If your heart is set on serving Christmas lunch in your new home, it’s time to get cracking with your property search. A few smart strategies can see you settled in your new place before Santa arrives.
Moving into your new home before Christmas is possible, however with only weeks remaining before the big man in red fires up his sleigh, you’ll need a clear plan of action.
Let’s take a look at the must-dos to get you into the doors of your new home in time for the festive season.
1. Get pre-approval for your home loan
Having your home loan pre-approved before you go house hunting can be a big time saver. First, it gives you a borrowing limit, which lets you know how much you can afford to spend on a new home. This in turn helps to narrow down the choice of properties so you’re not wasting time inspecting homes that are outside your budget.
2. Make a short list of property must-haves
Before you head out home hunting jot down the essential features you’re looking for in a home, the deal breakers and the nice-but-not-necessary characteristics. This way, you won’t waste precious time viewing properties that don’t match your criteria.
3. Surround yourself with an expert team
Buying a home is a major investment, and it calls for the support of experts including your Aussie Broker, a solicitor or conveyancer, and perhaps a pest/building inspector.
Lining up your team of professionals now means you won’t have to shop around for specialist services or compare prices when you’ve found the home you’re ready to make an offer on.
4. Research the local property market
You may be in a hurry to move into your new home but that shouldn’t mean paying above market price. It makes good financial sense to understand what homes are selling for in the area you wish to buy into. This will give you a firm base to negotiate with the seller.
One way to get up to speed with local property values in turbo-charged times is by making an appointment with your local Aussie Broker, who can give you a CoreLogic property report. This will help you understand the sales history of the property you’re looking at and those in your street and suburb. Or, you can download Aussie’s range of free Property Market reports to get in the know in record time.
5. Tell industry professionals that you’re ready to buy
Speak to local real estate agents and let them know what you’re looking for, and register with real estate sites to receive updates on properties coming onto the market that match your criteria. That way you may be able to get a leg up on other buyers also competing for a pre-Christmas purchase.
6. Consider a buyer’s agent
If you’re super pressed for time, it may be worth using a buyer’s agent to find your ideal home and even enter price negotiations on your behalf. A buyer’s agent may even be able to locate a property that’s being sold “off market”, that is, not yet publicly advertised for sale, potentially giving you first access.
7. Negotiate a shorter settlement
Settlement is the date on which the balance of the purchase price is paid to the seller, and the property is officially handed over to you, the buyer.
Settlement usually ranges from 30 to 90 days from the date the contract is signed, so when you find your ideal home, take a look through the contract of sale for the settlement period.
It may be possible to negotiate a shorter settlement timeframe. Bear in mind though, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes by your Aussie Broker and legal representative during the settlement period, and it is worthwhile speaking with your team of experts to be sure you are allowing sufficient time for the settlement process to run smoothly.
If you’re buying at auction ask your solicitor or conveyancer to negotiate any changes to the settlement date before the day of the auction. This is important because as a rule, the contract you sign at auction is unconditional, meaning you can’t impose conditions such as “subject to a 30-day settlement period” after the hammer falls unless previously agreed.
8. Book the removalist – pronto!
As soon as you have signed the contract of sale, think about booking a removalist. The run-up to the festive period is always extra busy so even if you’re planning a DIY move, book van hire as soon as possible to guarantee you’re good to go on settlement date.
Talk to your local Aussie Broker about the steps you can take to celebrate your new home in time for Christmas and the New Year.