“Bollocks”, from an old builder!

“Bollocks”, from an old builder!

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You will be pleased to know that Robert will be back next week after his annual holiday in Asia, where no doubt he scoured the ‘real estate countryside’ for good stories.

On the home front and Real Estate on the Lower North Shore, we have seen a definite pick-up in activity since the school holidays finished, which will no doubt lead to more sales in the coming weeks. We have had several offers on properties in the past week, which should be converted to exchanges. Sounds like ‘agent talk’ you say? Yes, it does, but already this week we had a buyer miss a great property because he played hard ball, believing he was the only cashed up buyer around. While trying every trick to lower the price quoted, another buyer came along and did the deal. So the point here is, good properties always sell well. The property in question had the right credentials i.e. north facing yard, easy level access, quiet street, great flowing floor plan and quality finishes. When you have these great attributes there will always be multiple buyers. In fact, we had 4 genuine people on this, which proves the point.

The other point of discussion is how to market these properties? If we had auctioned this particular home, the best buyer we had after 4 weeks was $150k below our sale price. By backing our judgement and waiting another 3 weeks, we achieved the top result with 2 new buyers. Now many of the big auction agents would have tried to sell at the first opportunity on the auction floor and that would have cost the owner big money. The right buyer isn’t always around in a four week period!

Here is my Theory:

When I first started in this game over 30 years ago, the only auctions were deceased estates and mortgagee sales. They were the only open homes and everything else was by appointment!  People would ask, do you think we can sell in 3 to 6 months? This was the norm then and one could accurately and sensibly value. It all changed in the late 80’s when, after a lengthy quiet period of a flat market ( 7years), the boom hit. The stock market crashed and all the investors’ money went into property. Money was flowing in from Hong Kong as well, due to the looming Chinese handover.  The market went mad with standing room only in auction rooms. It was fever pitch and in a few years, the market went up about 120%.

Everyone sold in 3 to 4 weeks and anything longer was a failure. Real estate was a sport! I stopped going to dinner parties because that’s all people wanted to talk about! I might add, the greed was overwhelming and I remember my Dad saying “take a good look around son – it won’t last!
Being the optimist I replied “times are different Dad, this is an international market’…blah blah. You can imagine the rest.

Sure enough, a year later, the only people in the auction rooms were vendors, agents and banks! From then on, every agent wanted to auction (even in tough times), hoping to sell in the 4 week period again. The bulk billing in auction rooms kept going, but the music had died!

After the 80’s, people and agents had this 4 week mind set. “What a load of bollocks” my Dad would say – yes he’s now 90 and still going and watching. Old builders, you can’t beat ‘em!

So the point is, your house may not find the right buyer in a 4 week period. Be patient but realistic. If you get a great offer on the first day, take it, but make sure it is the top price and one that suits your game plan.

BUY PRINT

We are living in difficult financial times and it’s a little bit like selling in the old days. You have to work really hard with buyers and sellers alike and the days of being a butler standing at the door, taking orders, is over.

We still auction properties, but only if we believe it is in the vendor’s best interest. We have a 100% clearance rate. Sounds impressive right? Yes it is, but I confess, our auctions have been very few.

The rest of our Sales have been negotiated by EOI and Private treaty, solely because we think we can get a better price. It’s more work and more stress for us, but that’s what you pay us for. We had a prospective vendor say to us the other day, ‘the other agents say you do it differently – not auction’. These agents couldn’t explain the difference and I hope they never find out. Sounds like they are stuck in the 80’s!

We have been the number one office in R&W for many years and in the last ten years have sold over a billion dollars’ worth of property via our Internet data base. This should prove we are doing something right!

Source: Domain Property Monitors

    MOSMAN – 2088

    • Number of houses on the market last week– 86
    • Number of houses on the market this week – 90
    • Number of houses on the market this time 2011 – 88
    • Number of apartments on the market last week – 95
    • Number of apartments on the market this week – 98
    • Number of apartments on the market this time 2011 – 95

    CREMORNE – 2090

    • Number of houses on the market last week– 11
    • Number of houses on the market this week – 12
    • Number of houses on the market this time 2011 – 15
    • Number of apartments on the market last week – 24
    • Number of apartments on the market this week – 24
    • Number of apartments on the market this time 2011 – 25

    NEUTRAL BAY – 2089

    • Number of houses on the market last week – 16
    • Number of houses on the market this week – 18
    • Number of houses on the market this time 2011 – 6
    • Number of apartments on the market last week – 56
    • Number of apartments on the market this week – 52
    • Number of apartments on the market this time 2011 – 65

For this week’s sales in Cremorne real estate, Cremorne Point real estate, Mosman real estate, Beauty Point real estate, Clifton Gardens real estate, Balmoral real estate, Neutral Bay real estate, Cammeray real estate.
• Click Here
For this week’s open for inspections
Click Here

See you around the traps. In the local market, I can sense ‘some movement at the station’. Stay tuned !!!!

Steve

6 Responses to ““Bollocks”, from an old builder!”

  • Ann says:

    Thanks Stephen, interesting insight again.

  • peter maccormick says:

    A very well thought report its refreshing to read the comments of a honest agent well done pity a few more agents don’t take the same approach !!

  • Ann says:

    I think some Agents go for auctions, cause they feels it locks in a seller.

    Also its laziness, as its less work, finding buyers and negotiating a price

  • Ann says:

    2 sleeps left and Robert is back.

    Gillard is quaking in her ugg boots

  • So well said Steve. If only all potential vendors knew the reality of your words, instead of being bamboozled with the smoke and mirrors of the typical auction conversations – “90% clearance rates” and “lower than average days on market” blah, blah, blah. I had an agent bite back at me recently when I asked the result of one of their recent Auction “successes” (I must have had an unintentional shocked tone in my reaction) “THAT”S THE MARKET ANDREW!!” he said. Well that may well have been the market on the night of the Auction.. after just 4 Saturdays of open homes… I find it a little nauseating. Your old man is right Steve…
    Having said that, I love Auctions, and can’t wait to get back into them when the market is on the boil!

  • Ross Whealing says:

    Well written Steve, incisive and accurate. I spent 32 years working the upper north shore market, before selling out in 2007. We were king up here, north shore wise, until after the 1984 correction, then values steadily seemed to move south.. geographically. Spot on as well, with your observation that pre 1993 auctions were primarily confined to estate/mortagee matters. With deregulation of fees, in 1993, came the “4 week sale’ mentality, as recovery from those incredible 88/89 days when you had to advise the vendor, on the day, it was difficult to pick the end price. Fun times, in a sense, till it topped in 2003. Wonderful business, full of eclectic characters…. and say hello to Robert, I played a lot of golf with him years ago in Bali and Singapore, great swing, and Rob was never too proud to tell you what you need to do with your next shot. Ross Whealing

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