Open home tips for buyers

We've got some great tips to help you get the most out of your house hunting experience, so you can be fully prepared for the weekend open home marathon.

Get prepared for the weekend

Plan ahead - make a schedule

It's a good idea to add open homes into your calendar on your mobile phone or tablet, and set reminders for each. 

Try to group the open homes into areas or suburbs, especially if your search for a new home covers a wide area.

Search on the go - download our app

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Go to the first weekend of open homes

Try and make it to the first weekend of open homes. That way, if you're really keen on a place, you've got time to see it again. You've also got more time to do your due diligence, such as reading the property reports, conducting inspections and getting your finance and legal paperwork sorted.

Take the open home brochures away with you

When you've been through 10 open homes, it can be hard to remember which one had the kitchen island and which one had the ensuite. Salespeople normally have a range of materials available for you to pick up at the open home and take away with you. Remember to take a pen so you can make your own notes about the property.

Missed the open home? Book a private viewing

If you want to visit a property, but can't make any of the open home times, book a private viewing with one of our salespeople. They'll always be happy to fit you in.

What to ask when you get there

What reports or documents are available?

Find out if there is a LIM (Land Information Memorandum), property title, or valuation available. In some cases, the salesperson will have these on hand, or will be able to provide them later. 

It's still important to do your own due diligence on a property. Find out what specialist reports we recommend.

What is the settlement date?

When a property is being sold by auction or tender, this is an important question to ask, especially if you're selling a house too. The settlement date might be flexible or negotiable but you need to ask and get any variation to the date agreed in writing before the auction. 

If the house is being sold by negotiation, there may also be a preferred settlement day. Ask your salesperson for more information.

Are there any known issues with this property?

Licensed real estate salespeople have a duty to disclose any known issues relating to the property that they are aware of. Most houses will have small maintenance issues and this shouldn’t necessarily put you off. 

Find out about any issues well in advance, so you can decide if you want to take them on - and factor this into your budget. We recommend you get your own independent reports.

Buying and renovating - what to think about

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Is there a body corporate? If so, what are the fees?

If you buy a unit title, you'll become a member of its body corporate. Unit titles are a common form of ownership of a multi-unit complex, such as apartment blocks, townhouses or units. 

Decisions about certain aspects of the complex are made by the body corporate as a collective. Because things like maintenance and insurance are organised for the whole complex, you'll usually be required to pay an annual levy - the body corporate fees. The amount varies from unit to unit.

If you're interested in purchasing a unit title, the seller must provide you with a pre-contract disclosure statement. Talk to your salesperson if you have not been given one. Find out more about body corporates.

What is a body corporate?

What is a body corporate? Find out in our video

What schools and amenities are in the area?

Barfoot & Thompson salespeople are experts in their local area and will be able to point out the nearby schools, cafes, public transport options and more.

Did you know...

The Barfoot & Thompson app lets you search by school zone?

What chattels are being sold with the home?

The salesperson will be able to tell you which chattels are included in the sale. 

You can also find this information in the Sale and Purchase Agreement - ask your salesperson for a copy of this.

Can I make a pre-auction offer?

A pre-auction offer is when you make an unconditional offer on a house, prior to the auction date. It's up to the seller to decide if they accept your offer or wait for the scheduled auction day.

Some sellers are more open to pre-auction offers than others - it depends on their circumstances. It never hurts to ask if you're really keen on a house and have done all your due diligence. 

Make sure you understand what's involved in making a pre-auction offer - you can read more about it in our buying at auction guide.

Making an unconditional offer

What is an unconditional offer?

How much is it going to sell for?

Not surprisingly, this is one of the most common questions buyers ask. If the house is selling by auction, it can be difficult to know what price it will fetch under the hammer. 

The best advice for buyers is to do your research on the area you’re interested in. Salespeople can usually provide a list of recent sales in the area. 

Consider going along to a few local auctions to get an idea of what houses are selling for. 

Remember that every house is different and you just have to be ready to make your best offer on the day. Good luck!

How to estimate market value

Find out how to estimate the market value of a property