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Being in this market for the last eight years, I have come across the term “best deal” several times on a daily basis. Whilst I have made every attempt to encourage buyers to understand their needs and identify themselves as either investors or end-users, most end-users insist on getting a deal which fits both and is the best deal in both worlds.
I wish to dedicate this column to help my readers identify which hat they want to wear and to give them tips to get their desired best deal in both.
What is the difference if I want to live in the property or buy it as an investment? My analogy: it is similar to the difference between going to the fish market and going fishing.
To elaborate, one is about knowing which fish you want to buy and going to three shops to select the best fish and the most reasonable seller; the other is an act by which you go to the fishing area, lay the bait, wait for the fish that bites the bait, sell what you caught in the market and wait for someone who wants it – the buyer.
Now that it is clear that both are completely different acts from the start, I would like to offer those who desire to buy a home quick tips to get the best deal.
Analyse your budget before your needs. Buying a home is an act of fulfilling your aspiration and what your family desires (or a frame of your desire). How much your pocket allows is one thing which needs clarity on the first step. You can take the help of a competent agent or a financial advisor to ascertain your budget, minimum facilities that you need for your family, area of preference suitable to work location and school for kids, and to determine whether you will be able to get a mortgage or buy in cash.
Know the market and set a timeline. The trickiest part is to time the market. The best advice I can offer is, instead of timing the market perfectly, just focus on the fact that all you need to do is avoid mistiming the market. Do not buy when everybody at your friend’s birthday party is talking about how much money they made in real estate in the last two to three years.
If you decide to buy when people are unsure or negative about it, the chances that you will make a bad decision are much less. But if you do decide to buy, consider setting a timeline of maximum 30 to 60 days. Beyond that, it becomes a non-committed act.
Get your broker to show you options. Make your desire, budget and preferred location clear to your broker. Real estate brokers focus on their clients with clarity and give them the much required time and attention. It is perfectly fine to make changes regarding location and others as you go.
Enquire about why the seller is selling. The most important question which a lot of buyers forget to ask their broker is the reason the seller is selling the property. The answer to this question sometimes goes a long way in structuring and negotiating a good price and terms with the seller for your desired property.
Make offers on at least three properties. Another most important element in getting a price is creating options. If you do not create options for yourself, you are in for paying a market price. Sometimes, you emotionally end up paying higher. Carefully make offers for a minimum of two, but preferably three, properties that you can see being your home. Craft the pricing, understanding that there will be at least one counter offer. Make those offers and the best one will come forward, depending on the seller’s urge to sell.
These tips are purely based on personal understanding and experience. These are not science which works in perfect equations, but an art with many variables.
These are meant to help in your pursuit for a home which you can proudly conclude as the best deal.
Source: Ashirwad Somani, Special to Freehold
Director, Candour Real Estate