21 April 2018

There is a new market emerging. Like 1950s furniture, wallpaper and black granite benchtops from the ‘90s, expressions of interest (EOI) campaigns are back in fashion.

EOIs are a take on the old-fashioned method of private sale, just with a deadline to create urgency.

Peruse the advertised properties in Stonnington Council over the past month and the number of properties advertised as ‘EOI’ has increased substantially.

Brighton, in the past fortnight, has followed suit.

Vendors are seeing it as a positive alternative to higher quotes and potential auctions with no bidders.

A year ago, it was fair to say that most properties saw multiple bidders, whether it was an ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’ grade property.

The market has definitely cooled and, while certain properties within the market are still out-performing, many now have limited interest, particularly at the level the vendors are hoping to achieve.

What does this mean for buyers? Smoke and mirrors. If the house is an ‘A’ grader, there is likely to be good interest still, so how do you work out where other buyers’ levels really sit? Is there anything you can do to increase your chances of buying? What are the rules?

If the house is a ‘C’ grader, you may be the only interested buyer. How will you know whether the asking price is realistic or well above what others may be prepared to pay?

Expressions of interest, sometimes known as expressions of confusion, are a perfect campaign for vendors when the market is softening, as it provides opportunity.

What does opportunity mean?

  • Opportunity for a good agent to encourage a sole buyer to pay a price well above what others might pay.
  • Opportunity for buyers to increase their chance of certainty.
  • Opportunity for vendors to maintain higher prices.
  • Opportunity for properties to sell well, even if there is only one buyer.
  • Opportunities to buy well, if there are no other interested parties.

It therefore comes down to the rules and communication.

  • Communication with the selling agent (who is being paid by the vendor) to treat you as the preferred buyer.
  • Communication with the agent about your price limits.

In the emerging EOI market, some buyers will come out winners, but others may be left wondering why they paid the price they did.


  • 28 Selborne Road Toorak (Andrew Smith/Ross Savas, Kay & Burton) – modern townhouse with lift as all bedrooms upstairs – $3,800,000
  • 43 Cobden Street Kew (Maurice DiMarzio/Joshua Brinkhuizen, HockingStuart) – semi-detached smaller home needing work – $1,285,000
  • 4 Netherlee Street Glen Iris (John Manton/James McCormack, Marshall White) – Stonnington Glen Iris, modern family home over three levels with a flexible floorplan – $3,740,000
  • 58 Armadale Street Armadale (Carla Fetter/Andrew McCann, Jellis Craig) – well positioned townhouse over two levels, all bedrooms upstairs, sold before auction – $2,800,000
  • 5 Collingwood Street Sandringham (Scott Hamilton/Brydie Hamilton, Buxton) – approximately 727sqm of unencumbered land with wide frontage, with a dated home likely to be replaced in the future (stca) – $2,216,000 or $3,048sqm
  • 38 Clarendon Street Armadale (Tim Wilson/Anthony Grimwade, RT Edgar) – townhouse over three levels (no lift) – $2,212,000

Some of the better properties scheduled for auctions on 28 April : an architect’s view

43 Plantation Avenue Brighton East – Peter Kennett/Chelsie Cargill, Hocking Stuart

81 Kerferd Street Malvern East  – James Redfern/Daniel Wheeler, Marshall White

25 Connell Street Hawthorn – Chris Barret/Zali Reynolds, Marshall White

12 Rockley Road South Yarra – Justin Long/Fiona Counsel, Marshall White