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Heated market prompts call for caution

09 October 2013 Reporter

Staff Reporter

A state-based government regulator is urging homebuyers and sellers to take care before buying property in what it expects will be a heated market this spring.

Consumer Affairs Victoria has released seven new videos in the hope of helping buyers and sellers prepare for an anticipated stronger property market this spring.

For buyers, the 30-second videos cover pest and building inspections, knowing how much they can afford, the auction process and understanding private sales.

For sellers, there are videos on shopping around for agents, marketing a home and understanding fees and commissions.

Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria Claire Noone said there were important facts buyers and sellers should know about private sales.

“The contract of sale can be conditional,” Dr Noone said. “This means that, if the seller agrees, the buyer can make the sale subject to obtaining a loan, a satisfactory building inspection report, or other conditions.

“If you’re making an offer to buy by private sale, we recommend you write into the contract a date by which your offer will lapse, so you will know whether the seller has accepted your offer by a time that suits you.”

Ms Noone added that for private residential sales and those of rural properties of less than 20 hectares, a buyer had three business days to change their mind. However, there was a small financial cost for doing so and it was not possible in some circumstances, such as at auctions.

“Buyers and sellers should not rush or be pressured into making hasty decisions about property contracts,” Dr Noone said.

“You will feel more confident about the outcome if you make an informed decision – carefully read the contract and ensure you understand the terms and conditions of sale.”

A recent survey by the Commonwealth Bank found many Australians were rushing in and buying properties because they had a fear of missing out. 

Heated market prompts call for caution
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