Saturday, 15 March 2014

Avoid this simple property buyer trap

I am often asked about the mistakes people make when purchasing a property.

There are so many it would be hard to fit them all on this page. Some mistakes occur because people simply don't buy properties often enough - some surveys suggest it happens about every 7 years. In between purchases property laws may change, the normal practices of agents, solicitors and conveyancers may change and the way we borrow money may change. Buyers who are unaware of such changes can probably be forgiven for not knowing.

However, some buyers make mistakes that simply defy common sense. Some people do such silly things it leaves us scratching our head and wondering how they manage the rest of their lives.

Here's the most common error. And, when you buy a property from Prudential Real Estate this is an error that simply should never occur. See if you agree ...

Once a buyer agrees to purchase a property they usually sign a contract and pay a deposit.  It then takes about six weeks for most transactions to reach settlement (the day the home owner moves out and the new buy moves in)

In the weeks leading up to settlement we write to the buyer and advise them to be sure they inspect the property they are purchasing immediately before settlement to ensure that everything is as it should be, that the property looks the same as the last time they saw it.

To their credit most solicitors and conveyancers we know do the same.  They tell the buyer to be sure they have one final inspection of the property before everything settles and the full purchase price is handed to the owner.

Unbelievably, some do not.

They say, "I'm too busy this week", "I can't get the time off work" or "It'll be alright, I'm sure"

Like Murphy's Law, if something can go wrong it generally will. Buyers who do not inspect their property before settlement invariably move in after settlement, after all the money has been paid, and find all sorts of things wrong - rubbish inside or outside or both, unwanted furniture remaining at the property, sometimes damage to walls, ceilings or fittings.

And then they ring us and say, "So, what will the owner do about this problem, this is not fair they have left the property in this condition"

Unfortunately, the old owner has no obligation to correct anything after settlement. that's why we advise our buyers to check the property before settlement, not after.

Don't get caught making simple mistakes when buying a property. Check with a member of our sales team if you are unsure of any aspect of the property buying process and we would be happy to help.