It’s crunch time for the property market, with this last quarter of 2016 to be over before we know it. The year is quickly coming to a close, and northern suburbs homebuyers should be preparing to make some decisions this month if they want to be settled by the New Year.

Because the selling and buying season comes to a close in December, and doesn’t heat up again until early-February, your best chance to be into your new home by Christmas is to buy during the next month and a half. This will ensure you still have your standard settlement time and can celebrate 2017 in a new property.

For those determined to buy their dream home, now is the time to be speaking to your agent and letting them know you’re a committed buyer and are interested in being told about any new homes coming onto the market. You should also be prepared to make a pre-auction offers that you can afford, or being ready to make your best offer on the day to buy under the hammer. Have your pre-approvals ready with your lender so you’re confident about how much you can spend and make sure you’ve undertaken any building and pest inspections and open home viewings well in advance of auction day so you’re prepared to make your best offer.

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If you’re selling and yet to buy, you need to be listing as soon as possible if you want to successfully switch homes by the end of 2016. If, however, you sell and don’t buy, you may have to face a tough rental market in the meantime. It can be difficult to find good rental opportunities at the end of the calendar year in Sydney’s north, so bear in mind you’ll need to plan for new accommodation once you’ve sold.

But one of the most compelling reasons to purchase this time of the year is to consider what next year could hold. Those who leave buying a home until 2017 will face an unknown real estate market. Given many hopeful homebuyers will not manage to buy a property this year, and many new entrants will set a resolution to get on the ladder in 2017, it’s likely there will be renewed competition as the market heats up again. Make sure you’re prepared to buy now or tackle even greater levels of competition next year.

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