How to Buy a Flat in Australia
December 3, 2008 9:41 PM   Subscribe

I'm currently looking to buy my first small flat in Melbourne, Australia and having no luck. Apart from the big two online sources, are there any other sources to see what's on the market, or to find places before they get listed?

I have a buyers advocate on board, but due to dodgy pre-auction policies on offers, I seem to be constantly missing out on good places, and right now it seems like nothing is out there. Maybe its my small budget or the fact that the market is really quiet until after the holidays, but it seems like there is nothing on the market right now. Am I just missing something, or are there other places or methods that I should be looking into?
posted by LongDrive to Home & Garden (2 answers total)
I live in Melbourne, and I think it's just your timing. December is always very slow for sales, it will pick up again in late January and February.

Also, you mentioned "dodgy pre-auction policies" - what do you mean by that? If you are missing out on good places, it just means someone else offered more, either before auction, or at the auction. If the vendor won't accept your pre-auction offer, it's because it's too low. Perhaps ensure your price expectations are at the right level by looking at recent area sales (in the paper each Sunday) on the type of places you're looking at.

Realestate and domain (and increasingly realestateview) are the key sources where basically everything is listed. Apart from off the plan apartments, almost every for sale property will be in one of them, because they offer the best exposure.
posted by dave99 at 12:09 AM on December 4, 2008

I agree that it is partly the time of year, and also the market. Sellers aren't putting places on the market if they can avoid it. Auction sell rates are very low - although apparently apartments are still doing quite well comparatively. But after the summer holidays, there should be an increase in properties available.

The other more general advice is to be realistic about what you can get for the money. A Home Price Guide subscription can be a good way to get a lot of data about what has happened in the suburb you are interested in. If you have been to see lots of places and they are not selling in your range (or the range that was quoted!), it may be time to have an honest evaluation of your budget and/or the area you are looking in. I know this can be a bit depressing, but after following a few suburbs closely (looking at advertised price versus final sale price) I have had to rule some out as being unlikely.

If you talk to the real estate agents when you go to an open inspection and let them know what you are looking for, they may contact you to let you know of something coming on to the market. Most of them will call to follow up about the property you have been to see, but I've had a few spruiking other properties too.
posted by AnnaRat at 2:15 AM on December 4, 2008

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