By Charles Tarbey

The real estate industry has seen an increase in listings recently – which is a great thing; we’ve needed more stock in many areas for quite some time. However, there are some buyers who may be finding it difficult to enter the market, simply because properties are selling so quickly. Here are six tips that could help potential buyers in a competitive real estate environment.

 1. Build relationships

A key focus for buyers should be to create, and maintain, strong relationships with real estate agents. If you are on the hunt for a property, spend time developing contacts in the industry. By doing this you may be able to position yourself front of mind for the agent, and this could mean that you are the first buyer called when a property comes on the market.

 2. Remove emotion

As hard as it is, buyers should try to take emotion out of the process. An emotional purchase has the potential to land buyers in trouble if they overpay for a property. Try to think rationally about the purchase and don’t let yourself be carried away by a dream home if it’s out of your budget. One way to do this is to write a list of desirable attributes you have for a property. Keep referring to your list when you are house hunting, and if those attributes can’t be met within your budget, it may mean reconsidering what you need in a property.

3. Watch outlying areas

For those looking for capital growth from a purchase, I would recommend looking at outlying areas that haven’t had price growth to the same level as locations closer to the city centres. It’s difficult to make predictions about which suburbs will be next to see growth, but I believe that a wave of growth can often push out from areas that have already experienced growth into surrounding areas.

4. Do your research

An important part of buying property is conducting extensive research; you really need to get to know the ‘ins and outs’ of the local market. Looking at recent sale prices, attending open homes and auctions, and assessing the fundamentals of a suburb are all tasks that will help you target the right property. By arming yourself with as much knowledge as possible, you can better understand a property’s value and how much you would be willing to pay for it. This may help to reduce stress if you miss out on a property, and also help to eliminate ‘buyer’s remorse’ if you are successful.

5.  Be ready to pull the trigger

Make sure that you have all your finance, inspection and legal parties ready to move as quickly as possible once you have found the right home.

6. Have a contingency plan

Lastly, make a contingency plan for unforeseen circumstances. It is vital that you have a plan in place for situations such as losing income, or an increase in borrowing costs. This plan will need to be tailored to your specific circumstances, but could include ideas such as locking in part of your home loan or making extra repayments to create a buffer in your loan.

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