The Buying Process
Identify an agent with whom you feel most comfortable; you could start by asking for recommendations from people who have already invested in the area and whose judgments you trust. If nobody close to you has had any experiences then why not ask a local who they would choose and why?
If you have not arranged finance already and you think you may require some, make an appointment with a local lender to discuss options. They will be happy to discuss their available products, most importantly seek pre-approval. In Vanuatu some major banks are represented, a couple of local banks are keen to look at your business, as well as a number of smaller private operators. Each bank has its own way of conducting its business shopping around is worthwhile as is a personal recommendation, examples are:
Australia & New Zealand Bank
BRED (Vanuatu) Limited
National Bank of Vanuatu
Sit down with your agent and create your list of needs and wants, a professional agent will have been trained and know from first-hand experience, which questions to ask you. This is an opportunity to create a relationship; it’s not a competition and only then should you begin your new home selection process.
If during the process you see a property that you think may suit you, bring it to the attention of your agent. The reality is that at some stage, while on this journey, your needs and wants may change, let your agent know, while you are in the information stage you are a team. The agent has a duty of care, must answer your questions honestly without prejudice and disclose any information that may affect the property adversely.
Having chosen your property let your agent begin the negotiation process on your behalf. Real estate agents are motivated people, predominantly results driven with extensive experience and training. More importantly, they are not emotionally involved. Ultimately you have the option to walk away at anytime.
So you have found a property you want to own. Remember, ultimately the agent if contracted to do so is obliged to act in the Vendor’s best interest, although the Vendor’s motivation for sale since listing the property may also have changed. In addition, there may be other interested parties, not necessarily buyers through this agency, so your offer should be realistic enough not to be used as a way of educating the vendor but at a level you feel comfortable based on your knowledge of the current market.
Most importantly, we suggest that you make it absolutely clear in the contract as to what exactly you are offering to pay for; as a precautionary measure you should include an inventory of any chattels, fixtures and fittings, you don’t want the deal to fall over after weeks of negotiation for the sake of a 10 year old oven.
Now is the time to take control, ensure your offer is presented in writing and that you have funds readily accessible (a 10% deposit is required once you enter in to a Contract for Sale). Price is not the only bargaining tool you have at your disposal; the terms and conditions can be just as important. A professional agent will feel uncomfortable presenting an alternative offer whilst a genuine sale is being negotiated so keep the momentum going, insist on time limits and be proactive.
Great news! Your offer has been accepted!
A contract will be drawn up by the agent, if you wish a solicitor can be involved.
The conditions of the contract are very important any change after both parties have signed constitutes a renegotiation, even asking for a finance extension.
On signing the contract the agent will advise you when to pay the deposit if not already with the agency.
Your agent will track the progress of your finance approval and make sure all contract details and/or contingencies are met on time.
Your agent will attend any inspections with you and discuss results.
Monitor application to the lands department for transfer of lease. You will also receive information regarding any money due at signing on transfer of the lease. Be sure to have insured the property if need be and advise your chosen rental representative of your intentions. Your agent will be with you all the way to assist with any last minute concerns.
Congratulations on your new property!
To find out more about how Vanuatu’s leading real estate agent can help you contact us.