Buying your first home can be a draining experience, both emotionally and financially. But with these five experts in your corner, you’ll make the process as pain-free as possible.
Expert one: The mortgage broker
A mortgage broker helps match borrowers with the most suitable home loan for their circumstances and guides them through the loan application process.
To do this, mortgage brokers usually have access to multiple lenders and multiple products, as well as an understanding of what lenders are looking for in a loan application and how you can meet their lending criteria.
Why first time home buyers need one: There are so many home loan products on the market now that it can be hard to know where to start, let alone which one is most suitable for you.
A good mortgage broker will save you both time and money by helping you pinpoint the most suitable loan with a competitive rate. They could also increase your chances of securing the finance you’ll need.
How much they’ll cost: Mortgage brokers don’t usually charge borrowers anything. Instead, they tend to make their money by receiving a commission from the lender you go with.
Expert two: The solicitor or conveyancer
A solicitor or conveyancer is an expert on the legalities of buying a home. They make sure the contract of sale is in the buyer’s interest and that there are no surprises that affect the title, such as caveats or mortgages over the land. They also usually run the settlement process to ensure title in the property is transferred to correctly.
Why first home buyers need one: Buying a home is a complex legal transaction and missing a small detail can lead to severe consequences. A solicitor or conveyancer is your safeguard for making sure you’re buying exactly what you think you are, and that the property is transferred to you as it should be.
How much they’ll cost: Costs vary depending on where you’re located, the complexity of your purchase and who you choose to use. Generally, you should expect to pay between about $500 and $2,000, but it could be more.
Expert three: The building and pest inspector
Many aspects of buying a home are a matter of “buyer beware”. So buyers who purchase a home with, say, structural defects or severe termite damage may be faced with the costly prospect of rectifying the problem themselves. Building and pest inspectors examine a home before you commit to the purchase to make sure you know exactly what state the property is in and what needs fixing.
Why first home buyers need one: Carrying out building work can be an expensive exercise and, if you’re already stretched paying for your home, you may not be able to cope with the cost of vital repairs. Using a qualified building and pest inspector means you’ll know what you’re buying. And, if they do find fault, it’s not always a reason to back out. Their knowledge could even help you negotiate a discount on the home if you proceed with the purchase.
How much they’ll cost: A combined building and pest inspection should set you back between $500 and $1,000 depending on where you’re located.
Expert four: The real estate agent
Many buyers see real estate agents as the enemy – working for the vendor to extract as much money as possible for the sale. But negotiating the best price is just one of a real estate agent’s roles. They also market properties and can often introduce buyers to properties that aren’t listed publicly.
Why first home buyers need one: By getting to know local real estate agents, you could be introduced to properties others won’t see, such as off-market sales. This can give you a jumpstart on other buyers.
How much they’ll cost: Nothing – buyers don’t pay anything for a real estate agent. The seller pays.
Expert five: Buyer’s agent
A buyer’s agent can help buyers find and secure the right property. They can search for homes that may suit a buyer’s circumstances and lifestyle so they don’t have to. Beyond that, a buyer’s agent can use their skills and knowledge to secure a property for the best possible price.
Buyers often have the choice using the full range of a buyer’s agent’s services or just part of them – such as negotiating with the real estate agent or bidding at auction.
Why first home buyers need one: A good buyer’s agent won’t just potentially save you time and money, they could also find you a property you otherwise would never have known about. That’s because they usually have relationships with many real estate agents and often get the chance to see properties others don’t or before they even go to market.
How much they’ll cost: Again, it depends on where you live and to what extent you use their services. If you opt for the full service, expect to pay around two per cent of the property’s value plus GST.
That may not sound cheap but it will be worth it if you save even more on the purchase price.