Competition is what keeps an industry on its toes. It is what pushes people to be at their most creative, tests their savvy and tries their passion. The property industry is no different – however in a hot property market, it’s buyers who need to test their creativity.
With popular suburbs around Sydney and Melbourne recording high levels of demand, it can be hard to find an entry point in the country’s most competitive property markets. Even with the crackdown on overseas investors by banks, and as the market cools, buying activity remains extremely crowded, especially in inner-city suburbs.
Prices continue to increase in many pockets, and with each surge in values, the chances of snapping up a property grow slimmer. As a result, many eager buyers find themselves having to consider nearby, less appealing suburbs just to be able to get a foot on the property market.
Nonetheless, there are certain tricks that can help you to overcome the competition in a heated market, such as:
1. Getting on agents’ radars
With much of the investment competition coming from abroad, it’s time to take advantage of being an Australian resident and make those personal connections. Get in touch with local agents in the suburbs you’re eyeing and get the lowdown on what’s happening in the market there – they may be able to offer advanced notice on properties coming onto the market, or even access to listings before they’re officially “on the market”. You can also subscribe to agencies to get regular alerts and advance notice of property inspections.
2. Be savvy in your search boundaries
Many buyers get frustrated when properties are listed with no price, and for good reason. However, it may be possible to gain an understanding on the vendor’s price expectations, by running narrow searches. For instance, plug into a price bracket of $600-650,000 and then $650-$700,000, and see where the property turns up?“It’s a great way to find out what a seller really wants when there’s an auction or no advertised price, as they have to authorise the search price in the back end of the online listing,” explained Rob Honeycombe, chairman of REIQ.
3. Remember: old can become new again
Older property listings are another oft-overlooked gem in research, as they typically get pushed further back on the priority list when newer listings hit the market. Thus, checking for listings that are over 30 days old can direct you to a suitable home – perhaps one that has had a contract collapse, or where the buyers are becoming very motivated to sell. At this point, sellers are generally more flexible in terms of price, so you have quite a bit more negotiating power.
4. Move quickly
Speed is of the essence when it comes to most competitions. So when you’ve found the right property already, don’t overthink it – act! Put your best offer out there and aim to be the first offer; that way, you can negotiate with the agent for the opportunity to make a counteroffer, should a competitor come in.