There are plenty of tips online about how to protect your own financial interests as a real estate buyer. We have listed many of these here in this article on our site. Please be sure to also read the BUYER BEHAVE! tips as well. It can benefit you enormously as a buyer if you are aware of the Do's And Don'ts that we have listed below. These can help to enhance your credibility as a buyer. They can encourage an agent to be more helpful to you throughout the buying process.


  • ASK RELEVANT QUESTIONS: Take some time in advance to think of the sorts of sensible questions you are likely to need answers to help you in assessing whether a property is right for you. It can pay to email an agent prior to the inspection with a list of those questions. That way the agent has an opportunity to arrive at the inspection armed with answers for you. If an agent does not know all the answers, and the questions are important to you, ensure that you get those answers before you make a decision to buy.
  • EXPECT QUALITY ANSWERS: It is the job of a good agent to know the details about the house they are selling. Don't be afraid to insist on detail.
  • DO YOUR RESEARCH: Take advantage of open homes in the lead up to your purchase. This will help you to get an idea of properties' worth in the area. This can help to ensure that your offer is related to market price. Research results of SOLD properties online. There is no point in researching what other advertised prices are. A property is only ever worth what it has actually sold for, if you want comparisons that are based on fact.
  • BUILDING AND PEST INSPECTIONS: Even though you may consider a property to be sound and pest free, it is good insurance to have a professional conduct an inspection as a condition of sale.
  • FINANCE: If you are planning to borrow to support your purchase, be sure to include a finance condition in the contract, even if you have "prior approval".
  • OTHER AGENTS: Don't listen to other agents negative comments about a property you are inspecting that is not listed with them. They are more than likely to talk it down to put you off buying it. Make your own enquires as to the benefit of buying the property.

BUYER BEHAVE! Be a good buyer and agents will love you.

  • DON'T ASK IRRELEVANT QUESTIONS: Examples of irrelevant questions are:

    • Why are they selling? It is actually none of your business why a vendor is choosing to sell their property. There are laws requiring agents and vendors to disclose relevant reasons ie, contamination, violent death at the house, etc). If you ask that question, expect a good agent to avoid it and to respect/protect their Vendor's privacy;
    • Who owns the house next door? (The agent may or may not know but could be breaching privacy laws if they tell you the answer. Don't put the agent on the spot).
    • How much will they take? (if you are interested, make an offer. You will soon find out).
    • How long has it been on the market? (The answer to this is online: do your own research if this is important to you).
  • If you decide to make an offer, make sure you want to buy the house. Don't wait until the agent gains an acceptance or counter-offer from the Vendor and then decide whether you actually want to buy the property. You either want to buy it or you don't. Similarly, if you need the 5 day cooling off period to decide, wait 5 days and THEN make the offer. It is a complete waste of an agent's time (and a big let down for the Vendors) if you mess about with this one. Genuine cooling off circumstances are of course the exception and legal, however a respectful buyer will not mess people around unnecessarily.
  • Similarly, don't put out offers on more than one property and then ditch the acceptance you don't want.
  • Be prepared to make your offer at what you genuinely perceive to be a reasonable price. Ridiculous offers just insult the Vendor and you are less likely to engage in a meaningful negotiation with a Vendor who has their nose out of joint. Some Vendors will refuse to sell to a buyer they have taken a dislike to, and it is a Vendor's right to sell their property to whomever they choose.
  • Know before you start what your level of affordability is. Look at properties within your price range. Don't waste everybody's time looking at properties you know you can't afford unless you are simply browsing at an open for inspection.
  • Once you have negotiated to purchase a property, move swiftly to ensure that conditions are met in a timely fashion. Follow up with your solicitor or conveyancer to ensure that contracts are signed
  • Turn up for a pre-arranged inspection. If you must cancel, don't wait until the Vendor has spent hours preparing their home for you. Give a respectful amount of notice. Similarly, don't cancel an inspection at the last minute because you just did a drive by and don't fancy the area. At least take the time to inspect the property.
  • Don't ask to use the toilet.
  • Don't bring unruly children and if you do have small children accompany you to an inspection, make sure you keep them off the furniture and away from the Vendors personal possessions
  • Don't make negative comments about the house or neighborhood in front of other buyers who may be present.

Relevant links:

Conveyancing - NSW Fair Trading

Information and options for conveyancing when buying or selling a home, land or investment property.

Making an offer - NSW Fair Trading - home

Information for consumers about what happens when making an offer to buy a residential property.

Property_inspections - NSW Fair Trading - home

Property inspections Property inspections and reports. Avoid problems and extra costs later on by knowing as much as you can about the condition of a property before you buy.

Buying investment properties - NSW Fair Trading

Buying investment properties In recent years, concerns have been raised over the conduct of certain property promoters, particularly investment advisers or ‘spruikers’.

Buying off the plan - NSW Fair Trading - home

Information for consumers buying strata units or retirement village homes off the plan.