03 Jul 2017

Our experts reveal the non-negotiable no no's when buying property

Media Release

With competition still fierce for property in most states of Australia, wish lists are beginning to look like a thing of the past.

But in the scramble to get on the property ladder, Australia’s leading buyer’s agents reveal the property faults you should never compromise on.

Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA) president Rich Harvey said buyers who failed to compromise on their ‘must have’s’ would be left behind as the property market surges ahead.

But he warned buyers that while compromise was necessary in a competitive market, buyers should always consider the potential resale value of the property in any market.

According to research conducted by Finder.com.au, almost half of Australians surveyed would: tolerate living in untrendy suburbs, the ‘unlucky’ house number thirteen and even a deceased estate in order to get a foot on the property ladder.

“Location is one feature that can never be changed so if the property is situated in a flight path, flood affected or near an emergency services depot with sirens at all hours, then the pool of potential tenants and future buyers is limited,” said Harvey.

“What buyers need to remember is that a property that’s difficult to sell in a seller’s market will be even more difficult to sell in a buyer’s market.

“You don’t want to be left in a situation where you’re saddled with a property that’s hard to rent or hard to sell compared to nicer locations that could be just one street away.”

Buyer’s agent Henny Stier from OH Property Group, said many buyers were fixated on a north-to-rear aspect but only one quarter of all properties featured it.

“Be prepared to compromise on aspect but never on light,” she said.

“Some of the brightest homes I have been in have been south-to-rear because they are perched on top a hill and have no other properties overshadowing it.”

Properties near substations and power lines and those near smoke stacks or built over tunnels were also no-nos, she said.

According to buyer’s agent Cate Bakos from Cate Bakos Property buying a property with significant building issues including subsidence, re-plumbing and presence of asbestos were to be avoided.

“The cost of removing or repairing these issues can outweigh the ‘bargain’ nature of the deal when the levy is struck and the invoice needs to be paid,” she said.

Buying on a busy road is fine if you get a bargain but be prepared to sell for a discount at the other end, warns buyer’s agent Amanda Segers from Amanda on my Side.

“I have investors right now who are prepared to buy units on busy roads when they face the ‘quiet aspect’ of the building,” she said.

“If they need to sell in a quiet market the busy road address will create a property that got a slight discount due to the busy address to a property that they may need to discount heavily just to get buyers in the door.”

Buyer’s agent Jacque Parker from House Search Australia says she sees buyers willing to compromise on streets within suburbs but location generally sets the benchmark for minimum criteria.

“Some will compromise by accepting they’ll have to live in a strata complex rather than a house or a duplex or live on the periphery in slightly cheaper suburbs but all buyers have a cut-off here of where they definitely won’t live,” said Parker.

Parker cites topography and light as high among her top no no’s.

“A dark house in a valley position surrounded by heritage protected trees can be next to impossible to let light and airflow in, despite all the skylights and damp proofing available,” she said.

Nick Viner from Buyer’s Domain said it was almost impossible to negotiate on a property with major structural issues or active termites.

“You could never negotiate a substantially low enough purchase price to compensate for these very costly items so it is best just to walk away,” he said.

“If the property is in a flood prone area or is on top of or close to a natural water course or channel, that would also be a no-no for me.”

But buyer’s agent Claire Corby from Capital Buyers Agency said not every ‘problem property’ was a lost cause.

“Most aspects can be overcome; double glazing for traffic or noisy neighbours, adding windows to capture more natural light, clever planting to hide poor outlooks, a good scrub and a deep clean to remove odours are all solutions but it depends what the problems are and on the discount,” she said.

“Resolving the issues without overspending is the name of the game.”