The edge for buyers may be ‘Off-Markets’ this year

Numbers for opens have been mixed across the South Eastern suburbs this weekend. Some suburbs were strong, such as Brighton with 78 homes open over $1million on Saturday. Others areas have met a slower start with many agents using this time to plan their year and make a start in February.

The word among agents is still extremely positive with the weeks leading up to the end of March (just before Easter) being touted as the next ‘super’ weekends.

We spoke to RT Edgar Boroondara’s Glen Coutinho, who agreed. “The last Saturday in February is shaping up to be the first strong one. We were fully booked by Christmas for this date last year, as all the new campaigns start first week in February, with auctions coming up before the long weekend in March. A shortage of homes plus a potential rate cut will see a very strong end to the February month in real estate.”

This view was echoed by Richard Winneke (Jellis Craig) who said he had noticed many more people through open for inspections the past two weeks. “We are certainly gearing up for some big auction weekends late February. Many buyers have been starved of property since Late November so we expect February auctions to be extremely popular.”

With limited weeks to commence and complete an auction campaign in the first quarter this year, due to an earlier Easter and soon to follow Anzac holiday weekend, many agents are starting to focus on ‘off-market’ properties, particularly as there currently appears to be no shortage of buyers in the market.

The benefits of an ‘off-market’ sale for vendors include:

  • No advertising costs, which can often be in excess of $20,000 for a full advertising campaign
  • Less restriction around timing (eg. No need to fit in with school or public holidays)
  • Private, only qualified and interested buyers through the homeFor buyers, however, this can be an increased time of frustration. For many, understanding the process, knowing which agent to speak to and how much to say, working through values and implementing the appropriate negotiation strategy can be time consuming and often disappointing.

    Vendors have professional advisors to help them navigate these processes, but for the buyer, it is very hard for many to buy homes like this successfully alone, particularly when no transaction is the same and each agent (note not agency but each agent) does things differently.

    Having some professional advice to help interpret the information, protect your privacy and understand the ‘rules’ can help avoid disappointments such as:

  • Missing out on a property that may have suited you
  • Avoid paying too much
  • Buying something that may not meet your desired outcomes (Adam’s architectural insights arereally helping our clients in this area)
  • Misinterpreting the process and helping someone else become the buyer.On first impressions, 2015 appears to be shaping up as a busy one, but not necessary an ‘all-auction’ one.