No price guide? No problem! Picture: Thinkstock
Found a house but it’s been advertised with no price guide? No worries. Here are a few tips to help you work out what it’s worth:
Build rapport with agents
The more rapport you build with the selling agent and the other agents in the area, the more they are likely to share their genuine thoughts as to how good a property is and what it might sell for. They might also warn you off properties that look good on the outside but have some hidden nightmares that you may not discover until after purchase.
Contact property managers
It’s best to try and build up a relationship with a property manager who’s connected to the selling agent as they are more likely to give you an unbiased opinion of what a property will likely rent for and what price it also might sell for. Property managers have a wealth of information as they are in the market every day and understand the demand and supply of various types of properties.
Realestate.com.au has a Sold section which enables you to check out which properties have sold and at what price in recent months. This is a great way to build up your knowledge on what properties have actually sold for as opposed to the estimated price quoted. Online photos don’t always show the true picture, so try and at least drive by the property to get a clearer picture.
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Hit the streets
It takes at least 50 to 100 property inspections to really familiarise yourself with an area and to know which are the good and bad properties. It’s best to keep a simple spreadsheet to summarise the key features of every property, how much the agent was quoting and what the final sales price was.
Auctions can be a great place to find a bargain but they can also be a great place to get caught out and pay well above the odds if you don’t know what that property is really worth. Before buying, attend as many auctions as you can in the area you’re looking to buy to get a strong idea of how much they’re selling for and how many people are bidding. A property can sell for well above the reserve price for a whole number of reasons, however, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s what the property is worth.
Use a buyer’s agent
Why pound the pavement every weekend scoping out 100+ properties when a buyer’s agent with specialist knowledge in the local market can do this on your behalf? Buyers’ agents have strong relationships with real estate agents, and have many sales comparisons to back up their bids. As they are in the industry they often know which ones to target and which to avoid. They often buy properties before they go on the market and negotiate from a non-emotional ground.