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Softer market ripe for buyers

softer market ripe for buyers, Melbourne buyers advocates

With the Melbourne property in a much-awaited cooling off period, now is the time for buyers with finance pre-approval to swoop. Yes, there are fewer discretionary vendors offering their property for sale as they are waiting for a more vendor weighted market, but we are still seeing good numbers of quality properties ripe for the picking.

Our advice to clients remains unchanged no matter what time in the property cycle we happen to be buying in.  Avoid the bargain hunter mentality. What we mean by this is, steer clear of making property selection decisions based on which property appears to be the biggest bargain. Properties that are inferior in terms of location, quality of accommodation, proximity to amenities and architectural style will continue to underperform as the factors are unlikely or impossible to change. 

The way to spot an undervalued property is to track the market in your chosen area and keep an eye out for properties that have good access to amenities, are well positioned in the block (if buying an apartment), have a functional floorplan, are part of a well-maintained building and possibly have one or two features that are turning other buyers away. It could be dated presentation, lack of a balcony or outdoor space or communal laundry facilities to name a few.  These features or lack thereof are not deal breakers in terms of investment potential but may be enough to either keep the competition to a minimum or to keep their purchase limits lower making it easier to buy the property at a reasonable price.

We are seeing more properties pass in at auction either on a vendor bid or to a genuine bidder.  Last weekend, we purchased two properties in blue chip Melbourne suburbs for clients after a pass in negotiation with minimal interest from other buyers.  Pass ins shouldn’t be feared, they can be a great opportunity if you are the person it passes into.  Remember that you always want to hold the bid when the property passes in to have the exclusive right to negotiate at the vendors reserve. We would not recommend this as a strategy, rather an opportunistic way to purchase a property when the vendors position is weaker. An auction pass in if negotiated correctly can be a win/win situation.

Another way to take advantage of a softer market is to make offers prior to auction. Drawing the process to a head earlier than the scheduled date can reduce the number of buyers who have a chance to inspect the property and put them under pressure due to the time constraints for legal work, building inspections, finance approval etc. If the campaign is going well, agents will generally not recommend entertaining early offers, however it can be a good way to ascertain the vendors expectations if an early offer is rejected as the quote range must be adjusted to reflect the rejection of a written offer. 

To sum up, do not compromise on the investment fundamentals of the property selection and think rationally about the compromises you are willing to make. Track the market and be willing to act quickly for a property that meets your criteria to cut the competition off at the knees.

If you would like to discuss your next property purchase, please contact The Property Bureau on +61 3 9018 7877.

About the author

Kristy prides herself on making her clients feel welcome, understood and in safe hands from their very first meeting.  Her 16 years of residential and commercial experience in the Melbourne property market has taught her to ensure every ‘i’ is dotted and ‘t’ crossed and how imperative this is when transacting property. 

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