperwork and legal stuff on your own and you may soon find yourself in need of a different kind of professional help. It can be that taxing.

Before signing the purchase documents, have a good lawyer or conveyancer look over them. The same goes for the Section 32 vendor statement.

Purchasing a property is an important financial and legal commitment. Don’t do it yourself. Get a professional who knows the process inside and out.

You can’t always win (but you can play again)

Like with any good game, you can’t win every time. Whether you’re bidding on your dream home or playing snakes and ladders, sometimes you just get a bad roll of the dice.

So, if you’re struggling to secure a property within your means, don’t give up. In some cases you just have to pick up the pieces and try again another day.

Remember practice, persistence, and knowing and following the rules will pay off in the long term.
Author: This article was provided by the team at Rose Lawyers and Conveyancers. To find out how you could benefit from a property law specialist, visit the Rose Lawyers and Conveyancers website.