We categorize prestige property as homes and property worth $1 million and above, including premium real estate that is not listed with agents/realtors.
Besides value we understand the main reason why we are engaged by so many clients at the "top end". Privacy - our clients are not mentioned in the gossip columns of the Weekend papers. Why not? Because they don't want to be.
Have you or your advisors bought properties over $15 million? Have you bought 10 properties or more over $2 million in the last year? Have you bought two properties at auction over $5 million in the last month in Kew alone - at the time of writing we have. Besides seeming like a boast what does this mean?
It means if you may not have the experience to deal with high quality, experienced selling agents (that are not working for you).
It means that you may not have the knowledge to separate the good homes from the bad ones. At $5 million a good home needs to have many features that say a $2,000,000 does not need and we are not talking about bench tops or swimming pools. We are talking about street frontage, entrances, privacy and grand rooms.
It means that you are not fully informed of all the off market possibilities out there.
Whether you are looking for a primary residence, a second home, premium property to build on, a luxury holiday home or even a sound investment, the need to make a favourable and well-informed purchasing decisions is greater than ever.
Take for example a potential $4 million purchase, where the buyer is also selling a $3 million home. Get it 10% on the wrong side of the ledger instead of 10% on the right side of the ledger and you are talking about a $1.4 million mistake.
Issues include the privacy and discretion of both buyer and seller; the number of buyers (often just you); the skill of the agent; length of negotiation; price variation between the quote and reality; and timing.
A greater emphasis is often given to "off market" properties at this level. These are the "hidden properties that will never be listed or advertised. We are often able to secure properties before they reach the open market, as well as find properties that are discreetly available, but not actually listed.
Some of the issues connected with buying "off market" include actually finding the properties; understanding whether they are really for sale or we are just wasting time; and value versus price.
Never trust an estate agent's property valuation.
We recently purchased a property that had an initial asking price in excess of $10 million dollars. The vendors had a valuation from their side to back up their price point - but our opinion was that the property's real value was around half that price. Only when you understand that most agents win business by flattering sellers with generous property valuations, do you begin to understand how a $3 million difference is valuation is possible.
The bottom line is that an overvalued house will not sell until the price is reduced to a realistic level. We negotiated an off-market purchase with the vendor at a price very close to our initial estimate - with both buyer and seller happy, since the price represented a fair and correct value. Like many of our dealings, a confidentiality agreement covered the sale.