Looking to Buy First Home - Making Email Offer?

Hi guys I need your help
Never ever bought a property before and I'm looking to buy my first home. I've been chatting with some brokers so I roughly know how much I can borrow from the banks, but I have not got a pre-approval yet.

I have found a place I like but the developer and agents seem to be a bit vague on the price, sometimes above 700k sometimes 650 and sometimes lower 🤨, the agent is encouraging me to send an email (non legally binding) offer ASAP.

Is it time to make a non legally binding offer (below asking price) yet? Or should I get all the financial stuff sorted first? And why?

I'm in Sydney if it matters, and the property is in a not very desirable area of Sydney lol…

Poll Options

  • 5
    Make offer now
  • 50
    Get loan approval first


  • +18

    If you are super keen on it, then make a conditional offer and say subject to finance approval and satisfactory building inspection

  • +1

    When did you speak to brokers? I would be getting finance locked down first before making any offers

  • +2

    Get an approval first, that way you'll know how much you 'can' offer. Then start low, if the dickead RE agents wont tell you the asking price then a)read them the riot act (worked for dad when he was trying buy a house) or b) Offer a couple of hundred grand UNDER what you are willing to pay in the end and negotiate upwards from there.

    • +1

      Sorry not following, what does reading the 'riot act' achieve? Any info or further resources would help, just genuinely curious,thanks.

      • +2

        Dad wanted to sell his home in Melbourne and buy a new one. Whenever he asked the RE agent what the asking price was, instead of telling him they would reply with a vague 'make an offer'. This was a complete time waster as he had no idea whether a particular home was in his price range or not. In the end he had some stern words with the RE agent along the lines of 'Stop wasting my time and tell me what the asking price is or I'll just go to another agent.' Obviously this tactic is designed to net the RE agent more commission as people might make starting offers over and above what the vendor would be happy to take. Great for the vendor too I guess but when the buyer is the one with the money it's a bit ridiculous. Imagine going to buy a car or anything else for that matter and when you ask for the price they say "Put your offer in". The remedy, as I said above is to tell the RE agent to stop playing games are to put in very low starting offer. I'm pretty sure the agent has to (by law) covey all offers to the vendor.

        Hope that clears things up.

        • +1

          Sort of. I was more curious about the riot act specifics or is that a turn of phrase? If so I'm not familiar with, I don't understand where that comment fits is all. I get the above sentiment and the ass RE's and I dread the fact I'll be dealing with them at some point also.

        • +1

          In Victoria, every property for sale has a statement of information that states the indicative selling price. It seems some people don't know this.
          Even properties that say 'Contact agent', you can see the price/price range in the statement of information.
          Not sure about other states.

          • @newak: That sounds sensible if not RE's being asses(who woulda thunk!) I'm looking in QLD and NSW I wonder if that's the case in these states by chance?

        • +2

          Bear in mind that while the real estate will tell the seller that they are there to get the seller the highest price, more often than not, it will be the highest price they can get for a quick sale.

          It's a cost vs time equation for many of them. If they can get the seller to drop the asking price by $x to sell now rather than holding out for 1 week/1 month/3 months, they will do so. The commission difference for $10,000 of sales isn't worth the extra weeks spent.

          Trust me the real estate agent isn't working for the seller, they are working for the commission (to be fair, that's what every salesperson ever works for - the pay/commission :))

        • I dont know why people don't know this… it works on real estate and job sites… play with the minimum/maximum value filter in the search URL… if the listing disappears after a certain value then you've found the reserve/salary. you can literally find price ranges by going above or below the hidden range.

          It doesn't work for auction listings, and kinda only works for jobs in QLD since job posters usually post the combined salary/super which is misleading

  • +3

    Whilst normally I would tell you to just send the email with an intention to make a formal offer subject to finance approval, in this current climate where preapprovals can take a lot longer and there's much more uncertainty, I'd probably wait.

    Just remember the default assumption - agents are motivated by self interest, and even if it may align with your objectives at a point in time, don't assume it'll last the entire transaction.

  • but I have not got a pre-approval yet.

    Not going to lie, money lending is WAY tighter NOW. So do this before putting any offers in.

  • -1

    Making Email Offer?

    SMS is quicker and won't end up in junk mail…

    • It's also slightly unprofessional when making an offer close to $1m

      • +3


        • +1

          Allows you to keep track of reply correspondence easier (especially when your offer is subject to a few terms) AND helps you include others in your correspondence, i.e. your partner, more than one agent etc.

          Also stops the "sorry I lost all my messages on my phone" sort of messages down the track.

  • Put in offer now, try to get approval, if you get knocked back you have even more sway in lowering the price. Of course put in all the “subjects to” etcs in your offer.

    In this climate your intentions to buy is king, not even the fact you have no cash. If you had cash even better of course.

    • Someone close to me was selling their house and had a buyer in the same situation… and it dragged the negotiation process on for a couple of weeks only to reveal they didn't have finance sorted. Even after signing, they kept extending the cooling off period (ie no deposit paid) and then even tried to negotiate a further discount. Please don't be that person. It really mucks the seller around too.

      • Unfortunately, when it comes to buying via negotiation, its an effective tactic to get a good result. It sucks balls to the seller, buts its no different to sellers who put lip stick on a pig to sell a house. It's a tactic to get a higher price that's ultimately costly for buyers.

        All is fair when it comes to property, I've seen the worse from the sellers side and its not often the buyer has their chance.

  • I find the fact that the developer doesn't know how much they will sell them for, very strange.

    • +3

      Oh they will know. So will the agent. The agent is fishing to see if OP is a nuffy and will pay overs.

  • get a pre-approval first mate, know where you stand so you can negotiate. Otherwise, its quite pointless and wasting your time

  • +1

    Real estate agents are useless.. We only deal with/through them because we have to.. These so-called experts are seemingly incapable of actually appraising any properties these days. Rest assured that any offer you make via email/sms will likely be met with a "if you can come up to xxxxxx then I think we're in a position to take it to the owner".

    So while you don't have your pre-approval in hand I'd say go nuts with some low-ball offers via phone/email/sms. If any of them bite then you may have found a property that the vendor is extremely keen to sell, in which case you can rush to get PA ready and formalise the offer under contract.

    In all likelihood, anything you offer on now will sell before you can get your finance and formalities in line, so use the low ball offers to feel out the market.

    If you're serious about a property though you will need the PA in place to be in the running.

    A few tips (from someone who has recently just done all this):
    1 - Your offers are worth nothing in reality unless they're in a contract (agents know this).
    2 - Don't sign a contract without pre-approval, you'll lose money.
    3 - Offers outside of a contract are not legally binding
    4 - You may find agents don't even let you inspect a property without pre-approval in place - so just BS if you want to
    5 - Get a good solicitor and building inspector lined up
    6 - Get your finance lined up sooner rather than later - the banks are all slooooooooow right now

    Good luck with it, its actually a pretty stressful thing to go through all things considered!

    • Very good advice here. I agree get pre-approval. Also important to note that pre-approvals don't really mean much. Once you make an offer (which should always be subject to finance) in bought in open market, the banks will re-assess your application. Valuation plays a key part here. Especially in current environment, valuation is a huge risk and you don't want to over pay.

  • +2

    Agents are just piece of sh*t. I won't trust their words at all.

    Here is my experience and I was lucky to get full refund without court visit.


  • I'm in Sydney if it matters, and the property is in a not very desirable area of Sydney lol…

    He wants over $700k for an unsavoury part of town? In this market? I wouldn't even entertain but if you're keen, make a conditional offer for $600k, with a get-out clause.

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