One of the quickest ways to gain a competitive edge in the property market is to tap into the experience and insight of people who spend their day-to-day helping buyers find, finance and secure a home. Here’s who you need on your side.
Buying a property is one of the biggest financial decisions you’re ever going to make. If you have put the hard work in to get to the point of purchase, it’s smart to surround yourself with the right team who can help you follow through with meeting your goals effectively and smoothly.
"Having the right people in your corner will help you make good decisions,” says Wendy Brown, Head of Broker Home Loans at Macquarie’s Banking and Financial Services Group, “and it’ll help the process run more smoothly, too."
When you buy a property, you are dealing with professionals who are all acting for the seller. So, which home loan experts should be in your corner?
The financial adviser or Tax Agent
It’s important that buying a home makes sense for your financial situation and won’t trigger adverse consequences for your overall savings or tax position. Seeking the advice and services of an appropriately licensed financial adviser or Registered Tax Agent – or both – prior to purchasing a property can help you see and assess the big picture that the property fits into.
A Registered Tax Agent is a particularly worthwhile person to work with if you are buying a property for investment purposes, as there are considerations which can impact your bottom line, such as capital gains tax.
The mortgage broker and home loan specialist
A mortgage broker is a professional who works with banks and lenders to arrange a home loan on your behalf and is required to act in your best interests when suggesting a product for you. You usually don’t pay a mortgage broker a fee, they are paid via commission from banks and lenders.
A good broker will work with you to find a home loan that suits your preferences, financial circumstances and goals. They also have a thorough understanding of loan products, and how to work with banks and lenders to achieve the right result for you efficiently.
A home loan specialist will also be able to help identify the loan features most suitable for you and your circumstances. For example, investors may find a fixed-rate loan that allows them to 'set and forget' suits best. Owner occupiers may prefer to make extra repayments or allocate savings to an offset or redraw facility, so they pay less interest over the life of their loan.
It's a good idea to speak with a mortgage broker or home loan specialist early in the process to ensure you have realistic expectations of how much you can afford to borrow and what products are most suitable to your circumstances.
The buyer’s agent
If you lack the time to hunt for a property, you could consider using a buyer’s agent to do some of the leg work. A buyer’s agent, sometimes referred to as a buyer’s advocate, is a professional who works on the buyer’s behalf for a range of services including searching for a property, negotiating the sale price and bidding at auction. It’s important to understand what fees a buyer’s agent will be charging you, and whether you will be charged for their work if they don’t secure you a property.
Often, buyer’s agents have strong connections with real estate agents and an intimate understanding of the markets in which they operate. This can give buyers an edge over their competition, especially as buyers agents are accustomed to the skills and speed needed to secure a good property.