Market Comment – Monday 3rd March 2008

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Clearance rates are not the only market indicator, although the general public could not be blamed for thinking so. Stock supply, interest rates, property presentation and how the sales campaign is handled also plays a big part the sales process.

Properties that are well located, well presented and under quoted will always “exceed” public expectations. They will not, however, usually exceed the “professionals” expectations. We read in the papers of properties that were quoted at $750,000 – $820,000 and they achieve results of $950,000 or higher. What the public does not see or understand is the fact there are three or four comparable sales showing us that mid $900’s has already been paid for this type of property and that the professional agent already knows it will go well into this range. BUT IT LOOKS GOOD TO SEE THE AGENCY NAME IN THE PAPER GETTING “RECORD” RESULTS. It is not to say that what the agency is doing is wrong. It is the aim of the Real Estate agent to get the highest possible price for the property whilst doing everything legally and morally correct.

When buying property you are entering into a legally binding agreement. This agreement is negotiated by the two parties, agreed to, and then formalised into a Contract of Sale. Both the vendor and the purchaser try to do the best deal they can. But! The process is so one sided as to be almost illegal. The vendor is paying to have a professional negotiator represent them. By law he must be licensed and by definition, understand all the intricacies of a property transaction. A good Real Estate agent will be involved in 50 – 100 negotiations per year. The average buyer will have either no experience or maybe “Dad” who has bought a house before and knows a “thing or two.”

If two parties went to court and one was represented by Queen’s Counsel and the other was representing themselves, with obviously no formal training, the Judge or mediator presiding would strenuously recommend they seek competent counsel. Our government has set up “Legal Aid” to alleviate this issue. But what do they do with Real Estate: Nothing!! Trying to set rules for the vendors’ representative to in any way assist the purchaser leaves the Real Estate Agent in an impossible situation. If the government is serious about levelling the playing field they need to assist purchasers not attempt to hamstring Vendors agents.

Buyer Advocates are not new. They are used throughout the world in the USA, UK and Europe. They are beginning to become prevalent throughout Asia and the Middle East. Buyer Advocates must be licensed in exactly the same way as Real Estate Agents. They act for the Purchaser in the same way a Real Estate Agent represents the vendor.

Buying a property correctly is about assembling a team of advisors to assist you. Advice is required in areas such as: finance, legal, value, negotiations and then some advice about choosing the property that is right for you. A competent buyers agent can do or organise all of these people.

Ian James

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About the author

Ian has been operating his own businesses for more than 25 years. During this time the self taught lessons of building the business, dealing with staff, suppliers, clients and economic woes have been invaluable. Ian is a fully licensed Real estate Agent, a member of the REIV and registered with the Business Licensing Authority.

Buying property is not just sticking up your hand and outbidding your rival. It is an emotional, fiscal and psychological decision that needs to be planned and well executed. Ian is usually involved in over three hundred property negotiations per year; ranging from the $250,000 first unit purchase for a young couple to multiple million dollar residential developments. Ian's business background and endless numbers of negotiations make him one of the industry's leading negotiators.

Ian is married with two adult children, living in Patterson Lakes. He is a keen fisherman when weather and business allows the time.

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