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Hello weekends, Hello house – Let’s find ‘The one’

By George Hadgelias

From whittling down online listings to rating the property during an inspection, Cate Bakos, a Melbourne-based licensed real estate agent and buyers’ advocate, offers her guidance on how to nail property inspections.

Create a shortlist

At first glance, home-buyers are often overwhelmed by the sheer number of properties available for inspection. But with a list of ‘must-haves’ in place, and a good strategy in mind, shortlisting eligible properties for inspection should be relatively easy.

Targeting the right suburbs is the first step. Then consider the type of property you’re after. Next up, have a clear idea of your essentials (car space, second bathroom, huge heated pool with a flowrider – you know, that kind of thing). Savvy home-buyers also save any ‘maybe’ properties to potentially check out further down the line. It’s often the ‘rough diamonds’ or the properties that didn’t initially leap off the screen that turn out to be ‘the one’.

Once you’ve got your shortlist for the week’s inspections, it’s always worth confirming the dates and times and requesting private inspections for any properties that aren’t offering public opens inspections.

Plan your day

Open for inspection times vary from Saturdays, weekdays, weeknights and sometimes Sundays. Depending on the campaign and the vendors or tenants, some agents can offer more flexibility than others, so it’s important to focus on your top picks first and get up to speed with any upcoming auctions.

Properties offering limited access times, or have only a week or so to go until auction, should be top of your agenda. If some of your favourite properties have clashing viewing times or the inspections don’t fit your schedule, a friendly phone call to the agent may be your saving grace. Many agents will accommodate a private inspection if the vendor and/or tenants are given enough notice.

An important tip for inspections is to allow enough time to view the property as well as travel time. 20 minutes should be more than enough for an inspection and chat with the agent.

Heading to an inspection? Learn how to lead with your head not your heart

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