Australia's booming property industry has spawned property companies of all sizes. Some are high-end, some are niche, and some are regional second homes. Overseas investors are buying investment off-plan properties. In this situation, how to consider the selection of intermediaries?
There are many property companies in Australia, big chains like Hockingstuart, Ray White, Barry Plant, Kay & Burton for high-end properties, CBRE for overseas properties, and countless other property companies.
The choice of a property agent is somewhat different depending on the needs of the sale or purchase. Let's start by targeting overseas homebuyers.
Each agent's listings will be different but not too different, and some of the larger properties will be sold by most agents.
For customers, each property will always have some advantages and disadvantages, there is no perfect property under the sky. The point is whether the property you end up picking will meet the conditions you set.
For the off-plan property, home prices are set by developers. The major agents work with developers or their agents to obtain the properties and sell them to their clients.
The major agents are agents who take properties with developers, or developers who work with them, and sell them to their clients. The fee earned by the agent comes from the developer's commission, which may vary from agent to agent, but the selling price is definitely the same. So, for overseas investors, the price is the same for anyone with whom they buy a property.
Since the price is the same, what buyers need to consider is the added value these agents can bring to the table, specifically service, professionalism, and integrity.
While large companies may neglect small customers, small companies will certainly value them more. So-called service is more a reflection of understanding the customer's needs and communicating with them in a timely manner, but not overly salesy.
Buying a home is not buying groceries, clients have a reason to need more information and more time to weigh the pros and cons. A good agent will be responsive to the customer's needs and make sound recommendations, rather than determining the quality of service based on the likelihood of purchase.
Property in Australia, though, is relatively stable and generally doesn't fluctuate wildly. But even in one city, each region is different. A good real estate agent will generally understand which areas have more potential and which areas are higher risk. Which types of properties to rent out have a better return and which ones gain value on their own.
Although the price is set by the developer, the agent can still determine whether the price is set at a reasonable market price range through market research. They also need to know which type of home is a worthwhile investment that will be more beneficial for future sales.
Generally, for clients looking to buy property in the Melbourne CBD or certain areas, we do reminders about which areas are great. Convenient to live in, but not a good investment, as there's a good chance there's already a surplus of properties in that area. It is time for the agent to give more advice to the client with his or her expertise.
The reputation of the developer is especially important for the purchase of an off-plan home. A prospective home buyer can only make a judgment based on the samples and showrooms provided by the developer. As an agent, you need to know the developer's reputation in the industry and previous projects to help your client make a better judgment.
While loans and contracts are done by professionals, an agent can more or less give you tips beforehand to help you better understand the details of execution.
Honesty is a credo that agents live by, but not everyone is willing to practice it; after all, it's a pleasure to make money.
When the buyer is overseas and does not have a particular understanding of the Australian market, and the information may not be symmetrical at all, the intermediary's role is particularly important, and some ambiguous information can put the buyer in a quandary.
I was once told by an agent that Australia only requires a 10% down payment to buy a house. This sounds beautiful, but I can't say it's wrong. But if you're really going to take 10% of the house payment as an investment, you're basically in a crisis. Because it's true that the deposit for buying an off-plan home is 10%, but the payment at the time of delivery is still based on the percentage the bank can lend. And there are some other taxes and fees in there. If the agent is just trying to close more sales, using a low down payment to attract customers can put them in an awkward position.
Developers now focus on image, sales brochures are very beautifully done, but the only way to see and feel the house is to go to the site. Maybe you have to be there to feel that the house is too close to the subway, or the road is noisy, or the surrounding dining isn't as convenient as described. Overseas buyers are not as convenient to go to the site, and this is where the agent takes on the more important task of surveying and giving accurate information to the customer. It's hard to achieve 100% satisfaction with all properties, but clients should still know specific information to make a decision.
Customers who buy an off-plan home are pretty much judged by the numbers. Many agents will start out by talking up various situations and downplaying any potential problems. As an honest broker, I think it's about telling the truth, not over-embellishing it. A number of people have asked me if houses in Australia will continue to rise, in fact, even economists and academics hold different opinions on this question, it抯 hard for the general public to give an exact answer, but an honest agent will tell you how to hold your property to be as risk-averse as possible.
So, choosing a real estate agent is not about the bigger promise, more often than not mutual trust is built slowly.
What are the signs that tell you that you should reconsider choosing your real estate agent?
If your agent...
1. Sending you real estate information by mass emailing all day long.
2. Told your prices are going to go up in the future.
3. Can't tell you which streets are best in an area, what shopping areas are available, what schools are available
4. Give you a big discount for no reason.
5. Told you you could borrow 90% of your home with a bank and do Negative Gearing in today's market conditions
6. Avoid talking about the risks of investing in specific projects and only tell you positive information
This article is contributed by Juwai Columnist Simon & Vivien