Selecting the right property to invest in is a big financial decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. While it can be tempting to jump into the first property you see, the more time you take to research properties properly the more you will gain financially further down the track.
Many established investors and buyer’s agents may see 50-100 properties before picking the right one. It may sound like a lot of work, but if you can save 10 per cent on the cost of a $500,000 property, that’s $50,000 saved for a few weekends’ effort. Investing time in researching properties will create profits later.
With this in mind, here are my top three property searching tips:
1. Plan ahead
Before open day, plan ahead and map out all the properties you want to see. This will help you better organise how much time you have to spend in each property and prevent you driving around in circles for hours.
For instance, if you have a dozen or so properties to see between 10am and 1pm that leaves around 15-20 minutes per property. A general rule to remember when property searching is the more properties you see the less time you need to spend in each one.
After seeing several properties, you should only need a quick look around to have a good indication as to whether a property is worth pursuing. That leaves more time to spend in one that is worth the look.
2. Build rapport with agents
Real estate agents can be good business contacts, they can give you a lot of information and help. When you attend an open house, be sure to talk with the real estate agent and try to find out a bit more information about the property while doing so. This can be a great way to find out the inside story on the property.
For instance, you may find out the vendor has bought another property and is under pressure to complete the deal, meaning they are more open to negotiations and a ‘quick sale’ at a lower price. Similarly, if you are seriously interested in buying a property, be sure to let the agent know so they can keep you in the loop.
If an agent knows you are keen to buy, they can easily keep you mind if they have a new property come on the market, giving you the chance to see the property first.
3. Document what you’ve seen
After you’ve viewed many properties, it can be hard to compare one against the other. The agent often hands out an A4 flyer with the main details of the property and a floor plan. Try scribbling a few of your own notes on the flyer as you walk through the property.
Likewise, keep track of property details like the address, estimated sales price, expected auction date, number of bedrooms and internal and external square metres on an Excel sheet for easy recall later on. Scoring properties you’ve seen out of 10 is particularly useful because it tells you at a glance the ones you liked and ones you didn’t.
About the Blogger
Chris Gray is the founder and CEO of specialist property buyers agency “Your Empire”.
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