COVID had done a funny thing to the property market and prices have gone up in many key areas, despite all the uncertainty.
It’s actually become harder for buyers to navigate the market with changes to open homes and the return of online auctions.
So, if you are looking to invest in property, how do you stay ahead of the game?
Open homes are out
While checking out a property without hundreds of other buyers is certainly a win, trying to get a scheduled viewing makes it harder for prospective buyers even to get their foot in the door.
Capacities are down, so vendor agents are doing everything they can to make the most of every person that steps foot into the home. That means that buyers with pre-approved finance and those with connections to the agent through a Buyers’ Agent or a history of purchase are getting preferential treatment.
Unfortunately, unassisted buyers may not even get the chance to view a property before it’s put up for auction.
Changes to these inspections now also means that only one person can view the property at a time. Even couples will have to split up. This makes it hard to ensure you’re on the same page, and some critical issues can be missed.
Takeaway: If you’re looking to buy with someone else, make sure you talk through everything you’re looking for in the property first. Getting a Buyers’ Agent on side can also help you pick up on things you may miss during the limited viewing time and will help you get your foot in the door in the first place. If permissible, take lots of pictures and video so you can refer back to it later.
Learning to navigate online auctions is crucial
As someone who’s attended and bought at hundreds of auctions, I can tell you that nothing can quite fully prepare you for an online auction. Technical difficulties and bugs alone are a considerable challenge. I’ve faced pre-registration issues, log-in challenges and even screen freezes mid-auction.
Then you have to think about the psychological side behind auctions. At an in -person auction, you can see who you’re bidding against and use tried and trusted strategies to assert yourself and ultimately secure the property. Online, things are very different as you may not see who you’re up against, and it’s harder to stand out as a formidable opponent. You often don’t even know how many people are registered.
Takeaway: Try to build a strong relationship with the vendor agent before auction. Being in contact with them during the auction helps navigate technical difficulties and ensures your bids are always heard.
Consider making an offer prior to auction
Recently, it’s been notoriously difficult to purchase pre-auction. Vendor agents not only love the crazy sale prices, but it also works as a great marketing tool for them to secure their next listing. But with the lockdown changes and things moving online, now may be the time to consider putting in an offer before auction, as much like buyers, vendors and selling agents may have reservations about selling online.
Takeaway: Be prepared to move quickly and have all of your ducks in a row. The offer process can be just as stressful as an auction, so planning and organisation are essential. Having an expert on your side to help guide you on when, and how much to offer, will dramatically improve your chances of success.
Here are my top tips for online auctions
1. Make sure you have the phone number of the agent saved in your phone so that if you have technical issues they are only a text message away
2. Make sure you have a pen and paper handy so that you can write down the bids just in case they don’t pop up on your screen. writing down the bids will also help you to not get caught up in the emotion and stress of the auction
3. Be in a quiet space without any distractions
4. Make sure you lock in your maximum bid prior to the auction, as depending on the program used, your competition may still be able to see your face and hear your conversation
5. Because it is online, you will be asked to transfer your deposit electronically, so if you’re asked to do a DD you have to ensure you have lifted your daily transfer limit with your bank in advance.
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