Biggest Challenges for Home Buyers?

My wife and I bought our first place at the end of 2019 after researching (and continuing to save) for a few years. We were thankful when we were able to buy somewhere and even more thankful that the process of buying a house was over.

Throughout the process I was struck by how biased everything was toward sellers and the real estate agents who represented them. Price guides were one of the most frustrating things because the sale price at auction was always higher than the price guide advertised, but on top of that were the hoops needed to jump through in order to even get information about a property. It felt like real estate agents held all the power.

Agents and sellers aside, we also found it tough to find properties that appealed to both my wife and I, and then to prioritise those inspections (which were often overlapping). Many times we'd return from the inspection having found a huge dealbreaker that was not disclosed in the listing, and feel that we'd wasted our time.

All up it feels like the system is broken on purpose, and I'm exploring ways to make life easier for buyers, possibly through some kind of online service, especially as the property market heats up again.

For anyone who is looking at buying a house right now (or who has bought a house recently), what are some of the biggest challenges you've faced throughout the process?

Also would love to hear any helpful solutions you've found in the comments. Thanks!

Poll Options

  • 2
    Figuring out how much I can afford
  • 57
    Finding house listings that appeal to me
  • 16
    Finding house listings that appeal to me AND my partner/family
  • 14
    Getting accurate information about a property
  • 298
    Price discrepancies between listings and final sale price at auction
  • 7
    Having to provide my phone number, email and post code at every inspection
  • 13
    Dealing with the subsequent calls & emails from inspections
  • 17
    Getting building/pest/strata inspections
  • 6
    Prioritising inspections on the weekend


  • +6

    Wheres the ALL OF THE ABOVE selection

  • +2


  • +7

    I've bought 2 places off market and sold one at auction. My advice to anyone out there is if you are going to buy you should be able to value a place without looking at the advertised price range.

    Step one: Know what you want
    Step two: Know how much what you want is worth (market worth as in similar sold prices, not existential worth)
    Step three: Offer/negotiate/bid in line with what you're comfortable with on a property you actually want.

    If you have $600k to spend, and every other 10yo townhouse in a suburb has sold for $800k, and you find one advertised for $600k, and it ends up selling for $800k I would suggest you should do more research, rather than relying on a (essentially) meaningless indicated price to determine worth.

    My biggest issue is completing step One/Two, as it is so time consuming. That is where a buyers advocate can fast track you. I reckon step three only ever varies a few thousand dollars here and there, property generally gets sold for whatever it is worth at the time.

    • +1

      This. DYOR - Do Your Own Research.

      Yes, agents are misleading. But property sells for whatever the people buying think it's worth; no one can force someone to buy (or sell) a house.
      Reserve or no reserve, the seller can't change what other buyers are willing to spend. That's why houses get passed in sometimes (although infrequent these days).

      If you are interested in buying a house, you need to know what other buyers are currently valuing houses at. Make a habit of reviewing auction results every Sunday to see what property in the suburbs/type you're interested are actually selling for.

      You should try to realistically guestimate prices for specific houses that you're interesting in, to within 5-10%, without having to rely on a price guide from the agent. And each Sunday, you can check how accurate you are.

      This will mean you don't waste your time on a Saturday at auctions you were never reasonably going to win, and once you do get a property, you will be more comfortable you paid a fair (market) price for it.

  • +5

    The system is broken because buyers have little choice and are behaving irrationally paying over the top with little to no information. If you're a seller and the buyers are throwing money at you where's your incentive to be more transparent or honest?

    What's keeping me from buying a home is that prices are completely insane without any fundamental support. Sure, interest rates are low right now.. but that means a world of pain in the future if you're borrowing the maximum you can afford at those low rates.

    We are in a pandemic, jobs are being lost, home loan repayments have had to be frozen, there's no tourism or immigration from abroad.. but the market is jumping up?

    It's extremely bubbly. I see rocky times ahead.

  • +3

    I would add to the poll:

    Having enough time to consider a house after the inspection. Just to think about things like "is it worth the extra $10/20/30k over what I originally thought", "is it worth the extra work in renovation", "how much money will I have to put into it".

    I'm turning up to inspections that are already under contract - Some REAs tell you on the way in, some don't tell you until you ask a question.
    When attending an inspection at 2pm, they are requesting offers to be submitted by 5pm so they can talk to the owner. I went to one that fell through on finance and while I was there they were sealing a deal for a contract (not an offer) to be sent through.

    I know not all of these are realistic and some is the real estate building demand, but I'm seeing enough to know that if my offer isn't in that day, I'm probably out of the competition.

    • I made an offer on a house slightly over asking. 2 days later at another open the agent was still telling people the original range, gathering more interest and in the end we upped our offer by 50k and missed out by another 20k

  • +2

    Biggest hurdle for first home buyers is having the financial discipline to save up the 20% deposit, as you're competing against other buyers potentially with the assistance of mummy and daddy. Otherwise, paying off the mortgage is easy. Once you get that first home, upgrading to the next is much easier thanks to equity in the house.
    Next biggest hurdle is determining the value of the house based on the statement of information. For auctions, just need 10% on top of the quoted range and that will be your realistic budget. Otherwise, searching up prices of comparable houses is the best way to gauge the market price.

    • +4

      Good luck even saving 20% in Sydney or Melbourne

      • +2

        Depends where you buy. For example, a Western suburb 25km from CBD is cheaper than an Eastern suburb 25km out. Just don't expect to have the right to buy a house in the same area that your parents bought in the 80s and 90s.

        • -4

          That's exactly right. Gotta sacrifice and face the harsh reality of how it is right now.

          I work with a whole heap of people who complain about house prices and how unrealistic it is to save a deposit.

          These are the same people who eat out 4-5x a week, spend a quarter of their weekly pay on Friday night drinks and another good chunk on weekend clubbing.

          These are also the same people who want to buy in an inner suburb <10km from the city while renting in a place that charges them 500 a week.

          • -3

            @Chael Sonnen: Spot on. Young people generally have high discretionary spending and like to complain about the cost of housing just because everyone else is. Sure, people are young and it's often encouraged to enjoy life abit more, as you are only young once. However, just understand that every action has a consequence so it's a balancing act.

            Remember buying the first house will be the biggest financial achievement in your life. It's meant to be hard. It's meant to be rewarding. It's meant to take personal and lifestyle sacrifices. Having the bank of mummy/daddy makes it alot easier however it is definitely still achievable for a standard duo income couple (without any assistance).

            For example, I see many young and hard working Indian migrant families with standard jobs buying homes within 2-3 years after stepping foot into Melbourne, whilst the millennials are sitting at home whinging and complaining.

      • You don't need luck, you just need discipline and to face the harsh reality that you won't be in your dream suburb for your first house.

      • +5

        Catching the figure is even difficult with decent saving habits.

        If I'd decided to buy in 2016 (where I live now) and set a 5 year goal aiming at the median price of the time I'd have targeted $270 a week. Obviously house prices go up so this would've been a bit short sighted.

        So let's say I put away $330 a week. I'd still be almost a year away from hitting that 20% figure in the current market. There is almost nothing advertised below the median and it is still climbing rapidly. At the current rate of increase I might be able to catch it in 2 more years at the same saving rate.

        During this time I would also have been around $320-$400 in rent. Effectively 'spending' over $600 a week on housing, significantly more than the repayments for the same house would've been in that time period and the house itself would've increased in value while my debt would've decreased.

        As it is, a few setbacks happened in that time and what money was saved was eaten. So now I'm looking at starting the saving process all over again with the market racing away from my affordability.

        2 years ago I could easily afford the payments on a nice 4 bedroom in a good area and if certain things hadn't happened at precisely the wrong time, probably would've bought the 4 bedroom across the road from where I'm renting and would be paying less in repayments than I currently pay in rent.

        Now I'm considering if a 3 bedrooms in an OK area will be enough for my family. My pay has gone up in this time, but the money just doesn't go anywhere near as far.

        • The old adage comes to mind: 'The best time to buy property was 20 years ago. The next best time is now'

    • How much of a requirement is the 20% deposit these days? I've heard mixed information.

      • Not an absolute requirement because banks look at income and serviceability. Having 20% gives you the widest range of lender options, which can mean better interest rates.

        You can still get a home loan with under 20% deposit, however you will pay a penalty fee called lenders mortgage insurance. This type of insurance essentially means: "we(bank) don't fully trust you with our money as you don't have the 20% deposit, however we are still willing to lend you the money if you pay the insurance to cover us".

        • Not having LMI means banks is willing to lend u more

          • @Venustrap87: Well if you don't have a 20% deposit, its in your best interest that banks wont lend you more. They're trying to protect both you and themselves. With a 20% deposit, you simply have more options and flexibility with lenders.

      • They do as little as 5% with mortgage insurance. Rates are usually worse and the total price over the life of the mortgage can vary dramatically.

        So they take less deposit, but it costs you more in the long run and they aren't going to approve it unless they think you can pay the higher costs.

        So you have to be able to prove you can afford to pay despite not having been able to save.

  • +1

    Spending beyond their memes.

  • +3

    Not on your list yet - ‘taking a leap of faith and hoping things work out okay’.

    It was scary committing to a property hoping that even though we got the pest and building inspection, it wasn’t going to fall into the ground and that we’d paid the right price.

    It’s worked out great for us, the land is now worth much more than we paid for house and land, but going into, despite all our research there was still that doubt as to whether we were doing the right thing.

  • +9

    “Biggest Challenges for Home Buyers?“

    Other home buyers.

  • +8

    Housing in Australia is broken and it is that way by design to favour those already in the market.

    • +2

      Property investors will get richer and richer as non-homeowners will get poorer and poorer. If you don’t own a home now I’m sorry but you’re screwed. You’re screwed really bad. Better work hard and earn lots of money to get on the ladder, the market will never crash — ever.

  • +1

    As a seller currently selling I feel like we are actually powerless and it is the agent controlling everything.

    We have been very clear from the start before engaging any agent that we needed a certain price. That we would not sell below this price, i.e. this is our reserve price

    All the agents when we interviewed them guided lower than this and said “oh no, what you do is you start lower otherwise you scare the buyers away, and then you bring them all up”

    The agent continues to guide 15% below what we want for it. And he is actually still telling people a price guide lower than pre auction offers we’ve already received and rejected. So clearly a falsehood…

    We were told my more than one agent that every buyer adds 10% to whatever the price guide is and they start from there…

  • +1

    Finding the right property is the main thing. Be prepared to walk away from lots of places. Each time you will learn more about various aspects of properties and your own tastes. Importantly, you’ll build an idea of what prices are realistic, and the general price versus the auction price guide.
    We spend 2years looking for the right property in a particular area. If you don’t put the time and effort in, you’ll pay more for something that you are not happy with, then spend more to put it right.
    Remember - Time, Value, Quality. You can have any 2 you like, but never get all 3. 🤔

  • +7

    Money is the biggest challenge 😷

  • +4

    Not to sound conspiracy theorist but, I've noticed that estate agents in NSW are setting guides low especially compared to what things were both selling and guiding at throughout last year and it feels like it's intentional, a property I looked at a couple of weeks ago was guided at $1.45 M when I asked about what offers they would consider $1.9 M+ was the answer. It went to auction and achieved $2.1 M and of course the email from the estate agent was went for 30% above market assessed value so buy now or you'll get left behind. But there were a ton of comparable houses in the same area which were guided at around 1.85 M and sold for around the 2 M throughout last year …

    • +1

      Exactly how it works in the RE industry. You wouldnt wanna be setting your guide at $2.2m then report it sold for under guide.

      "Another record transaction at 30% above expectation!!!"……Its all BS and manipulated. And those transactions that didnt go through or underperformed will be pulled out of Domain/Real Estate. Noticed those "removed" ones?

      • +1

        Yeah the results may be real but it's a manufactured 'boom' …

  • The questions seem to assume you are buying at auction, are auctions so common in your state that is the only thing worth considering?

    • I'm in Sydney and sadly it seems most properties in my part of Sydney (inner west) are sold by auction. For example, I just searched and on the first two pages (50 results) found only four that were for sale with an asking price (all apartments and one was already under offer), another two listed as for sale but with no asking price, and the rest were auction.
      I don't know a lot about other areas but my guess is it's pretty similar in most of Sydney (just from driving around and seeing auction billboards everywhere). It certainly makes things challenging to figure out what a property will sell for, especially when price guides are inaccurate.

      • I'm sure the figure has decreased but last year it was about 1/4 properties slated to sell at auction were sold prior to Auction …

  • +5

    So many whingers lol

    If you were selling, you wouldn't sell for less than what you can get

    If you were buying, you wouldn't pay more than what you have to

    Just remember that and all will be fine.

    • I think your comments is definitely written from a sellers perspective.

      Think about what really needs to happen for a buyer before turning up to an auction.

      • You need to have approval in place to purchase and finance with the bank or lender, this is generally for a upper limit, and you have probably based that on your research plus at least some attribution to what the listing price is stating on your auction of choice;
      • You need to have 10% ready to go to pay on the day, 10% of the final purchase price, this is not-refundable and if you end up with an auction going over and above your target dramatically then how do you have the confidence that you will get loan approval for the new higher amount;
      • If you are not buying new, and are being forced to commit with a high level building and pest report that you often have to read over peoples shoulder to a structure the risk is well and truly real.

      All of these are made much worse when you are flying blind on how much an auction really is going to go for.

      • you are flying blind on how much an auction really is going to go for

        To be fair, that's what auctions have been since they started. You can have an idea of how may end, but it all depends on the other buyers on the day.

        Auctions are used to get buyers to compete with each other to drive the price up, and I don't understand why the seller should have to consider the buyers budget/mortgage/deposit.

        As a buyer I go into an auction knowing what deposit I have, therefore I should know roughly what I can afford and have a cut off price that I can't go over. If the auction goes over that, as a buyer I have no choice but to leave it and look elsewhere.

        But there have always been people that bid above thier means, that get emotionally attached and place that one extra bid, that overvalue the home.

      • @brianki Yes - all the above points are normal?

        During a heated market, properties are always going to sell much higher than anticipated and the writing is on the wall everywhere you look. If you must buy in this market, perhaps you should anticipate going well above any aforementioned "guide" or "reserve" if you really want a property?

        You also have plenty of time to do your own due diligence/inspections prior to an auction - if you don't trust the "high level" report provided.

        During a slow market, many auctions don't even make it to the set reserve on the day. Do all the sellers come out and have a whinge also?

        If you can't control yourself as a buyer and go over than what you can afford/preapproved for, then you deserve to take a loss.

  • +1

    The market today at the moment is mental, I brought 2 years ago and the houses around me have gone up 100k. (Adelaide southern suburbs).

  • +4

    Houses today just aren't worth their brick and mortar. They're almost always purchased on debt financing, with speculative hopes of capital appreciation.

    • +1

      Houses today just aren't worth their brick and mortar.

      You're right. Real estate should be worth more than just the building.

  • +6

    There should be an option called “getting outbid by property investors at auction”.

    • I don't know.. I'm in Victoria and I don't really see many investors bidding in the outer western suburbs.

      The property investors seem to target the large blocks that are in the east but now that they're becoming rare, they're turning towards the inner west (i.e. less than 10km from the city).

  • +4

    Trying to work out how tiny the land/rooms were in real life vs the heavily 'shopped photos in the listings.

  • +1

    I's say the biggest challenge is coping with an unexpected expense or event - job loss, pregnancy, ill health etc. We can all set nice tidy budgets and account for expenditure but there's always an occasional gotcha lurking around the corner and quite frankly using a credit card to tide you over is NOT the way to fix it.

    • +3

      Doesn't stop people asking "what is the maximum I can borrow?" Then racing out to commit themselves to 30 years of monthly payments. Even if the bank forgoes the interest it would be tough to just pay the principle off.

      The biggest problem is retiring. If you are buying a $1m property you need to pay $800k of principle back. In 30 years, yes it might have gone up 3x but the problem is so has anything else in the same suburb (trading to something smaller in the same suburb certainly price doesn't correspond to size: half the land and half the size of house is not half the price).

      The alternative view is if you could put $400k away into super over 30 years instead of paying principle you could probably stay in your home and have money you could spend in retirement for 20 years before getting on the government pension instead of the 10% SG which may not be that much.

      But then that is just being logical about it. If you have FOMO (on high house prices) now then you end up with MO (on retirement) later. With property everyone is just front loading all their profits now. Like interest rates are going lower and there is going to be another bail out (the magic money tree says the RBA is going to pay your mortgage to keep the economy afloat into perpetuity with negative rates, then you just go bidding a $1m property to $10m because RBA is going to pay it down to $1m for you or something stupid like that).

      Don't forget the COVID19 stimulus is going to end up with higher taxes. No doubt about it. UK is reported to raise company tax (which means companies will look at job cuts or increase productivity to maintain profits OR lower dividends to shareholders OR lower wages through offshoring) and capital gains tax. If governments can't pay back debts that way then it will be GST and income tax. Most houses in metro Melbourne and Sydney would fall into brackets liable for land tax now (for investment properties), that is another win for the government.

      • Yep no doubt the goal is a debt riddled public necessitated to work hard until they meet their end!
        A better plan will always be to downsize at some point from your (hopefully) large house or move overseas (somewhere with cheaper housing) to retire.

        • +1

          Yep no doubt the goal is a debt riddled public necessitated to work hard until they meet their end!

          Without doubt that is the government grand plan. Government is probably also in with the get rich property investment seminar industry. Why else would the government let them charge $4k for a one week course then try to sell participants some more courses when most of them are low to lower middle income earners.

          A better plan will always be to downsize at some point from your (hopefully) large house or move overseas (somewhere with cheaper housing) to retire.

          Problem with moving overseas is either you sell up or else you are met with a high tax burden of 32.5% from the first dollar you earn. At some point when you are very old you would want to come back to take advantage of the health care system but without somewhere to stay you might have a problem.

    • Another point I'd like to add is the mindset of some younger people. They often like to borrow to their maximum capacity and have less than 20% deposit or use up all of their deposit on a house, without leaving any emergency funds over. You should always have at least 6months worth of expenses on top of that 20% deposit. When you take out the 30 year home loan, you should aim to pay it off in under 10 years. Do not have the mindset of paying minimum repayments for the next 30 years.

      But in saying that, the bank of mummy and daddy is readily available for some people so the risks are nullified somewhat.

      • There's no way I am repaying a mortgage in 10 years when money is this cheap.

        • You can put all the money into the offset and if you're diligent, you should be able to accumulate enough to technically offset the entire loan in under 10 years . Or you can invest in other things with higher returns. Keeps the options open essentially.

          Those who plan to meet minimum repayments for the next 30years will easily succumb to mortgage stress.

  • why not move to tasmania ! heaps cheaper and sydney is too expensive

  • -1

    Don't feed into the system. Don't buy houses. It really doesn't worth the money. Look at alternative paths.

    • +1

      Such as?

    • live under a tree! it's free realestate!

      • +1

        council / national parks says no

    • At least propose an alternative.

  • +1

    As much as I hate the massive ponzi scheme the property market, I don't think legally there should be anything to compel people to quote accurate price ranges or "lock in" reserves. There's just that part of me that says you shouldn't be "made" to sell something at a fixed price especially if people are willing to bid more. It's not like you are a corporate business selling things every day in a store, although some flippers may well be getting close.

    In the grand scheme of things if prices were sane complaints about under-quoting will quickly be moot because they don't really matter in comparison to the issue of affordability and being outbid by cashed up (more like paper money ala equity) investors out to build their pyramid.

  • -1

    No big 'challenges' for me…no point feeling sorry for yourself when others outbid you etc…it's the market and it's the way the world is.

    Either need to find ways of increasing your income or just buy in another area…it's as simple as that.

    Too many entitled complainers these days…

  • +2

    Negative Gearing

  • +5

    Photos and listings being incredibly misleading - you have to head to satellite imagery to discover it's actually conjoined to a second "house" despite several carefully-aimed photos of the exterior. Apartments advertised as townhouses, land for the entire block being advertised as the size of the land included with the "house" (actually a unit).

    See also: block with old 2 bed / 1 bath house, and plans for a 4 bed / 3 bath house being advertised as the latter (with no photos of what you're actually buying, even if it seems fine).

    I've always wondered how they decide how many "car" spaces to put? A double garage just inside the front gate makes sense being two, but how do you decide whether to count the "carspace" / carport / driveway? I've seen a few advertised as two or three spaces (garage and an open driveway in front) - so why not quote the double garage at the back and 5 more along the full-length driveway?

    • +1

      The fake bedrooms gets me. Some are so blatent that it says 3 bedroom, but when you look at the plans it's two bed and a study (some were even labeled as non-bedrooms on the uploaded plans). I've had several where the "bedroom" turned out to be a nook without any doors

    • +4

      I have seen on-street parking being quoted as 1 car space LOL

    • +2

      On "car" spaces:
      * I've seen a small yard with a wooden deck + metal fence with only a person-sized gate quoted as 1 car space. You could not fit a car through the gate 0.80 metres wide, and even if you could, it would instantly collapse through the wooden deck. That's a ZERO car space, agents.
      * I've seen a townhouse advertised with "1.5 car spaces". Firstly, trying going to Toyota, and saying "I love the new Corolla, but I just want to buy half the car now. I may or may not come back later for the other half. Of course I expect full warranty and service on the half I purchase." You will find out quite quickly that the minimum unit size for cars is ONE. There is no such thing as half a car (that anybody normal would actually want). So we're down to 1 car space. But we're not done yet …. that one car space had a really thin garage door (around 1.85 metres wide, when most cars are about 1.80 metres wide), the garage was thin inside, and it had a council tree a few feet from the garage door that was blocking about 25% of the driveway if you came in straight, so you would have to be a zen stunt driver to get your car in there. Let alone get it out again, with a screaming child in the back, in the rain, at night, in reverse. So I asked the agent if the shiny black BMW on the street near the garage was his, he said yes, I said if you claim this property has a working garage, would you please park your lovely car in that garage? Agent smiled and said nothing. I said because I'm pretty certain you will damage it. Agent laughed. I said I'm serious. Agent's face went blank. I said because I want to film it and upload it YouTube, sped up, set to the Benny Hill theme tune, under the title "Agent destroys his car by trying to show that garage can be used". Agent started ignoring me. So to recap, again: That's a ZERO car space. [PS: if you think I was rude to the agent, I consider them wasting my time on my weekend by listing it as 1.5 car spots when it has zero, and not including any photos of the garage at all so that I had go there to know that, to be infinitely ruder]

      • +1

        I've also seen "one" where there was indeed a driveway and probably used to have a car space, but now has no gate at the end of the drive, and if you put one in then there was still a water tank against the boundary, then a deck starting from 2m inside.

        The previous and new owners both just park illegally on the crossover rather than the empty street.

  • Not all areas are "mental". I'm inner suburbs Melbourne, developer, newly constructed and close to city, and I wouldn't achieve a satisfactory price if I was to sell in this market. I'd achieve barely the replacement cost, and certainly not enough to cover the many years of planning and construction, cost of capital, and the major stresses and risks involved.
    So I will sit on the sidelines until inner suburbs improve or cost of land and construction falls (unlikely).

    • Builders are the real winners ;)

  • +7

    The Australian house market is Government approved scam in a way.
    In most countries, people have a wide range of options to buy a house that they can afford without having to work the rest of the life paying it off.
    How come ours is one of the largest countries by land area but still we need to pay through our noses to own a small 300sqm plot?

    Govt, has a responsibility to the public to keep the prices in control but instead seem to be supporting the land mafia.

    • +1

      Not entirely true. A 300sqm block in Australia can be very affordable.
      Draw a large map of Australia and place two small dots representing inner Melbourne and inner Sydney.
      The small dots represent where 50% of the entire population are jumping over themselves to live.
      There are many towns where a small block of land is very affordable.

      • +4

        Then you ask why are they wanting to live there? Because of what's there - and who put what's there in the first place? Government planning and infrastructure you could say…

  • It hasn't really changed for years though so no need to be surprised anymore. The vendors actually want top of range + 5-10% as a reserve. Right now at auction some are going well over this but this isn't necessarily on the agent in a market this hot.

  • +4

    Ah. I remember the good old days when realestate agents personally took you through homes.

    When you could negotiate a lower price.

    When the agents called you and were interested to make a sale.

    Now you go into a place with some snotty nosed arrogant kid who directs you to a book to write your best offer, sneeribgly declaring how much has already been offered.

    Very very unfair to be young nowadays.

  • +2

    Purchasing a house is going to be the biggest decision most of us will make, it is also likely to be your most stressful decision too that we choose to make - remember nobody is forcing us to buy a house.

    Now, after having bought and sold quite a few, I would advise that the best thing a new buyer should do is 'to do your homework'. There are plenty of sites, videos, and information available that can help here with the theory. With the practical thing, inspect as many houses as you can - look at the good and bad in your area so you know what prices are going for - and always follow up. Just because you dislike a house, does not mean you should not follow up what the sold price is. I was once told to view at least 100 properties before considering your first purchase - but it is difficult when you "fall in love" with a property and just want to get it. I have been there, done that.

    With auctions, the same - do your homework, lots of videos on YT explaining the process. Go to live auctions to watch and get a feel for the process, look at the dynamics, the participants, the auctioneer, agents working …. apply some of your homework into the auction phases. Watch out for keywords the agents and auctioneers use. Know when a property is actually "on the market" that is, when it is going to be sold immediately, versus just "put a bid in or you will miss out" which I have been encouraged before just to raise the $$$ up for not sale guarantee. There are actual auction videos on that are recorded.

    Never ever ever rely on an agent to give you a price guide because 1. you will not need their guide if you have done your homework. That you have been to XX properties and you know the results of every one of them (good or bad property). Now you have an idea what the market condition is. 2. Dont rely on an agent to give you procedural advice because you know how the sales process works, you know the dynamics, and you can use logic to buy rather than feelings and emotions.

    There is soooo much more to learn but love the entire sales process.

  • +1

    Housing affordability to getting worst and the gov is not doing enough to control it. The rich continue to buy more houses than they need and sell them at a profit, while the lower income people continue get push further out the of affordability bracket.

    My views are:
    - The gov was suggest removing the stamp duty for help first home buyer. that's is not going to do much as they will get taxed every year instead.
    - Negative gearing is good for mum and dad investors. We need to keep this to relive the strain on the pension system.
    - Addition tax should be applied to people with 3 properties or more. Why do someone need more than 3 properties? If they want to invest, they should diverse their
    investments. Imagine you need to pay 10% tax your third properties, 15% on your forth, 25% on your fifth, and so on. That will surely help stopping people buying up the market.
    - If you are inherited a house and is your third (or more) property. You have to reduce your portfolio within a year otherwise your will have to paid the tax. This will help increase the number of properties on market and control the house prices. Basic Supply and Demand concept.
    - House should be considered as essential item. You would be pissed if someone bought all the toilet paper and sell them at a profit. Why should this not apply to houses?

    • House should be considered as essential item. You would be pissed if someone bought all the toilet paper and sell them at a profit.

      It's really odd the amount of people who just think wanting a home is entitlement. That you should work tooth and nail for one and if you can't afford one, well that's your fault for not having a high enough paying job. Yet I don't think many of them would want a privatised health care or education system. We see them as essentials, that everyone no matter their social status should have easy access to. I mean we've already seen how much healthcare can be worth (i.e. America) if the government doesn't do anything. No one fights to dismantle our healthcare system and housing is equally as important. How much do you think a life saving surgery is actually worth? I bet the rich are loving seeing us fight to give as much money as we can to them for their house though. I own a house, so do my parents and my mother and I both agree that we'd rather see house prices drop even if that means we'd sell our for less/make a loss. I'm just curious as to 50 years from now (or currently), those with average paying jobs who couldn't afford to get in and don't have a lot in their super are going to survive with current rental prices.

      • We don't learn from our history. Look at other countries like Toyko, Hong Kong, etc.. House prices are way over what average income people can afford.

        Rental price are linked to house price. The higher the house price, the higher the rental price. You own a house. Good. I do too. But seeing what is happening how I concerned the my children won't be able to afford to buy their own place. Yes parent should help, and most of they will if they can afford it. But at the end of the day, who will be profiting from this?

        One more thing! Wanting a home is not an entitlement, but essential. You need to work hard to own one. However, seeing people working hard but the goal slipping further and further from them is not so fair either. Everyone need a place to live.

    • the govt are the ones making it worse by claiming to 'control' by using taxpayer money to fund/subsidise negative gearing, first home buyer grants and stamp duty discounts….after all, politicians hold a bunch of properties hidden in trusts or other family names

  • I am surprised that the number 1 voted for poll option is about price discrepancies between what is advertised and final sale price.

    Isn't part of the research you do when looking for a house, to actually research the comparable sales prices yourself?

    • It takes time and effort to accurately assess comparables based on condition and pockets within each suburb.

      Whereas its much easier to be attracted to the good looking kitchen and bathrooms (main attractions of the home for an inexperienced buyer). People get emotionally invested in the price guide, which then builds into resentment when a home sells for 10% above highest range (completely normal for an auctioned home).

      • I totally get that. I understand the hate agents get but their job is to get the best price possible for the vendor and they don't necessarily know an exact price and the vendor may not have an exact price in mind either.

        Potential buyers really don't have any right to get their panties in a twist when the house sells at correct market value if that is over the advertised price. Especially when so much sales data is available for free online.

  • Perth here - looking in the Northern suburbs within 8km of the CBD is pointless atm, any half decent property is sold within 5 days of being listed and many are going sight unseen on the day its listed for anywhere between 20-50% of comparable sale prices in the previous 12 months.
    Agents are saying its due to people returning to Perth from eastern states and overseas, also investors leveraging themselves to the high heavens.

    Just when we thought we had saved enough to achieve 20% deposit, now we'd need another 100k to be competitive in the current conditions.
    We won't be over leveraging ourselves and will continue to save cautiously, but it certainly is rather depressing at the moment!

  • Biggest challenge? Well isnt that obvious? Money! I am a poor working class that cant afford a house.
    If I had the cash, I wouldnt mind if I had to do all the above knowing that the ball is in my court.

  • Inb4 your parents say "but its da immigrants and asians pumping out property" (quote: everytime property has gone up before)

    Bet they look stupid now dont they.

  • +2

    I find it very annoying when a lot of listings come up as “contact agent”, so I then have to click on the listing and look for a price guide.
    Then the price guide is way above my budget, and I’ve just given their page a click. Just put the price in the title so I can filter you out.

    • +1

      If the home is going to auction, the rule of thumb is 10% above highest quoted range (if you dont want to do comparables research). Under quoting benefits the agents in many ways hence why they do it.

    • why is it annoying? reciprocate the inconvenience by calling/spamming agents numbers at all hours of the day and night demanding to know the price…if they ark up tell them "the ad says to contact agent??"

  • +1

    Looks like OP want's to disrupt the buyer's agent market

  • the problem lays with the auction format.

    IF you are happy to attend and bid at an auction you are contributing to the problem.

  • Just hire a buyers agent? Probably worth the expense

  • Throughout the process I was struck by how biased everything was toward sellers and the real estate agents who represented them. Price guides were one of the most frustrating things because the sale price at auction was always higher than the price guide advertised, but on top of that were the hoops needed to jump through in order to even get information about a property. It felt like real estate agents held all the power.

    Well it's logical when the RE agent, who is representing the vendor, is biased to, the vendor.
    Yes, agree that price guides are just very, very vague guides. Best way to set your expectations is to research the recently sold at auction prices.
    If you want more 'power', hire a buyers agent.

    Agents and sellers aside, we also found it tough to find properties that appealed to both my wife and I, and then to prioritise those inspections (which were often overlapping). Many times we'd return from the inspection having found a huge dealbreaker that was not disclosed in the listing, and feel that we'd wasted our time.

    This is just a result of the market not having the 'ideal' property for you. Each person has unique desires for their future home, and of course, not all properties can meet that.
    It's all part of the buying process.
    C'est la vie.

    All up it feels like the system is broken on purpose, and I'm exploring ways to make life easier for buyers, possibly through some kind of online service, especially as the property market heats up again.

    There are some issues I have, particularly with auctions, like vendor bids.

    For buyers, they really need to do their due diligence. Know the suburb, and even know the street, so you know what price it would fetch whilst keeping in mind that properties are not identical.

    There are a plethora of resources online for newbie buyers, but always remember to read everything and no one is your friend.

  • I feel like agents are also not listing new properties until they get the similar property under offer. Saw a property and when that went under offer (within 4 days) the agent then listed a new one of similar dimensions. It feels like they are trying to create demand. Less similar looking properties on market at the same time, more demand for the ones already on the market.

  • Nobody has mentioned how shit the loan process is. Even with the place sorted and plenty of capital - printing the appropriate documents and writing the frigging bank cheque was made to seem like rocket science for my bank. A few processes that have been done so many times in exactly the same way that should have taken half a day took a month. Ugh.

    • +1

      People borrowing $500k for leverage investments should be made more difficult and not easier.

      • I'm not 100% sure what you're saying here. Is your position that the process around managing loan documents should be worse?

        • The lenders make it too easy for people to borrow large amount of money to speculate on real estate.

          • @whooah1979: Right. I'm talking about buying a home for the purpose of occupation. Not about speculative investment.