Buying blind. Would you do it?
I’m very excited to see the latest property reality series offering “Buying Blind“, starting this week on Australia’s Channel 9 network. It certainly promises to be very interesting TV with our own REBAA President and colleague, Rich Harvey, heading up the presenter team. He’ll be joined by The Block/Selling Houses Australia Shaynna Blaze and builder, Marshal Keen, as they feature 6 couples facing the property market in different parts of Australia.
Nine’s Head of Content Production and Development, Adrian Swift, said: “This is a show about unlucky house-hunters who take the ultimate leap of faith: handing over the biggest and most expensive decision of their lives, the purchase of a home, to a team of strangers. Real houses, real savings, real mortgages. It’s edge-of-the-seat drama with the biggest reveal on TV. Will it be the dream home they could never find or a disaster they never wanted?”
Mark Fennessy, CEO of Endemol Shine Australia, the series producers, said: “Buying Blind is a high-stakes property thriller for buyers who put the purchase of their lives into the hands of strangers. It’s a rollercoaster of high drama, jeopardy and thrills, with the ultimate reveal of the dream home that you’ve never seen.”
As buyers’ agents, we’ve helped many buyers to ‘buy blind’ since 2005- it certainly does take a leap of faith in the trusted buyers’ agent working on your behalf. Of that, there’s little doubt. However, it’s crucial to point out that so much due diligence goes into the process to ensure that our buyers are as well informed as possible before giving the green light to go ahead with the purchase. This not only includes a thorough physical inspection, backed up with photos/film and as much detail as possible on the particular property, but we also encourage our clients to facetime or message us during consequent inspections, so they develop a more realistic feel for not only the property but the surrounding landscape as well. It’s amazing how different real life can look, as opposed to reliance on Google maps or even StreetView. Not all faults are as easily detected online, and accuracies in mapping and databases unfortunately are still far from perfect. Take items such as high tension power lines, for example, or above-ground water pipe systems, not always easily detectable on maps, so could be missed. Other vital criteria such as topography of the land, natural light and noise are also next to impossible to accurately gauge without a physical inspection. Many a professional photo has been enhanced to look brighter than reality or to disguise unattractive features of a particular property, hence making it crucial to have an unbiased third party inspect on your behalf.
Buying sight unseen is often carried out by those clients who are physically absent, such as our overseas and interstate investors and home buyers, or by those buyers who are focussing more on the investment numbers and don’t need to physically inspect to go ahead with a purchase. Either way, it’s a real privilege to be able to assist such purchasers and represent their interests here on the ground in popular Sydney. Just recently we assisted a Japanese based investor and repeat client to purchase his second investment property via our services. Both smooth transactions and we feel absolutely privileged that we were chosen as the trusted advocates on the ground making decisions in what to shortlist and put forward as viable properties.
If you want to buy in Sydney, but are absent or unable to visit frequently enough to secure something of great value, then perhaps it’s time to “buy blind” and put your faith in the professionals who do it for a living. In the meantime, I’ll be looking forward with great interest on seeing this new series, which promises to be very entertaining. We Aussies love our real estate!