Agents reveal tricks for getting a Xmas bargain
Homebuyers are in for a treat over the closing parts of 2018 - experts say the weeks ahead will be a great time to secure a bargain.
Their predictions have followed a 2 per cent drop in Sydney's median home price over the past quarter.
The typical price of a home is now $833,876, well below the more than $900,000 it was in 2017, according to data from research firm CoreLogic.
Apartment prices, meanwhile, have dropped 1.1 per cent over the past three months.
PK Property buyer's agent Peter Kelaher said the rest of 2017 would offer the biggest property bargains in more than five years.
The best deals would come from vendors hoping to sell their home by year's end - and many of their agents were under pressure to sell soon or they would lose the listing in 2019, Mr Kelaher said.
"All of your stars are aligned to possibly get a bargain of a lifetime," Mr Kelaher said.
Propertybuyer CEO Rich Harvey said plenty of bargains tended to occur around this time of year because there were lots of motivated sellers who wanted certainty as they headed into the new year. This made them more likely to accept an offer well below their original price, even as much as $100,000 lower, than at any other time of the year.
"There is very little competition over the summer as people are focused on Christmas presents, so you'll have less pressure and more power," he said.
Buyer's advocate Cate Bakos said it was important to see what similar properties recently sold for.
She added that buyers should get out there and look at all the properties currently available in their area at the same price points.
"If there are many properties available then you know competition will be spread across more properties. If stock is tight, there will be more competition," she said.
Ms Bakos said buyers needed to make sure their finances were secured before they started looking at property considering the tight lending environment at most banks.
Having pre-approval for a loan would give a buyer a huge advantage, she said. "We've been able to come $10,000-$25,000 below others and get over the line because of finance approval."
Ms Bakos said buyers could do this by asking real estate agents the value their vendors placed on having approved financing.
Asking real estate agents the right questions before starting negotiations was another vital step for bargain hunters, Mr Harvey said.
"Ask why the vendor is selling, where they are moving, the settlement date, how many contracts are out and if they are committed to selling," he said.
Vendors who needed to sell by a certain date were often prepared to accept lower offers in exchange for a closer settlement date, Ms Bakos said.
"Tell the agent you would have liked a lower settlement and offer X, but to meet the early date your offer will be (lower)," she said.
With more properties selling prior or after auction compared to last year, Mr Kelaher said buyers should always start low with their offer as it gives them more space to move and keeps vendor expectations down.
"As you increase your offer, the vendor feels better about getting money. Never start at the midway point as they will expect a much higher level," he said.
When vying for a property under auction conditions, Mr Harvey said it was important to know how much a property will likely sell for and what it is worth to avoid feeling uncomfortable or pressured at auction.
"Don't get sucked into making an emotional decision and regret it."