The Sydney residential property market continues to run hot. And with low-interest rates and the low number of properties currently on the market, there are few signs of the market running out of steam (in the short-term at least).  This has meant a lot of people are missing out on buying the property they want, resulting in a great deal of frustration and stress amongst would-be buyers.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are four reasons I am consistently seeing why people are unsuccessful at buying property – and tips that can make a big difference.

1. You’re treating your search like a part-time job. OK, let’s acknowledge that we are busy. Between work, family and other commitments, the time we have left to find a property is left to a late night internet search and rushing to open-houses on Saturdays. The internet, smart phones and other technologies have made searching for property much easier than trying to sift through the classifieds.

Chances are, however, that if you are not inspecting a property in its first week of opening, other buyers have got the jump on you.  In fact, many agents are showing properties to prospective buyers before the first advertised open-house. This means  buyers who can get in to see properties early are able to organise themselves quickly and potentially make a pre-auction offer quickly – have you ever inspected a property one day, only to find out it has sold and been taken off the market within the next day or two?

Tip. Put your property search at the top of your list of priorities. Utilise the “Home Alert” function in Domain or and make sure you read the alert emails/sms messages as soon as you received them. Block out time for mid-week inspections and ensure you don’t book work or other meetings during those times.

2. You are competing with professionals. Buyers Agents are becoming more and more sought after by people who are experiencing difficulty finding and buying property. A Buyers Agent works similar to a Real Estate Agent – except they work on behalf of the Buyer to find, research and negotiate the purchase of a property in the buyers best interests.

Most Real Estate Agents like dealing with Buyers Agents because they know they are dealing with industry professionals who know how to prepare their buyer, are good negotiators and know how to bid at auction. Don’t be surprised if that property you really like but sold before you could make an offer was negotiated by a Buyers Agent.

Tip. Talk to a Buyers Agent about your situation.  Most Buyers Agents offer a full search, negotiate and auction service, however they will also tailor their service based on your needs. For example, you may not need a Buyers Agent to find you a property but may find one very useful to negotiate with the agent or bid at auction on your behalf.

3. You believe Real Estate Agents are working for you.  The primary role of a real estate agent is to sell the property in the best interests of the seller – their client.  For example, they are required to present all formal offers to their client, even if the property is scheduled to go to auction.  If the seller accepts the offer, the property will sell before the auction goes ahead – unless you are organised and ready to counter immediately, you will probably miss out on the opportunity.

In the current Sydney market, this is happening a lot. This (understandably) frustrates and upsets buyers, who tell me they feel deceived or dudded by the agent.  Remember, if a seller accepts an offer and decides to sell, the agent is obligated to proceed with the sale.

Tip. First, accept that agent’s primary role is to deliver the sale in the best interests of the seller. Put your self in the agent’s and seller’s shoes – what would make you want to sell the property before auction?  What would you want to see in an offer to make you comfortable selling?

4. The market is out-pacing you. There are some great research resources available to buyers today – all accessible on the internet at your fingertips.  But be careful not to be over-reliant on past sales history. Anyone who has bought or sold property in Sydney recently will tell you how fast property prices have been moving.

Tip. Be prepared to pay a premium in this market. It may feel like you are paying too much in the short-term, however many buyers in this market have waited an extra few months to see if prices drop, or find a cheaper property, only to realise they would have been better off paying more and already be living in their new home.