Our role is to keep you "on brief" as we explore a wide range of alternatives.
At auctions or in a bidding battle, you need to make quick decisions. If you are also emotional, this can result in you doing some "dumb" things.
We get stressed just like you but not over buying homes. Why? Because we know what we are doing, we understand agents and their games, and we know what the real options are. Looking after our kids - now that's real stress for us.
It's not that you shouldn't use Dad or Uncle Ben - they just don't probably understand in the same way what your needs are. Hire a buyer advocate or an experienced valuer. Spend some money to make sure you get the right property at the best possible price. And determine what the property is worth before you start negotiating at the wrong level.
Imagine the agent on the other side. He or she knows how to "press your buttons", how to read your body language and how to get an answer from you, without you even knowing you have been asked a question. How can you possibly protect your interests when you are an open book for the world to see? A skilled agent has done this a thousand times. "I really want this and I will pay whatever it takes" is not a great line if you want a price reduction.
After all, the seller has one, so hire in your own representative. It is unfair to dump this on a family member or a friend and, in many cases, their emotions cloud the decision - making the process even more difficult. You either miss out or you pay too much for the property.
Not having enough time is a common catch cry when looking for the right property, when wasting time seems to be the real issue. The more we pack into our day, the less of your day is wasted and the more real choices you have when it comes to selecting a good property.
We confess - this was a headline to get your attention. One of our partners is married to a doctor, so he has to be careful. Also we have acted for five doctors this calendar year alone. "Doctor syndrome", as we call it, is for those professionals whose job demands they make snap decisions in the workplace. In surgery, this is great skill, in football this is very useful and as a television presenter it's a pre requisite. But in property - it's a worry!!
Here's just one example. We had been looking at a $1 million dollar home for a client when all of a sudden, they see their "dream home" for $1.8 million. There is no denying that the $1.8 million home is better than the $1 million home - it's got a pool, more rooms and and is in a more up-market suburb. We think it's a good buy - but that it's $800,000 "off brief", and that for that amount of money, there are many other better alternatives.
Another example. Another client wanted to spend $1 million on a home and spotted an "investment" at $623,000. Moving downwards by $400,000 is fine but our client was looking for a home - not a high rise building. Yes, the high rise might be a good buy and yes, it's a lot cheaper, but we are circumspect for other reasons related to resale if this is not the right property for our client in two years' time. Added to that, if our client wanted to buy high-rise, we should have looked at another 10 to 20 places before making a commitment.
Our role as advocates is not to tell you what to like - after all we buy a wide range of properties - our role is to keep you "on brief" unless our understanding of your requirements has changed. So if you are fleet of mind, please remember that we will always refer back to what you have told us are Your Needs.
We can always change Your Needs - but let's do it in a considered manner.
"Buying a property can never be totally stress-free, however in our case Mal was able to minimise this. The knowledge and support given throughout made the relatively small cost worthwhile."
The search for a new home is inevitably nerve-wracking. For a start, there is a great emotional investment in looking for a new home that will suit your family's needs. And unfortunately, that perfect new house always seems to be just out of reach financially. You are acutely aware that in dealing with real-estate agents, you are trying to negotiate with professionals who have been specifically employed by the vendor to maximise the price on their property. As a prospective purchaser, you are also very aware of your own lack of experience in trying to bring about the opposite.
There were so many decisions to be made, and among the first, should we try to fend for ourselves, or go to a Buyer's Advocate? Acting on recommendation, we opted for the latter, and have no doubts it was the right thing to do. Knowing we had a professional working for us took a great deal of stress out of the whole process.
We are extremely grateful to Mal James for his knowledgeable support in our hunt for our new home. We knew he had a good track record, but initially were a bit concerned that he hadn't realised how fussy we would be. This did not turn out to be the case - in fact he expected this of us.
Communication was the key to our good working relationship. Via e-mail and phone each week, we were able to come up with a list of prospective properties to view on a Saturday (or other times when necessary), and Mal then worked out a plan of attack. This of course always included a time for a coffee or casual lunch, to give time for discussion. His friendliness and sense of humour were a bonus. Mal is a good listener, and quickly gained a clear idea of what we wanted. We were pleased with his ability to quickly assess a property, and its suitability for us. As well, he was able to give a realistic assessment of the likely selling price. This was often after a discussion with the selling agents who were far more forthcoming with Mal than they would have been with us. Mal's estimates were usually spot-on. Mal's support was even more invaluable when we eventually did find a property we wanted to buy (and we must admit he spotted it first on the Internet). The background information he was able to obtain through his contacts and his detailed property report were both very helpful. Mal provided a number of potential strategies for the auction depending on the course of events, so we went in really well-prepared, and as confident as we could be that we had done all we could. We were extremely pleased with the outcome. We do not hesitate in recommending the services of Mal James , as partners in the process of your property hunt. Buying a property can never be totally stress-free, however in our case Mal was able to minimise this. The knowledge and support given throughout made the relatively small cost worthwhile.
Linda and David Wollan