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As the “spring selling season” gets under way, investors have been warned to do their due diligence and avoid dodgy operators.

A checklist from the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) urges investors to be wary of property advisers or agents with hidden agendas.

“Not only should investors ensure any purchase fits in with their long-term investment goals, but it’s important to be aware of unscrupulous operators, out to make a buck at the expense of innocent consumers,” PIPA chair Ben Kingsley said.

According to PIPA, investors should be sceptical of operators who fail to disclose how they earn their income, push investors towards one-size-fits-all solutions or encourage investors to “act fast”.

In addition, investors are encouraged to do their research and think long term about their strategy.

“Many investors make the mistake of following their emotions rather than their head, and this can lead to problems down the track,” PIPA stated.

“Consider each and every property purchase a ‘stepping stone’ in your financial journey and how any purchase will add to your overall outcomes.”

Investors may consider bringing in a professional to help them identify the best strategy for their circumstances, PIPA stated.

The warning from PIPA comes as Consumer Affairs Victoria prepares to launch a due diligence checklist for homebuyers.

Under new legislation effective from October 1, agents or vendors must make the checklist available at all open for inspections.

It prompts buyers to investigate the safety of the home, its connection to utilities, the property boundaries and any affiliation to an owners’ corporation.

24 September 2014
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