How to buy a property without giving up all your weekends
The internet has revolutionised how we all searched for property. But while the days of browsing real estate agents’ windows have long past, the process can feel stubbornly time-consuming and inefficient.
The struggle is real
Being able to view thousands of properties via an online portal is definitely an improvement on scouring windows or newspaper adverts. But it brings its own set of frustrations. Namely ‘property slog’ – the endless hours you can spend scrolling to create a property shortlist. Property slog is often made worse when “you see the same properties over and over again”, as James, a 30-year-old in Sydney we spoke to, recalled.
Unfortunately, the pain doesn’t end there. Once you’ve narrowed down your shortlist, you‘ve got to spend your weekends viewing property after property in the hopes of finding your diamond in the rough. Then rinse and repeat, until you finally chance upon ‘the one.’ By the end of James’ property hunt, all he wanted to do was “enjoy my Saturdays again”.
How to take the pain out of a property search
For those of you who want a property but hate the thought of giving up your weekends, all is not lost.
There are two possible solutions for your dilemma. The first uses technology in a user-friendly way to simplify the property slog. The second relies on more traditional relationships.
- Buyer’s agents
If you want to outsource all the time and effort involved in looking for a home, then consider using a buyer’s agent. A good one won’t just find you the property of your dreams. They’ll help you navigate the complexities of buying it too, and can save you money in the process.
- You give the buyer’s agent a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves.
- They use their skills, knowledge and connections to scour the market (including ‘off-market’ properties) and draw up a shortlist.
- This reduces the number of properties you need to physically view, saving you countless weekends in the process. Chances are they’ll find your perfect match considerably faster than if you’d undertaken the search yourself.
- A buyer’s agent looks out for your best interests, especially in any price negotiations. Their market knowledge means you don’t have to worry about the risk of overpaying for a home.
- Soho – the ‘Tinder of Real Estate’
In addition to the traditional real estate portals, there is a growing number of other avenues where buyers can find properties. Of course, a good buyer’s agent will be across all such avenues.
James pointed out that “you look at properties the same way you look at Tinder. Yes, no, yes, no…” Soho is one of the newer portals for property buyers that takes that approach and runs with it:
- Outline the features you want in a property (suburb, aspect, number of bedrooms, etc) to create a customised feed of available properties that meets your requirements.
- Then use Tinder-style swipes to quickly narrow down and curate a shortlist.
- Once the property is shortlisted, you then receive alerts and updates – such as price changes or whether it’s been sold or leased out.
- The app is powered by an algorithm that learns what you’re after. It uses this information to suggest new properties to you (including those that might not be directly in the suburb you were after but are located close by).
So if you’re looking for the right property, make sure you are fully up to speed with all the new buyer friendly websites and apps but if you want to make it even easier, consider engaging a buyer’s agent.