Buying a property can feel daunting. We’re talking about a major financial commitment –often the biggest purchase most people will make in their lifetime. There’s also the emotional investment of selecting a space for you and your family to live in for the next few years. You really want to get the purchase right.
In my role, I’ve seen how hard it can be. As such, I’ve identified three phases in the purchasing process where buyers can get their mindset in order.
In this – the first in a series of articles – I want to talk about phase one where you are presented with homes that are available to buy.
The “present” phase
The present phase is about presenting you a wide range of options. This helps you gain an understanding of the market. You’ll also see that there are far more opportunities than simply those listed on realestate.com.au.
In the present phase we work to the buyer’s brief, but also expand the parameters. By doing this, our clients discover all the possibilities, while also gaining an appreciation for price points and locational alternatives.
Our role in this phase is to do the legwork, unearthing everything so the buyer has the full picture.
Finding all listings
The ability to unearth all the potential purchases in a market takes a combination of actions.
As buyer’s agents, we favour an active approach for discovering properties in combination with more traditional methods.
In fact, 60 per cent of the deals we close for client are off-market and pre-market transactions. I can tell you that if you see four properties listed for sale in an area, there are another six available for purchase that most people will never know about.
Here’s some of the ways we find all the property gems.
Because we constantly track property listing in our speciality area, we know of homes that have been on the market, and then quietly removed after the owner couldn’t find a buyer. If we have a property among our withdrawn listings database that fits our client’s brief, we’ll make direct contact with the owner to gauge their interest in selling.
This is most effective when buying for investors. Often when a landlord is thinking of selling their asset, the best time to act is at the end of a lease – particularly in the presently tight rental market.
As such, we track rental properties across our database and the portals. Those properties that meet our buyer’s brief and are being advertised for lease are prime candidates. Again, we will approach an owner directly to see if they’re open to selling.
You’d be amazed at how effective social media is as a channel for sourcing listings.
We, of course, follow all the agents in our service area because many will announce upcoming and quite listings via their social channels first. Why? Because advertising on the listing portals is expensive and they know qualified buyers are tracking their movements on the internet already.
In addition, we as buyers’ agents will announce the types of homes we’re seeking on our social media too. Calls to our office from agents and owners in response to our posts are not uncommon. Again, we get to hear about buyable properties well before other purchasers.
Having a strong network of contactable agents is key to our success. Along with personal connections, we also maintain a broader database of contacts. My business has established a mail out list of around 3000 agents across Brisbane. Once we have a buyer’s brief, we forward it to every agent who can assist in the hunt.
This strategy requires consistent, ongoing contact. We reach out to our agent network at least once a week with updates. Why? Because new listings are coming through to selling agents all the time.
This is where we literally target those houses in a location that exactly meet the brief of our buyer, whether they’re listed for sale or not.
Say they want to buy on an elevated site with city views within five-minute’s walk of Rosalie Village. You want a home with certain defined accommodation plus a triple garage and a pool. There might only be a handful of homes that fit that brief. We can identify those properties and make direct contact with owners to see if they’d consider selling.
The key to it all is scheduling and discipline. As a business we set aside several hours each week to identify potential properties for our clients. There are a lot of phone calls and emails during these sessions.
By doing this, we can present every possible option to a buyer. The result is a well-informed, and knowledgeable client armed with all the information, and able to rely on our experience and skills.