Luxe Listings Sydney star’s tips to buy in a booming property market
Luxe Listings Sydney star and experienced Sydney-based real estate agent Simon Cohen knows how hard it is to buy property in the city's booming property market.
Following the launch of Luxe Listings on Amazon Prime Video this month, I caught up with Cohen to chat about all things real estate.
And although he works at the very top end of the market, Cohen says there are some tried and true strategies that can help would-be property buyers, no matter what the price point.
To snag the home or investment property of their dreams when the competition is high, these are his top tips.
Property buying tip #1: Be friendly with the real estate agent
"One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that they should be tough with the agent," Cohen says.
"They put up a guard; you see people walk through the door at an open home, and they hardly look at the agent, don't engage beyond saying hello, don't give anything away."
That's not the way to build a relationship and develop trust with someone "who can ultimately help you buy a home", Cohen says. "Don't work against the real estate agent; instead, try to develop a relationship so you can get as much information from them as you can."
Property buying tip #2: Try to shop off-market deals
One of the big benefits of building relationships with real estate agents is the access it can give you to properties that haven't yet hit the market to the public.
"The reality is, for anyone in a hot market, you want to find access to the pre-market opportunities, because they're the ones where you'll face less competition. There's also less chance of being the shmuck who goes to auction and pays too much."
Property buying tip #3: Ask lots of questions
"You want to understand what the vendor's motivation is for selling," Cohen explains, "because then you can work out: what can you do differently to get the edge?"
The main questions he suggests you ask are:
- What are the owner's reasons for selling?
- How long has it been on the market?
- Are they committed to another property?
- Would they prefer a short or long settlement?
Property buying tip #4: Leverage what you learn
Following on from the previous tip, Cohen says the information you glean can help you tailor an offer to suit their needs – and it doesn't always come down to money.
"Maybe you could put forward an offer of a quick settlement if they've bought elsewhere, or a long settlement if they need more time," he says. "Use what you've learned as leverage."
A strong offer that comes with a home loan pre-approval, terms that suit the seller and a deposit ready to go, might win out over someone else's offer with a smaller deposit and less suitable terms.
Property buying tip #5: Take price guides with a grain of salt
The current practice of real estate agents under-quoting price guides is "offensive", Cohen says, but seemingly unavoidable in the current market.
"It's upsetting that agents will go down this path and be so misleading," he says. "As a buyer, the clever thing to do is add a buffer to the price guide. If the price guide is $600,000, assume it's more like $650-700."
Just make sure you don't dismiss any properties as being out of reach once you've added a buffer on top, he warns, as you could miss out on one of the properties where the agent is being realistic.
"Always go through the property, because you never know what could happen. That could be the property when the agent comes back to you and says: the interest hasn't been as strong as we thought, so the vendor is looking at all offers."
Photos courtesy of Luxe Listings Sydney on Amazon Prime Video.
To see more from Simon Cohen and his co-hosts D'Leanne Lewis and Gavin Rubinstein, tune into Luxe Listings Sydney on Amazon Prime Video – it's already been renewed for season 2!