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How Not to Buy a House during the Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has made Melbourne a hot real estate market, albeit not in the traditional sense.

While homeownership is low on the list of priorities of most Australians these days, there is no denying that many determined sellers have become more desperate to get rid of their illiquid assets for cold cash.

If you are in a good financial position to buy a property, now is an excellent time to shop around for house and land packages in Melbourne West, Coburg, Middle Park, or Parkville.

Although it is crucial to take advantage of this period of opportunity, it is imperative to realize that the rules have changed. Here, learn the biggest mistakes you could make when buying a house during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Disregard the Prospect of Losing Your Deposit

Do you still have a stable job and face no imminent threat of losing your regular income? Congratulations! You are one of the lucky ones!

However, do not be overconfident. The worst-case scenario is that you could lose your deposit halfway through settlement if you suddenly become unemployed. Being jobless in this turbulent time is bad enough, so think about this contingency when speaking with lenders or your mortgage broker.

Financial institutions recognize this possibility, which is why some of them are willing to help you settle without losing your deposit if you can prove that you could sustain mortgage repayment in the short term.

beautiful house in the late afternoon

Skip the Private Inspection

Nationwide social distancing rules have banned open houses and public auctions. But this does not mean that you can’t and should not personally check the home you want to purchase before signing the contract.

Participate in virtual tours (or digital inspections) and private visits. Even valuers assess properties electronically these days too.

Accept Whatever Asking Price on Offer

As mentioned, Melbourne homebuyers have had newfound negotiating power during the outbreak. Leverage it to get the most discount as possible, for sellers are more likely to accept less than what they originally wanted.

A good strategy is to ask sellers to make an offer to you instead. It can give you an idea of the highest asking prices the other parties have in mind. Your goal should be to drive it down up anywhere between 15% and 20% below the rates advertised four weeks ago.

Decide Not to Use an Agent

The current health and economic crisis has disrupted the real estate industry and inspired the accelerated adoption of social distancing–friendly identification methods, digital means of income verification, and electronic loan documents.

Although every step of a real estate transaction can now be done over the internet, you should still hire an agent. This professional is your ticket to sought-after properties for sale in the communities you like and can facilitate everything for your convenience.

Final Thoughts

There is no better time to gain a foothold in the housing industry than a buyer’s market season. Understand how to use the situation to your benefit, so you will not squander your unique advantages.

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