How many times do you think a property buyer has been in a position where they could go either way on a home, but then thought “do I really want to go ahead and pay for yet another pest and building inspection, when I probably won’t end up buying?”
Personally, I think this scenario would have taken place thousands of times in the last few years alone.
Especially in the country’s more heated property markets, where buyers have spent anywhere between one month and two years trying to secure a suitable property.
Searching for a home is demanding. You spend hours researching suburbs, checking new property listings, scheduling open house viewings and getting finances in order.
Then you endure months upon months where your entire weekend consists of heading from one viewing to another, while still keeping a vigilant eye on new listings on a daily basis just to make sure you haven’t missed out.
Meanwhile you contact every local real estate agent, asking to be placed on their data base. You tell them what you are looking for, you promise a hassle free settlement; you waive cooling off periods…anything to give you the edge over all the other desperate buyers that you have seen so many times out pounding the pavement that you feel like you know them.
The weeks and months wear on and all of this gets pretty disheartening. But the most frustrating part occurs after you make a shortlist of properties that you like; the ones that you are ready to make a move on.
You’ve inspected them, are relatively happy with everything and lo and behold could even see yourself living in one of them.
This is when you need to start spending time and money doing your due diligence on the houses themselves, including paying for building and pest inspections, strata reports and legal advice on contracts.
These are all costly and extremely time consuming and just because you shell out the fees and make that time, this brings you no closer to purchasing the home than the 10 or more other would-be buyers doing the exact same thing on the same property.
Again, you might miss out on one or two properties and still refuse to let your optimism take a knock, but what happens when it has been six months and you have missed out on 20 properties.
By this stage you might have spent $10,000 or more on reports and inspections and have absolutely nothing to show for it. By now, you are deterred from going through those same old motions on the next property you come across, which might be as good, or better, than the ones you were eagerly vying for at the start of your buying journey.
You may miss out on the perfect home and the sellers in turn miss out on greater numbers of buyers. This is why, if I was selling, I would set up a system in which I paid for and provided all necessary inspections and reports, so that all buyers could see and review them.
My agent could then inform people at open inspections that only the eventual buyer of the home would be asked to pay for the inspections. Even being compensated by the winning bidder may not be necessary, as the extra competition for the property would likely drive a better result that more than makes up for the small outlay I have made.
Tim McIntyre is the senior real estate reporter for the Daily Telegraph and news.com.au
Over the past decade, he has attained widespread knowledge of Australia’s many unique property markets and is an authority on all things buying, selling and investing.
His commentary appears every Saturday in the Daily Telegraph Real Estate lift out, as well as online at news.com.au