Property Buying Guidlines

Property buying tips

Buying a property may be a most expensive product that every one going to purchase, so before you actually make such important decision, here are some of the guide line and tips that you may go through.

Make sure you visit the area where you plan to buy. It sounds obvious, but many people are pressured into buying at property shows before even setting foot in Malaysia. Don’t be seduced by promises of rising prices. Just because developers are raising the prices of new flats it does not mean there is a genuine market in second-hand properties. Indeed, they may actually be changing hands for substantially less money than off-plan ones

Talk to people who have already bought in the development or in the area to see if they are happy. Internet chatrooms can be a source of useful information — although bear in mind some contributors may have axes to grind.
Choose your property carefully. Be prepared to pay a little more to buy a flat on the beachfront or in a better location. It will hold its value better and be far easier to let than a property in the middle of nowhere

Beware of so-called ‘rental guarantees’. Be sure of who is making the guarantee and what you can do if they don’t honour it. Some unscrupulous developers will offer a 10% return for the first few years to make the property look more attractive — and will have simply inflated the sale price accordingly. Some developers even offer ‘rental guarantees’ for up to 13 years at 8% and you need to be aware that these offers cannot make sense for anyone except the developer.

See the check list below:

1: Listen to and follow advice

Independent, objective and professional people do normally give you valuable advice. USE it when you look for, choose and purchase your property. This will almost invariably lead to your own ‘dos and don’ts’  of house-hunting – your own planned approach. It is essential that you strictly follow this agenda. Outsiders and estate agents will try to nudge you off track and away from the way you are conducting your house-hunt, and if they succeed you are likely to stop following the advice that you have been given.

Always remember that estate agents are not independent or objective – refuse any proposals or suggestions from an estate agent that do not comply with your own approach.


2: Define your requirements

Many people only begin to define their selection criteria – their requirements and expectations – after having found an apparently attractive property. These types of house-hunters normally change their goalposts each time they finds another property.

However, it is highly unlikely that this approach will find you the house of your dreams. You should define your requirements well in advance, and remember that each member of your household will have different selection criteria, so discuss all your individual requirements before purchase. When you have your requirements clearly defined and agreed, you will be able to assess your shortlist of properties more successfully.


3: Don’t change your requirements to fit a property

Many people fall in love with a property at first sight, or get carried away. As a buyer you are not independent and objective, so the temptation to throw away the rule book is a real danger. But your original requirements were well thought out and realistic. Don’t change them on a whim – stand by your original criteria.


4: Check out the owner and his estate agent

The owner has a reason to sell his house – it is paramount that you find out what it is. Normally, reasons for sale are completely genuine and you have no need for concern, but there are others that should make you suspicious, such as a large debt to a bank. This could mean, for example, that the owner is only pretending to sell in order to keep a bank satisfied and may pull out at the last moment. Another reason that may cause you problems as a buyer is joint property ownership as a result of an inheritance.

The estate agent, meanwhile, will show only the most attractive pictures in his adverts. After all he is trying to sell you something. Are his pictures showing the truth about the properties or is he trying to hide something? Did he perhaps digitally modify a photo to misrepresent the facts? That would be serious dishonesty.

Take the estate agent’s description and photos to the property that you are viewing. Find the locations from where he took the photos, and from what angle, etc. Stand on the same spots and look around you and compare the photos with the reality. It will show you how honest the estate agent has been in his presentation and that will tell you if you can trust his photos of his other properties.


5: Control the estate agent

The estate agent only looks after the interests of two people: himself and the vendor. That means the information he provides could be very limited and, although perhaps true, is likely to be biased.

As soon as an estate agent realises that you are seriously interested in a property, he may do anything in his power to convince you that you should buy it. He may be charming, helpful, and appear to be ‘on your side’. This could give you a false sense of security and, as the property selection goes on, you may even feel some form of camaraderie towards him. As soon as that is the case you are likely to ask fewer questions, and it may weaken your negotiating position. Take care to keep your relationship with an estate agent formal, controlled and businesslike.


6: Ask questions

Formulate general questions for the properties that you may find and then, before you speak to the estate agent, select the questions from this list that are applicable to a specific property.

It is not possible to assess a property unless you have answers to all your questions so it is essential not leave his office without them. Bona fide estate agents will allocate as much time to you as is necessary to give you these answers. Beware of any who try to move you away from the question and answer session or those who avoid answering questions.

(On average, our assessors conducting property searches for our clients ask the estate agent more than 60 questions about the property, the owner, the location, the amenities, etc.)


7: Don’t succumb to pressure

Often it turns out that properties that looked promising on paper are not suitable at all. The pictures on the Internet were too flattering and the descriptions incomplete. This could lead to you wasting precious time and money.

But be aware that if you are disappointed but still eager to find a property, and have only have a few days left, this may make you very attractive to an estate agent! Watch out for arguments such as: other people are interested in buying this property; the owner needs to sell quickly so the price is low and so on. Disillusioned house-hunters are not incommonly talked into buying a property that falls short of many of their requirements.Making your final selection takes time. Don’t put pressure on yourself or let anyone else coerce you into buying a property without a full and proper assessment. If your time is short, consider hiring a specialist to carry out the property assessment for you.


8: Look further than just the property

Many house-hunters look at the property, the garden and the neighbourhood. And when that looks fine they think that the decision to buy is well founded. But there is a lot more to buying in Malaysia. Malaysia has many places without a shop, a café or even a post box. Where is the nearest doctor, dentist, hospital, etc. and will the village be isolated after a heavy rainfall? How do you then get to the doctor?

You should collect as many facts as you can about the location and compare these with your requirements. The result will allow you to properly assess a property.


9: Make a considered decision

People often look for somewhere else to live to get away from the ‘bad things at home’. But many of us take the good things at home for granted – such as the local shops. Some people decide to look for a rural property just to get ‘away from it all’, not realising that you don’t have to live in the middle of nowhere to enjoy a better lifestyle.

You may hear that it all comes down to ‘planning the shopping’ and ‘having a big freezer’. But the novelty can soon wear off and the many miles over winding country roads to get to the nearest shops just to buy a few groceries become a chore.

On the other hand, there are people who have bought remote properties and are extremely content. They were honest to themselves when defining their requirements, looked at the facts and knew what living in a rural environment would mean to them.Whatever the choice, it is necessary to keep a cool head and make a considered decision. Buying the right property in the wrong place, or the wrong property in the right place, is an expensive mistake that can cost you more than just money.


10: Be objective

You are about to confirm to the estate agent that you are interested in buying a property. But hold on a minute! We all know that people sometimes buy things just because they want them and convince themselves that they are making a well-founded decision. But in your decision to buy this property, have you really been objective?

Objectivity is essential when you select your property but objective advice is often difficult to get. Even family members or friends may be worried about offending you if they advise against your plans.

This is where it pays to have an independent, objective advisor that you can trust. An advisor can look at all aspects of the property and take into account all your requirements. He can indicate if a property does or does not meet your criteria. This could mean peace of mind for you but you must also be aware that his report may contain information that you may not want to hear and you need to consider ALL his observations when making your decision.

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