During a property acquisition you will come across many people that will either help or possibly hinder your property journey.

Often their intent is not to be implied in a negative way, however as you are already on emotional high alert you may become agitated or unsure of other’s motivations towards you.

It is important to consider who are your friends or foes during your journey?

Who can you openly share your thoughts with?  Get advice?

Who can help you without leaving you feeling that there was an ulterior motive?

Let’s look at The Selling Agent – are they a Friend or Foe? 

As a buyer, you have to remember that selling agents will always be on the side of the vendor and part of their job is to extract as much information as possible from buyers to provide supporting evidence to the vendor.

Equally the selling agent wants to achieve a “record” price for their sellers and a buyer wants to pay the least amount for a property so they feel they have secured a “great deal”

Some agents have been known to overly engage with you at an open home as they are hoping that if you need to sell before buying, the agent could potentially be appointed by you, to sell your home.

It’s really important to balance your relationship with the selling agent, as you need them on your side to give you some inside information of any potential new listing, or information that you can use to your advantage when interested in presenting an offer to buy a property.

Don’t give away too much and keep some cards to your chest.   You should never disclose your exact budget.   If you are too open and honest then you maybe have no room to negotiate.

An agent will call you following on from an open home inspection and ask for your feedback and thoughts around pricing, ensure that you provide some constructive commentary around the property.

If they ask you “What do you feel it is worth”?  be honest and transparent as they are simply obtaining your thoughts to educate their sellers and potentially setting the price expectation based on market demand.

The feedback will also show sellers the aspects the buyers love or dislike about the home.

During this phone call, you can open up dialogue and ask the agent what is the vendor’s price expectation?   Take control of the conversation and extract information for you to use to your advantage.

Some agents try to create competition amongst potential buyers and push for urgency and commitment.  If this was to occur then the agent needs to provide all buyers with a “multiple offer form”

This means, you need to put your best foot forward and present your best offer in terms of price and conditions.   There is no room to negotiate.  

You are safe to assume that if no multiple offer form is presented, then there are no multiple offers, therefore you may have some wiggle room.

Ask the Agent questions:

  • Why are the vendors selling?
  • Have they purchased elsewhere already?
  • How long have they lived there?
  • Are there planning guidelines?
  • Is the land unencumbered or has any restrictions?
  • What are the outgoings?

Use the selling agent as a friend so you can position yourself with strength.

Let’s look at other friends:

A conveyancer for instance, they will help you navigate the legalities of your purchase.

Building and pest inspectors, they will point out all the good and bad elements of the property and remember there could often be some negative elements, but are these a deal breaker for you?

Buyers Agents, they are absolutely your friend as they take an unbiased approach, provide you with evidence and support you during the journey.

There is an endless list of friends.

Let’s now consider those possible foes:

They could be friends, families, competing buyers, neighbours.  

Again, all with differing opinions and reasons behind their motivations, words and actions.

There is room and a purpose to have these friends and foes in your corner, but it’s important to acknowledge and be clear in your mind as to what a successful outcome could look like for you.

Don’t listen to the “noise”

Do you due diligence, get curious and ask question as ultimately it is your property and your investment.    

When it comes to purchasing property in Australia, Queensland (QLD) offers unique opportunities and challenges for buyers. There’s a critical difference that prospective property buyers from interstate need to be aware of, especially when it comes to due diligence: seller disclosure.

Currently, the lack of seller disclosure requirements in QLD emphasises the importance of the “buyer beware” principle. While QLD offers many advantages, such as its beautiful landscapes and a more relaxed lifestyle, it also places a more significant responsibility on property buyers to conduct thorough due diligence.

Knowledge is power in the world of real estate. Sellers are legally required under NSW law to declare any known faults or issues within the property being sold. Which means buyers in NSW get to see far more information about a property and can make far better buying choices with that knowledge.

However, when it comes to buying property in QLD, it’s a different story. Currently, QLD does not have the same level of seller disclosure requirements as NSW. Buyers must be prepared to take on a more significant share of the due diligence burden and be extra vigilant when inspecting properties.

Thankfully, this is all set to change in the very near future. The Queensland Government is introducing a seller disclosure system for land sales, shifting from a “buyer beware” approach to proactive seller disclosure. This change, governed by the Property Law Bill 2023 (Qld), will affect all types of property, including residential, agricultural, commercial, and industrial.

Under the new rules, before completing a sale, vendors must provide a disclosure statement and specific documents, including a title search and survey plan. This statement includes statutory warranties from the seller and information on encumbrances, zoning, environmental concerns, and more.

Sellers will not be required to provide information regarding the following:

1. The property’s history of flooding.

2. The current or historical uses of the property.

3. Pest infestations and the structural condition of the property.

4. Approvals for construction on the property (with the exception of work carried out by unlicensed individuals).

5. Restrictions imposed by zoning and planning regulations on the land’s use.

6. Any existing or potential connections to services related to the property.

It also seems that these newly imposed disclosure requirements will not be applicable to off-the-plan sales involving proposed lots on freehold land or units.

With this greater visibility, buyers will have the power to make informed decisions and also build confidence in the real estate market. Additionally, buyers will have confidence knowing that critical documents will be disclosed, and they will have a legal remedy available in case of failures to disclose, all adding up to a more transparent and honest real estate market in Queensland.

The Bill is likely to pass this year, but the rules implementing the Bill will be delayed by 6 to 12 months to permit additional consultations on the Property Law Regulations and to allow for market education.

The implementation of vendor disclosure in Queensland will no doubt strengthen buyers’ bargaining power and enhance their capacity to make informed choices, but it should be said that due diligence on the part of the buyer can never be dispensed with entirely.

In the realm of real estate, the spotlight often shines on sellers and their agents, leaving buyers to navigate the process alone.

However, the significance of a buyer’s agent should not be underestimated. In this blog, I’ll delve into the primary responsibilities of a buyer’s advocate and explore how they differ from traditional real estate agents. I’ll also uncover the key factors the team at JBBA consider, when selecting a property for a client and highlight common mistakes buyers should avoid.

  1. Understanding the Role of a Buyer’s Agent: A buyer’s agent is a licensed professional who works exclusively on behalf of the buyer during a property transaction. Unlike traditional real estate agents who represent sellers, buyer’s agents provide support, guidance, and advocacy to ensure the buyer’s best interests are upheld. 
  2. Selecting the Perfect Property: To find the ideal property, we invest substantial time and effort in understanding our clients. Through in-depth discussions and a Discovery Workbook, we identify underlying fundamentals for the purchase, creating a tailored client brief. We consider factors such as location, budget, amenities, growth potential, and any renovation requirements.
  3. Avoiding Common Buyer Mistakes: Buyers can fall prey to several common pitfalls during the property buying process. Some of these include overpaying, not conducting thorough due diligence, making emotional decisions, feeling pressured by real estate agents, and being unprepared. Buyer’s agents work with clients to create a well-thought-out game plan, supporting them with professionals, educating them about the process, and encouraging evidence-based decision-making.
  4. Advocacy and Client Representation: As Buyer’s agents, we remain unbiased throughout the buying process and prioritize our clients’ best interests. With a collaborative approach, we ensure clients receive education and evidence at every stage, empowering them to make informed choices. Daily communication helps build a strong partnership and keeps clients informed and engaged.
  5. Navigating the Complexities for First-Time Homebuyers: First-time homebuyers often feel overwhelmed by the complexities of the property market. We provide reassurance, education, and unwavering support. By encouraging conservative spending and guiding buyers through mortgage and additional costs, we foster confidence and a sense of preparedness.

Buyers agents plays a crucial role in the property buying journey, acting as an emotional filter and a trusted advisor for their clients. By understanding the buyer’s needs and aspirations, providing sound guidance, and ensuring a well-informed decision-making process, we empower our clients to make successful property acquisitions. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned investor, enlisting our services can lead to a smoother and more rewarding real estate experience.

Downsizing our home is something that we all need to tackle head on during different stages of our life, BUT I like to look at this as a positive change, exciting new chapter and life revamp!! So much so, that I wrote the following article for WFO Magazine.

How wonderful to move to a smaller house with less housework, less empty rooms and garden maintenance perhaps?  How about more cash in your bank account?? 

For many reasons we are seeing an emergence of buyers that are downsizing for various reasons and not just something that is done by empty nesters!!  Some scenarios include mortgage reduction, sea change, city change, retirement or maybe health – whatever the reason, forward planning and often engaging professionals to assist with this process, could be the best approach. 

Don’t Rush In 

When a move is imminent it’s time for some tough decisions to be made.  

You need to understand your current and future needs and determine the time frame around these decisions. As Benjamin Franklin famously quoted “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Begin by working out exactly what you are trying to achieve. Visualise this new life ahead and understand your why factor and determine your new purpose.   Potentially your new environment will be considerably different, so you need to consider the emotional, physical and practical elements of your decision.   Where is this property located? What does the home look like? Do you want to have seclusion and tranquillity or perhaps you want to walk the dog to the local café?   Have your ideal in your mind so you have something to strive for and will keep you on task. 

Don’t Go It Alone

You may start to feel overwhelmed with the task at hand.  The mere thought of having to sell your home, declutter and sell furniture and then search for a new home is all to encompassing, but spin these thoughts and think how liberating!!!  If you can’t do it all, then reach out to professionals like real estate agents, stylists, financial advisers and buyers advocates to help.  These people are often well connected and can refer or guide you to the right people to support you throughout this journey. 

Maximise Your Sale Price 

Placing your home on the market can be a very expensive exercise, so its again important to not cut corners and do your homework.   Understand what your financial implications could be. Can you afford to buy before selling or do you need to sell before buying?   What are the settlement periods you will need to factor into your sale and purchase?  What is your home worth based on current market conditions? How much can you afford to spend to purchase a new home?   At Joanna Boyd Buyers Advocate we offer our clients a Vendor Advocacy service whereby we provide non-biased support to sellers in selecting the BEST Real Estate Agent to market our clients home to ensure that they maximise their sale price. 

Buying A New Home 

When searching for your new home, don’t compare where you have come from.   Remember that you are downsizing, this is something new, different and refreshing. For a typical home buyer, the process of buying the right property can be a very lengthy and drawn-out. It can be overwhelming with all the factors that need to be considered when making such a hefty investment. It might be worth engaging the services of an independent Buyers Advocate to help you navigate through this process of property ownership. A Buyers Advocate can help you create your personalised buyers brief to ensure that you are staying on track to achieving these new dreams and aspirations often found within your home.   

At Joanna Boyd Buyer’s Advocate we are experts who know both the local property market and what’s currently for sale. We make it our business to attend inspections and keep an eye on local sales – all of which leaves us perfectly placed to hunt down your dream home. Once you’ve found where you want to be, we’ll walk you through the process – from negotiating on your behalf to helping you with finance and nailing down the contract, we take the pain out of buying property allowing you to focus on all the new things that lie ahead.