Buying property is a major investment, both financially and emotionally. So it’s no wonder some people become a little bit scared.
realestate.com.au explored some of the common fears that can stop us from making the leap into the property market, and what we can do to solve them.
What are you afraid of?
Henny Stier, a Buyers Agent at OH Property Group, says part of her job as a buyers agent is identifying and helping buyers overcome their fears around the property market.
She says there are five top fears she sees hold buyers back:
1. Fear of overpaying
Many properties don’t have accurate price guides and are sold via auction, so Henny says buyers often worry they’re taking a stab in the dark when it comes to prices.
“Some buyers become over-cautious, spend far too long researching in a moving market, and end up in an analysis paralysis where they become unable to make a decision,” Henny says.
The only way to overcome this fear is through diligent market research. Take price guides as just that, do your own sales research and seek independent advice from the experts.
But don’t get bogged down in too much research, or let the research hold you back from acting if you see the right property.
Some buyers end up in an analysis paralysis where they become unable to make a decision.
2. Fear of buying the wrong property
The property market is full of uncertainties and, according to Henny, a fear of missing out on the “right” or “perfect” property is very common among buyers.
“People wonder is it better to buy a smaller house closer to the city or move further away to get a bigger land and house?” she says.
“Is it better to buy something to renovate or one which is already done? And which suburbs are going to do better?”
A fear of missing out on the ‘right’ or ‘perfect’ property is very common among buyers.
Henny advises buyers to sit down and really map out a strategy for their property purchase. What stage of life are you at? What are your short term personal/family goals? What is really important to you?
It boils down to understanding your priorities. “Very few people have the luxury to not have to compromise when buying a property,” Henny says.
3. A fear of selling agents or auctions
The process of buying a property can be overwhelming for some buyers, like those entering the property market for the first time or those who have had a bad experience with an agent, purchase or auction in the past.
“Some people feel that selling agents are not very transparent and worry that they will get tricked or blindsided in the process,” Henny says.
“We have many clients who simply refuse to consider any auction properties when they initially come to us. It’s important to do some research on the typical buying processes like negotiating for a private treaty sale or bidding at auction.
“Familiarise yourself with local agents and you will soon start to see the way they operate, how they differ, and become more confident in dealing with them. If you’re still scared, you could consider employing a buyers agent who has no doubt seen every possible scenario that can play out, and is able to negotiate with agents or bid at auction on your behalf.
Consider employing a buyers agent who has no doubt seen every possible scenario that can play out.
4. Fear of a bubble or crash
We all want access to a crystal ball that can predict the future, particularly when it comes to the property market where many buyers speculate about sharp rises or fear a bubble or crash.
“Some buyers are concerned they are buying at the peak of the market and paying premium prices and that the market might all collapse,” Henny says. “Or if the economy turns bad, jobs might be lost and mortgages cannot be repaid”.
While investors might want to time a purchase carefully by watching the market, others might not need to worry quite so much. For instance, if you’re buying a home you plan on living in for many years the state of the market is less of a concern, compared to the importance of timing your purchase when you are financially and emotionally ready. And Henny believes the best time to buy is when you are ready.
“The focus should be to buy a solid property that will do well in the long run rather than worry about market blips”, she advises.
Buy a solid property that will do well in the long run rather than worry about market blips.
5. Fear of missing out
The most emotional of all property fears is the intangible fear of missing out, that cause serious inaction in many buyers.
“Many buyers worry that the ‘perfect’ property is just around the corner and they will miss out if they buy now,” Henny explains.
“When you are buying a property, you are buying at a given point in time. So buyers should not dwell on what has already sold or what may or may not come on the market next week. That’s futile exercise. The best you can do is make sure you have thoroughly covered the entire existing market and also know what the pipeline looks like for the next few weeks ahead.”
Resisting the fear factor
A little bit of fear is healthy, normal even. But like everything in life, too much fear can hold you back. So what are you scared of? And how can you overcome your property fears?