29 Oct 2021

Buyer strategies in a seller's market

As Australia opens up with vaccination rates rising and competition for property expected to increase in the coming months, experts are recommending that home buyers consider the not so perfect house if they want to get a foot on the property ladder.

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

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

“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, it was important that buyers carefully evaluate 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,” said Ms Bakos.

“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.

“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.”

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.