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How to win at buying a home

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You can take classes for almost every major situation life throws at you—babies, marriage, divorce, even preparing for death.

But who teaches you how to win at buying a house?

Canberra business Capital Buyer’s Agency began in 2014 by self-described property tragic Claire Corby. She trained as an accountant before the allure of investing in, and developing, her own properties became too strong to withstand. It felt a natural fit to move into becoming a buyer’s agent, given her love of the cut and thrust of the real estate game.

Now Claire is running the popular My Own Home course in Canberra, to share her wisdom—and every trick in the trade—with prospective buyers.

Buyers like Zoe, who read about Claire, and decided to get serious about buying her own home this year.

“I felt like an overwhelmed newbie. I wanted to understand how it all works and feel confident in the process,” Zoe said.

Zoe and her partner have a deposit saved and are looking for an affordable 1960s-era house in the Belconnen area that’s suitable to knock down, so they can build a highly energy efficient family home in a year or two.

One of the most frustration part of the process to date was real estate agents quoting prices considerably lower than the reserve in order to attract more bidders.

“As a buyer, it’s easy to feel hoodwinked and get sucked in by the allure of an affordable starting price, only to find that the home sells at auction for far more than your budget allows.”

Having just completed her six-week course, Zoe has come away with an actionable list to work through—specifically, which specialists she needs on her team (tradies, lawyers, financial planners etc), how to find them, and when to call on them throughout the purchasing process.

She learned important lessons about insurance (it becomes the responsibility of the buyer at the time of signing the contract, not at settlement and this caught quite a few new homeowners off guard during the freak hailstorm in January). The course also gave her a valuable new tool in searching areas in which to invest which could ultimately save her big money.

Then there are tips on how to come out on top in an inspection, and how to accurately estimate market value.

“The course has allowed me to be more objective about the home before getting emotionally attached. And if the time comes to make an offer or bid at auction, we’ve got a game plan to follow.”

Claire Corby.

Claire said Zoe’s story was not uncommon, and many new homebuyers were underprepared when it came to protecting their investment of time, money and heart.

“Buyers are often unclear what to do when house-hunting—how to properly inspect a home, how to speak to agents, how to do their due diligence, understanding the process and jargon – it can be overwhelming. It can also cause stress between couples.”

Claire also supports her course participants along the way.

“It’s all very well to give someone the information, to lay out the system and steps involved, but without someone to ask questions of and guide you–someone who’s actually achieved what you want to do hundreds of times themselves—then you’re still going it alone. Within the course, there’s weekly live Q&A sessions to clarify your understanding, cheer you on when times get tough, and keep you on track towards your goal.”

“Having helped hundreds of buyers in the local region, I’m in a unique position to guide and support buyers through the entire course from early-stage preparations to getting the keys to their very own home.”

Claire is running two free webinars later this month to preview the course and to explain three things buyers need to know before heading out to an Open Home.

THE ESSENTIALS

My Own Home Enrolment opens October 22, with the course commencing on 4 November.
The course runs for six weeks via online modules and includes checklists, templates, video tutorials and interviews with industry professionals plus weekly Q&A sessions with Claire

Cost: $799 but use code HERCBR for 15 per cent off at checkout.
Website: myownhome.com.au

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