Bagging a bargain. Is it possible?
Everyone wants a bargain and wants to pay the lowest price possible. It’s human nature and especially when it comes to real estate. Selling agents know this and hence we’re inundated by ad listings with urgent language to BUY NOW, ACT QUICKLY, DON’T MISS OUT, ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY! However, obtaining the best buy or a “bargain” in any property market requires constant work, monitoring and is often about being in the right place at the right time. Here are my top eight tips for how you go about securing a bargain in the first place:
- KNOW YOUR MARKET: Being on top of your game and monitoring the market consistently will assist you in being able to identify a good buy or opportunity when it arises. This also means actually getting off the computer and lapsing into becoming an “armchair expert”. Physical inspections provide you with so much more intel than photos online, so get out there and start inspecting, recording and tracking the market that you’re specifically interested in.
- CONSTANT CONTACT: Building rapport and maintaining constant contact with selling agents is not only a surefire way to demonstrate that you’re a serious buyer but familiarity can pay dividends when it’s someone the agent has dealt with/has a relationship with vs a buyer off the street with whom they have no connection or knowledge. Show that you’re a serious committed buyer and stay in touch with the selling agents in your area of choice.
- BE READY TO SIGN: Have everything in order when you do come across a likely property. Finances pre-approved. Conveyancer/solicitor on standby to review contracts. Flexibility on terms. Als
o be ready to walk away, if the price isn’t right. Get used to rejection, just as we do in our role as buyers’ agents!
- JUSTIFY YOUR PRICE: Showing you’re an educated and savvy purchaser by submitting a written justification email/letter with your offer can pay off, especially if the situation involves a selling agent who’s grappling with an unrealistic vendor. A well thought-out email, supported by recent comparable sales, reasons why the property is worth $X and not $Y, positives and negatives of the property, state of the market in the particular suburb, sales history etc can all play a part in persuading a vendor to consider your offer. It’s like acting for a plaintiff in court- you may not win but you’ve got to put your case forward to support your argument.
- CONSIDER ALL PROPERTIES ON THE MARKET: Don’t swipe by those properties just because they’re on a main road (in a complex at the rear of the block can mean they aren’t affected by road noise) have no price guide (it takes effort to enquire with the selling agent but you don’t know until you ask the question) or the agent doesn’t return your calls the first time. Persistence and consideration of everything on the market in your preferred area has to be part of the job. Treat it like the assignment it is. There’s hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake.
- USE DATA TO YOUR ADVANTAGE: If you have access to RPData, APM or a similar database use it to your advantage. Not only can you find out what similar properties have sold for, but you can also find out detrimental factors such as housing department stock nearby, DAs in progress that may affect your property of interest, marketing and sales histories of particular properties (if they’ve been for sale previously with other agents, different prices and campaigns etc) as well as rental histories. The power of knowledge that these databases provide can be hugely beneficial in being able to leverage and negotiate well.
Of course, if all the above is overwhelming and/or you simply don’t have the time to properly consider everything out there (or off the market) consider hiring a professional to do the work for you. As buyers’ agents in constant contact with the market, it’s our job to scour, locate, assess and negotiate the right property for you, at the right price, every single time.