When you are buying a house for the first time there can be a lot of people involved in the process. People who, while not central to the transaction, are very important in ensuring that it can be completed. Obviously, the primary protagonists of the story are you as the purchaser and the people from whom you are buying the house. But it isn’t as simple as knocking on a door and making an offer and then moving in. There are a lot of moving parts to this story, some of which are quite costly, all of which need to be factored into the purchasing mix. If you have never bought a house or property before, here is a quick guide to some of the parties you should expect to encounter along the way.
You cannot escape the legal people and they are all over property transactions. From registering mortgages to doing the paperwork required for the transaction, there are lawyers all over the place and they tend to be rather expensive. As a general rule the legal costs are all carried by the purchaser although in many instances the choice of who to use rests with the seller. But be careful with this and look to negotiate rates. A Google search for a phrase like ‘conveyancing lawyers Melbourne’ should turn up enough specialists in your area. Get some quotes to make sure that you are not being taken for a ride and then haggle. They might not like it, but even lawyers have a rate card around which they are prepared to negotiate.
Although estate agents are slowly but surely becoming less central to the sale of property process, they are still a factor. In fact, it is almost crazy not to use an agent as they are experts in the field. The seller will pay the agent commission on the price of sale and for this the agent is expected to represent the seller’s interests, market the property and consult on the whole process. As much as you can find most properties online it is still a good idea to talk to an agent for the inside scoop on the place that you are offering on.
Never buy a house without first making sure that the house is compliant with all legal and structural requirements. Typically, you need an electrical certificate signed off following an inspection of the wiring and electrics of the property. Beetles are also checked for to make sur that there are not hidden issues beneath the floorboards or in the roof.
Meet the neighbours and chat to them before you make an offer. These are going to be the people next door to you for a long time and it is always good to see what you will be living with. If they are difficult or obnoxious you cannot just move away. Additionally, they will also be able to give you an unbiased account of the area – tips on traffic, noise, potential developments and crime.