We start with a meeting (in our office or, alternatively, at a place of your choosing), where we will have a discussion and define the characteristics of the property you are seeking to purchase.
As an owner-occupier, you will have specific ideas as to what type of property will best cater for your personal requirements. We will suggest options you may not have considered, indicate whether we have concerns about the direction you are taking and give advice as to whether with your budget and your requirements can actually be satisfied in the market place.
Through our discussions, we will end up with a brief that is both realistic and one which accommodates your requirements.
For investors the brief is somewhat different. Essentially, the objective should be quite simple: to maximise both the opportunity you have and the sum you have to work with. Namely, to make an amount of money grow as quickly as possible, while generating a sound income return on the investment.
We will give you specific advice in this regard which, subject of course to both your input and agreement, will form the basis for this type of investment brief.
Getting the brief 'right' is the foundation stone for what we do next.
There are a number of search methods we utilise in finding the right property to suit your requirement. The obvious and the not so obvious.
As you would expect, we search the main internet sites and other conventional media to make sure we are aware of every listing that may suit your specific requirement.
We have long-established and excellent contacts with individuals located at essentially all of Melbourne's inner suburban real estate agencies. Upon receiving your instructions, we will contact each one to identify properties that match your brief but as yet have not been advertised in the open market.
We are often asked why vendors sell without exposing their property to the market. In our experience, there are a number of reasons why this occurs:
- Some vendors place a very high price on their privacy and do not wish neighbours, friends and family to know what they are doing.
- The cost of advertising a property (properly) for sale is quite a significant expense. Selling off-market saves this cost.
Whatever the reasons, sales off-market certainly do occur and probably more frequently than you think!
When we find a property that may be appropriate, we will inspect it. Following that, and if we consider it a possibility, we will suggest you view the property as soon as possible.
Most of our Clients are 'time poor' and we will only recommend you inspect a property if we think it has a serious chance of meeting your specific requirement.
This is where we excel. Of course it is important to find the right property, but it is equally important to know its real value.
Both our Principals have been qualified Valuers for over 30 years.
Combining information from a sales database (unavailable to the general public) and our sharpened analytical skills will result in you, our Client, being advised by us that a property has a specific current market value. We will not tell you its worth between $X and $Y. Anyone can do that.
Unless we (and you) are confident of the property's current market value, the next step you take will probably be a mistake.
If the value of a property is incorrectly assessed above its true worth, you will probably end up as the 'successful' purchaser. The reason being, of course, that you have paid more than the rest of the market was prepared to.
And the reverse is, if the value of a property is incorrectly assessed below its true worth, you will probably not be prepared to pay a reasonable amount and someone else will end up as the purchaser.
To state the obvious - it follows that it is imperative you know the real value to ascertain how much you paid under market.
Whichever way you look at it, getting the market value 'right' is crucial to the purchasing process.
This is all about knowing what to do and when to do it. We will explain to you why a particular approach is most likely to result in purchasing the property for the lowest possible price.
Before we consider making an offer to buy a property on behalf of a Client, two crucial issues need to be addressed:
- Whether the property needs a building and pest inspection, and if so, to arrange such inspections (at the Client's expense) and then analyse the results.
- Have the contract and Section 32 checked out by a solicitor.
Once these checks have been satisfactorily completed, there are a number of questions that need to be considered including:
- What terms best suit us?
- Can we use terms as leverage against the vendor?
- What does the agent think the property is worth? (This is very relevant as it may influence the vendor's thoughts.)
- What does the vendor think the property is worth? (This could be the same or very different to the agent's view.)
- What is motivating the vendor to sell?
- How will the agent handle our offer given that there will probably be interest from other parties?
- Is the vendor receptive to an offer (if the property is on an auction program)?
Only when we have answers to these questions and in light of what we consider to be the property's real market value, will we advise you of what we consider is the 'correct initial' offer to buy the property. (Our first offer, of course, should not be the maximum amount we are prepared to pay.)
Negotiating the sale from this point is something we do on a very regular basis. Through the negotiation phase of the purchase, there are always 'judgement' calls to be made. These may include:
- If our initial offer is rejected, should we increase it and, if so, by how much?
- Should we increase the offer straight away or wait for a specific reason or time period? (For example, we recently purchased a large house in Brighton after a protracted 10 day negotiation. At one point we did nothing for five days as we knew we were the only buyer and a large number of somewhat similar properties were due to be auctioned that coming weekend. We were confident that the auction clearance rate would be low as a consequence, and that this would have an impact on the vendor's price expectations. It did, and we purchased the property on our terms and price.)
- Should a time limit for the vendor's acceptance of the offer be stipulated? (In most, but by no means all cases, the answer to this question is yes.)
Naturally, we will keep you fully informed of the progress of the offer and always obtain your approval if it needs to be varied.
Our negotiating experience will quite often be the difference between you buying the property or missing out!
Buying at Auction
There are, of course, many situations where we cannot buy a property quietly or by negotiation. In these situations we will bid on your behalf at the public auction. We are able to make instant decisions on bidding tactics during the course of the auction, and generally bid in such a way as to maximise your chance of success.