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The biggest mistakes people make when buying property, and how you can avoid them

By Mo Zeitouneh

Renowned renovators Mitch Edwards and Mark McKie are sharing their best-kept secrets to avoid property-purchasing mistakes as hosts of the new season of Location, Location, Location.

The Block 2021 winners and expert property flippers have a treasure trove of tips for home buyers who may be overwhelmed and unsure how to navigate the property market.

On the show, they leave no stone unturned in the quest to find the perfect property for ordinary Australians who need a helping hand securing their dream home.

Mitch and Mark are the new hosts of Location, Location, Location. Photo: YIANNIPHOTOGRAPHY.COM.AU

“What I have loved about doing this is we have a range of people and family circumstances, and you’ll see when you watch it, people … do get a home and do buy property, who may not have thought they would be able to,” Mark says.

“I love that this is not just about multimillion-dollar properties and buyers. There are some amazing properties, but there are also some properties that will give the audience heart and hope that they will be able to go and do it. It can be a challenge, but you can do it.”

Mitch says the dynamic duo, who have been together for 19 years and have flipped 20 properties, felt genuine joy in seeing people make their dreams become reality.

“It was such a buzz to be a part of it. We feel so privileged that people are trusting us to help them, and when they get their property, it’s such a beautiful place to be there with them,” he says.

Mitch, in episode one of Location, Location, Location with house-hunters Sophie and Gregg. Photo: Paul A. Broben

While increasing interest rates have unsettled the market, Mitch and Mark say people are still keen to buy a property they can call home.

“The impact of the interest-rate rises has been the absolute opposite of what we would expect,” Mitch says. “In general terms across the nation, we’ve seen a gradual, upward climb in prices which goes against all logic.”

Ahead of the series return on June 30, we asked them: What are the biggest mistakes people make in buying a home, and how can you avoid them?

Mitch and Mark are helping home buyers secure their first property. Photo: Paul A. Broben

Not seeking help or doing your research

You need to have a team – a conveyancer and/or a broker – and you need to manage them and keep pressure on them to deliver.

And do your research, go to auctions and inspections in the areas you’re looking for because you’ll learn about the agents who are selling in that area and can build a relationship with them.

You’ll also see what’s happening in terms of the buyers. You might see people several times that are your competition and it demystifies some of the auction process for you.

Thinking the vendor’s agent is in your court

One thing that people need to be clear on is that the realtor, if they are doing their job, is representing the seller. Don’t be misguided thinking they’re there to help you because, if they’re helping you, they’re not doing the job they’re employed for. They are not the person you should be talking to for advice on the right price for the property.

Not understanding the art of negotiation

Most people get intimidated by an auction or the negotiation process. We’ve found, on this series, that one of the mistakes people make is they don’t realise they can engage in a negotiation. When they do start the negotiation process, the realtor might say they need time to sleep on it. No. Take control of the negotiation and put your own limit on that because what that says is they need time to try to come up with a counter-offer.

Lowball offers

If you go too low, you’re basically saying you’re not serious. You don’t want to insult anyone with your offer. You want to find a point where you think you’d be happy to pay for it and you know that it’s in the game. You want to send a message that says you’re fair and reasonable, you know your business, but you don’t want to overspend.

Not managing your emotions

When people go in and they get their hearts set on a family home, it engages them emotionally. Of course, emotions will kick in, but the better armed you are in terms of knowledge, the better you’ll be able to deal with the emotional aspect of the purchase. A buyer’s advocate for some people takes them away from the negotiation. Everything is done with the purchaser’s approval, but it’s a method of distance where they can have their emotion without it interfering in the process.


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