Most expats moving to Sydney on a 457 visa only have two weeks to find an apartment.

In fact, I have yet to hear of someone who moved to Australia on a 457 visa that had more than two weeks in a hotel, paid for by the sponsoring company.

Today’s Email

I have been granted a 457 visa. I start work in Sydney on 4th November, arriving two weeks earlier on 21st October.

Do you think two weeks is enough time to find a flat?

I’m just a bit worried that the time I’ve given myself isn’t long enough…

In relation to emailing real estate agents to introduce myself, how soon in advance should I think about doing this? It seems a bit soon at the moment – what would you recommend based on your experience?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Lauren’s Reply

The short answer is yes, you can find an apartment in Sydney in two weeks especially if you’re not starting work during those two weeks.

I wouldn’t send out an email to agents too far in advance because they will most likely forget about it and you.

Since you have some time I would suggest writing up an email and sending it out to a few agents just to see what kind of response you get. If an agent replies and is located in a one of Sydney’s suburbs that you’re interested in awesome. You now have a contact.

Then when you arrive, reply to that same email to let them know you’re in Sydney and actively looking for a place to live.

Don’t take too much time doing this as it’s really going to count when you’re actually in Sydney, able to make it to an inspection in person.

When you’re in Sydney is when I would focus on sending out the majority of the emails.

I’ll be honest with you, looking for flats in Sydney is a nightmare. Not to scare you but just good to know before you start your search.

Real estate agents only show flats for about 15 minutes then it’s over. Sometimes the showings are at weird times like Tuesday at 2:15 pm. They don’t make it easy. For very popular areas and on the weekends the showings can be very crowded.

The good news for you is you have time to look before you start working. That means you’ll be able to see the mid-week showings when everyone else is at work. Definitely an advantage.

We had two weeks to find a flat and it wasn’t easy, but it is do-able.

The best strategy for finding a flat in Sydney is to focus on one or two suburbs only. That’s something you can start researching now.

When you are in Sydney, get all your ducks in a row before you go. If you see an apartment online that looks promising from the photos, download the application before hand and fill it out.

If you cannot download it then call the agent and ask them to send it to you. Anything to get that advantage.

Be sure to have all your paperwork ready too for 100 point ID verification.

Emailing agents worked like a charm for us. We were striking out at every viewing that we went to. We were out bid or couldn’t compete with people offering to actually pay more or pay for a full year. It was crazy. We tried the emailing trick out of pure panic. Thank goodness we did as our two weeks at the hotel is running out.

Very curious to hear if it works for you. You’ll have to keep in touch.

Perfect time of year to be moving to Sydney too. You’re going to love it.

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