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Top tips for a better buy

Top tips to help ensure your next buy is your best buy yet.

Tip 1: Put yourself in the best bargaining position possible

Before you start looking, talk to your bank or mortgage broker and get a mortgage pre-authorisation, then speak with your solicitor. This will put you in the enviable position of being able to make an unconditional offer and help you to drive a better deal.

Tip 2: Set your price bracket and see what it will buy you

When you have the finance in place it's time to go shopping. Sit down with any Real Estate Alliance member and you'll quickly see what your money will buy in today's market. We'll show you listings within your price range, and some just above and below it. Then, when you decide to view a property, you'll see for yourself where there's value for money. REA agents also provide a buyer agent service.

Tip 3: Don't get hit with unexpected stamp duty

Buying a property that forces you into a higher stamp duty bracket can cost thousands extra. So do your research and tailor your price bracket to suit your budget. Current stamp duty rates can be found online at:

Tip 4: Try to keep emotion out of the equation

Buying a property is a very personal decision and it's very easy to let emotions cloud your judgement. Before you know what's happened, you've blown your budget, committed yourself to more repair work than you bargained for, or have made-do with a property that isn't quite right because you love the area. So try to keep emotion out of your decision and use our handy guide to keep yourself focused.

Tip 5: Don't be pressured

No matter how much interest you are told there is in a property, don't be forced into making a quick decision. List all the pros and cons, and if it doesn't add up remember your dream property could be just around the corner.

Tip 6: Remember location, location, location

Before you purchase take a good look around the area. Where's the nearest school? How far to the shops? Is there a bus route nearby? It's often a good idea to go for a walk around the area and chat to some of the neighbours. They'll give you the inside story.

Tip 7: Ask questions and then ask some more

Buying a property isn't something we do everyday so it's important to ask lots of questions. Bringing a friend along can be a good idea, as they will have a fresh view on things. The more you know, the better the decision you'll be able to make.

Tip 8: Found somewhere just right? Stop and get it checked out.

New homes come with a 10-year guarantee. However, if you are buying a second-hand property, get it checked out by a property surveyor or engineer before you sign your contract, no matter how much you like it. Your local Real Estate Alliance member will be able to recommend a good one.

Tip 9: If you know you're moving, start packing now!

Use period before you move as an opportunity to have a good clear-out. Put all non-essential items into boxes and take care of any arrangements that need to be made, like phone or ESB. It'll all go towards a smoother moving day.

Tip 10: The key to getting your keys on time

When you finally close the deal you'll want to get your keys without delay, and there are a few things that you can do to prevent delays. Make sure the mortgage funds are available to your solicitor on the day. Arrange with the seller in advance to transfer gas, electricity and telephone into your name, and finally, arrange an inspection on the morning of the closing. Then, if anything is amiss, the sellers are still there to sort it out before closing.

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