How to Buy a Home as a First Home Buyer in an Extreme Seller’s Market

Self-Employed | 31 Jan, 2022

Buying your first home is a big deal. And it can feel daunting in the best of times. Add to that the uncertainties of a pandemic and a seller’s market tipping the scales—and you may be thinking the great Aussie dream is out of reach.

But that’s not necessarily true.

There are things you can do now to help make your dream a reality, even when you’re not well-versed on the nitty-gritty of how to buy a home, or are feeling discouraged by the difficulties of buying in an extreme sellers markets. We have suggestions that can help get you on the path towards home ownership.

What is an extreme seller’s market? 

A seller’s market is when there are more interested buyers in the market than there are properties available for sale. That means supply is outstripping demand, and the seller has the power.

An extreme seller’s market is when demand is so high and supply is so low that prices are artificially inflated. In an extreme seller’s market, sellers have more power than ever. And this is the situation that Australian home buyers have found themselves in right now.

But despite the extreme sellers market, home ownership isn’t impossible, even for first home buyers. It just means that you may have to do some more legwork in order to secure your home.

How to Buy a Home as a First Home Buyer in an Extreme Seller’s Market

Research, research, research

Properties move fast in an extreme seller’s market. Knowing the market inside and out can help you make the right decision at the right time, to get the home you want. But knowing the market means arming yourself with research.

Once you’ve selected your ideal location and property type, learn everything you can about recent sales in the area. This includes typical asking price, sold price and days on market. This way you’ll know what to expect and how to spot a good deal. There are great websites available to start your research, such as On The House, which has suburb specific information nationwide.

Another great tip—once you’ve narrowed down your preferred suburb, find the most active real estate agent in this area. You can source this information via realestate.com.au and clicking on the ‘Sold’ category, and comparing the sales and the activity of the agents that appear on the list.

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Once you’ve found this information simply contact that real estate agent and ask to be placed onto his or her database. You will want to keep in contact as well so the agent has you at the front of mind when new properties come up. With this relationship, there’s a chance that the agent will reach out to you when a property is being listed giving you a head start in the market.

Undertake a Virtual Inspection

When you do find a frontrunner, it’s worth requesting a virtual tour for the first inspection. You’ll no doubt be shortlisting a lot of homes during a seller’s market and attending every single inspection can quickly lead to inspection fatigue. Additionally, by attending a virtual inspection you’ll be one step ahead the game when and if you need to move fast on making an offer. 

Search for Public Trustee auctions

When someone passes away and doesn’t have an appointed executor (or the executor declines to act and no other person is appropriate), the Public Trustee steps in to fill the role. If the deceased person owned any property, the Public Trustee would also need to sell it, usually through its preferred method of auction. And this opens up opportunities for savvy home buyers.

Of course, there are pros and cons of buying property this way. On the one hand, there are strict auction sale terms. On the other hand, buyers can often find a good deal through estate property.

Check out the Queensland Public Trustee’s online search tool for available properties. You can search by region, type of sale and latest listings. You can also subscribe to a regular property alert to see new properties first. 

Use a buyer’s agent

A buyer’s agent represents you as the buyer and can help with everything from finding properties to due diligence to negotiating price. While real estate agents work for the seller and try to get the highest sale price possible, the buyer’s agent works for you and you alone. This can be a huge advantage, especially in an extreme seller’s market. Additionally they are experts in the property market and can share their experience and advice which can be especially helpful as a first time home buyer.

Buyer’s agents can guide you through the entire buying process or you can engage them for a particular job, such as bidding at an auction. In such a competitive market, however, we highly suggest engaging one from the earliest possible time. They’ll then be best placed to help you take every opportunity to buy your dream home. 

Consider the FHLDS

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) is a government initiative to help first home buyers purchase their property sooner. Typically, first home buyers with less than a 20% deposit will need to pay lenders mortgage insurance (LMI). However, under the FHLDS, eligible buyers can buy their property with as little as 5% deposit under certain circumstances.

According to the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NFIC), places for the FHLDS are still available for the 2021–22 financial year so it’s worth checking in with appointed panel lenders. However, the FHLDS does have a capped number of places available each financial year. So as it’s first in, best dressed, it’s best not to delay. A new allocation of places will hopefully be announced for the 2022–23 financial year as well.

Working with a broker, like our expert team at Stapleton Finance, will allow you to assess your eligibility and devise a plan. Being prepared means you’ll have the best chance of receiving government support.

Find the right loan for you

Just as every first home buyer is unique, so too are home loans. It’s vital that you choose the right one that suits your circumstances. Maybe your income was affected by the pandemic. Or maybe you have more personal debt than you’d like. Whatever your situation, there will be a financial solution for you.

Consult a Professional

Many lenders offer dedicated packages for first home buyers so it’s worth knowing where to look and what to look for. Our expert team is able to help here, as we have a large panel of lenders, both bank and non-bank, that can offer you a solution to your home loan financing. And just as you would call a licensed plumber to fix a leak, it’s wise to consult experienced professionals who can guide you on how to buy a home.

Here at Stapleton Finance we pride ourselves on mentoring buyers who are completely new to home ownership. We take the time to assess your situation and set you on the path to achieving your goals.

We have access to hundreds of loan products from a panel of over 50 lenders. Our team can guide you through the various options and help you compare rates, fees and features to find the best loan for your circumstances. Browse our resources for first home buyers for more guidance of simply get in touch and we’ll be happy to give you home buying advice.

If you’re a first home buyer looking for a helping hand, contact us.

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