Finding the courage to buy in a changing market

Finding the courage to buy in a changing market

Buying tip: When property investors start entering the market, that's the time to buy.

Right now, we are seeing a flurry of activity from property investors, while owner-occupier buyers have all but disappeared.

What's going on?

It takes courage to buy in a falling market. To zig when everyone else is zagging. Property investors know this from experience. Having been through previous down markets, they know that right now, houses are selling at a discount. It's boxing day sale time in the real estate world, but just like big retail-store sales, this won't last forever.

That's why investors are jumping into the market in droves, putting cheeky offers in on any property that might be a good long-term buy. They're doing this because they know that property has traditionally been a great long-term investment, and the best time to buy is when you have little or no competition.

Do you fancy yourself a keen negotiator? Do you like to have plenty of choices when making a buying decision? Do you want to be the only offer on the table? Then this is the market for you.

There are more houses to choose from than we have seen for years. And owners are hanging by the phone, ready to negotiate with any potential buyers.

It's a golden opportunity. But you have to play to win.

There's an old adage in real estate that any experienced investor will tell you. It's not so much when you buy that matters, but what you buy.

In other words, it's better to buy the right house at the wrong time, than the wrong house at the right time.

When it comes to buying, having choices is what matters. Finding the right home for you is the key part, especially if you plan to stay there for 5-10 years. In a hot market, buyers get stuck with limited options, forced to pony up for whatever they can get their hands on. But in a down market, you can choose exactly what you want and need. Are you keen on a certain school zone? Easy. Looking for something with decent land so you can grow your own food? No problem. Want to buy a property with potential that you can add value to? Sure!

It's all waiting for you. This is that unique moment when you can buy the right house at the right time. But it takes courage to act when everyone else is sitting back waiting.

What's the problem with waiting? Real estate markets change quickly. Once the slide stops and prices start rising, we could quickly see a switch back to a scarcity buying mentality. It doesn't take much to make this happen. If there are suddenly 30% fewer houses on the market, and 30% more buyers in the market, then you'll start to see multiple offers on attractive properties and houses will start selling quickly, giving you less time to get prepared. Owners will start favouring unconditional offers, and while prices might still be attractive, the benefit of choice and negotiating power could be lost.

If you want to be in control of your buying process, to take your time, drive a hard bargain and make conditional offers with full protection, then now is the time to act.