Like any niche, property investment is a simple landscape to navigate once you’ve learnt the lay of the land. However, simple is not the same thing as safe. Until you’ve figured out where all of the rabbit holes lie, there is every chance that one wrong step could leave you with the financial equivalent of a broken ankle.
For this reason, it pays to utilise the advice of industry experts when you are just starting out. Lawyers, Mortgage brokers, Real Estate Agents; these people are employed specifically to help you avoid stumbling down the wrong road and in a lot of cases, as the buyer, their advice won’t cost you a cent extra (I’m obviously not referring to the lawyers on that last point!)
So why not?
In theory, once they’ve marked out a trail for you and pointed out any common mistakes to avoid, your first purchase will go through seamlessly and if you’ve been paying attention, you will be equipped to navigate the next purchase without their help.
I will issue one warning though.
Don’t put any aspect of your timeline in their hands!
The trouble is, for all their valuable insight, from my experience these people tend to be swamped with clients a lot of the time and as a result, will often leave your application till the last minute.
When you are competing in a market where every auction you turn up to entails a desperate scramble against a mob of hungry buyers who are just as bloodthirsty as yourself. You cannot afford delays like this.
Imagine you actually manage to get a property under contract, but you’re too slow to get your finance through by the end of your due diligence period because your sleepy mortgage broker was too slow off the mark.
You can bet your bottom dollar, that the vendor will have received a back up offer on your property.
As easy as that you’ve missed out.
Therefore, when attempting to get your pre-approval processed. I suggest you call your broker every single day (every half hour if necessary) until you see some movement! Do not buy the excuse, ‘I haven’t heard anything back from the bank yet.” The reason they haven’t heard anything back, is because they are waiting for that phone call, rather being proactive and dialling the banker themselves.
When getting your ducks in row for settlement, do not wait for your lawyer to filter through disparate requests for documents as they come up. Grab that dimpled litigator by the collar and make sure they give you a full list of every document that could potentially be required on DAY ONE. I’m talking the most obscure of obscure, just get it all ready! Trust me, the inconvenience of being over prepared early on pales in comparison to the prospect of defaulting on your settlement date!
I know it’s a cliché, but the squeaky wheel really does get the grease. You need these middlemen for their expertise, but no part of that social contract requires them to be efficient. Understand the animal you are working with and then tame them immediately by becoming the arbiter of your own deadlines.
If you get that part right, the process will be a breeze.