Spring is generally the busiest time of year in the Australian property market, and this season could be a ripper. In recent months, we’ve seen ongoing signs of improving market conditions, driven by a Coalition federal election win, interest rate cuts and a softening of lending restrictions.

And it’s clear that buyers are returning to the market. In August, capital city auction markets recorded the highest preliminary clearance rate in over two years.

That said, listings remain low compared to previous years, which means that as a buyer, there may be more competition for properties this spring. Here are some pointers to negotiate a good deal this season.

Tip #1: Do your research

Knowledge is power, and when it comes to negotiating, you’ll want to arm yourself with as much information as possible. Understanding the local property market will help you identify a good deal when you come across one, and how much competition you’re up against.

When you find a property you like, be sure to check out the sale prices of similar properties in recent months. Find out how long properties are staying on the market for, and the auction clearance rates in the area. If conditions are favouring buyers, it may leave you more room to negotiate on price.

We offer free suburb and property reports that contain a wealth of property market information, so please get in touch!

Note: If you’re looking for a property on the lower end of the price range, CoreLogic’s Top Affordable Suburbs Report is another handy resource. It identifies the top 100 suburbs across Australia where the median value is under $500,000.

Tip #2: Make sure your finance is in order

If you do find a bargain, you’ll want to be in a position to jump on the deal. Speak to us about organising pre-approval on your finance, so that you’re ready to go.

Pre-approval means a bank has agreed, in principle, to lend you a certain amount of money. Having pre-approval gives you confidence to bid at auction or play hardball during private negotiations with vendors. It may also give you an edge over other buyers without pre-approved finance.

Tip #3: Find out why a vendor is selling

In order to negotiate a great deal, it’s important to understand the vendor’s motivation to sell. What type of settlement terms and deposit will be most attractive to them?

For example, they may be moving interstate, or need access to money fast, in which case they may drop their price for a shorter settlement. Maybe they need an extra-long settlement while they find somewhere else to live? Or perhaps a larger deposit would make you more favourable compared to other buyers?

Ask the real estate agent why the vendor is selling and use the information as a negotiation tool.

Tip #4: Get building and pest inspections done

These reports can be pricey, and if you fork out for them then don’t end up buying a property, you may be tempted not to bother next time around. Beware!

Building and pest inspections not only alert you to issues with the property, they can also be used as ammo during price negotiations. Say there’s an issue but it’s not a deal-breaker, you may be able to use the information to negotiate a lower sale price.

Let’s chat

With a bit of luck, the recent improvements in the property market will boost vendor confidence and we’ll see a gangbuster season of hot new spring listings. If you’re in the market for a spring property purchase, speak to us and we’ll line you up with the right finance for your needs.