5 things buyers should never do

5 things buyers should never do

Over the years I’ve observed buyers making just about every mistake there is to make. For example: letting a great home slip through their fingers because of indecision; saying too much to a sales agent when negotiating; being too influenced by a computer generated data report; and taking advice from well-meaning but ill-informed friends and family.

A poker face is a real asset when you’re negotiating and it helps if you don’t let the sales agent notice just how keen you are on the property. Yes, it’s disappointing when you miss out on a property you like, even more so one that you love, but in my experience another good buy always comes along.

When it comes to negotiating you need to detach yourself emotionally from the process. Put all of your offers in writing and try to limit your communication with a selling agent by always sticking to the facts. The more you say, the bigger the risk of giving away key information that the agent can use during negotiations with you.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when purchasing property:

1. Never disclose your budget to the selling agent - Sure you will be giving them a rough guide based on the types of properties you’re inspecting but once they know your real budget a selling agent will do everything they can to extract every cent out of you, especially if they haven’t reached the reserve at auction or the vendor’s bottom line yet.

2. Never let the selling agent see you fall in love with the property - I’ve seen this happen far too many times. My advice is to never make any detailed comments or talk about the property while you’re inspecting it within ear shot of the agent. Avoid the selling agent’s questions by instead asking them a question each time they ask you one. And if you fall in love with the home, don’t let the selling agent see as they will use it to their advantage when it comes time to negotiate on price.

3. Never make a silly low offer - You can make a low offer as I often do but don’t make it a silly one.  If you come in too low with your first offer and have too many conditions then you risk alienating the vendor and the selling agent or having them think you’re a time waster.  When I put in a low offer I always attach comparables with it to justify the offer and to minimise any chance of alienating the vendor.  I have seen some vendors get their backs up so much that they decide not to deal with a buyer any further or favour others as they were offended by a low ball offer. 

4. Never let the agent know if you are motivated to buy - Always play the indifferent buyer and never let them know your motivation to buy.  If you’re buying property with your partner, let one person do all of the talking and have all the communication with the agent otherwise the agent will easily play one of you off against the other in order to draw out more information.

5. Never make a fed-up purchase - After looking for a property for a couple of months or missing out on buying a few homes frustration naturally sets in.  Some people get so fed up that they end up buying a property they never would have a few weeks earlier or paying a price they never needed to in order to buy the one they did just to end the frustration. The problem is it won’t be long before they’ll regret it and want to sell and buy again which will cost around 10 percent of the purchase price in selling and buying costs not to mention the emotional and wasted time cost.  It’s very expensive to get it wrong and if you’re at that stage it would be a wise investment, and far less expensive and stressful, to get some professional help from an experienced buyer’s agent.