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Buyer strategies in a seller’s market


By Nicola McDougall, The Female Investor

The strong market conditions of the past year meant that sellers had the upper hand in negotiations with buyers.

In rising or booming market cycles, buyers often struggle to secure a property because prices are rising faster than their ability to adjust their budgets or their property must-have attributes.

According to Real Estate Buyers Agents Association (REBAA) president Cate Bakos, in sellers’ markets buyers need to prioritise features such as location and floor plan as their top two priorities.

“It’s the features of a property that you can’t change that matter most,” Ms Bakos said.

“If a home has good bones and is structurally sound then the ugly duckling might be worth a second look, particularly if the neighbourhood is a good fit and amenity is suitable.

“Sometimes you just need to prioritise the must-haves of your dream home and stop eliminating options that tick the important boxes.”

Ms Bakos said with stock levels tight in most regional and capital city locations last year, it was important that buyers carefully evaluated what compromises were necessary and what compromises could affect resale.

“Location is one feature that can never be changed so if the property is situated in a flight path, flood affected, or on a main road, then the pool of potential tenants and future buyers is limited,” Ms Bakos said.

“A lot of compromised properties are forgiving in a hot market, but it’s when the market rebalances or switches to a buyer’s market that these compromises become highly scrutinised by buyers.

“What buyers need to remember is that some compromises can present risks and you don’t want to be saddled with a property that’s hard to rent or hard to sell compared to nicer locations that could be just a street away.

Ms Bakos said buyers needed to be prepared to compromise on cosmetic elements, but never light, orientation, or location.

A property that is situated with its entertaining facing south is more expensive to reconfigure than a north facing rear kitchen/living space requiring a facelift, she said.

Ms Bakos said city buyers moving to the regions could be particularly choosy in regional locations where dwelling prices were more affordable for city buyers managing a transition.

“Engaging a buyer’s agent can open your eyes to potential opportunities that you may otherwise never consider,” she said.

Nicola McDougall


The Female Investor

Main image: Freepik

Nicola McDougall