Investment tip

Investment tip: What buyer’s agents say and what they actually mean

by Bianca Dabu | November 05, 2019
1 minute read

Investment tip: What buyer’s agents say and what they actually mean

November 05, 2019

Buyer’s agents stand as one of the most in-demand professionals in the property market. Get familiar with their “real estate speak” to identify the best agent to bring on your team and ultimately improve your negotiating power.

In order to influence a property purchase, buyer’s agent typically use common clichés and marketing tactics, according to Property Buyers and Management’s Robert Skeen.

Some of the most common terms that investors may hear from buyers agents include:

‘Plenty of off-street parking’

Often used on investors who haven’t seen the property in person, some buyer’s agents tend to take advantage of the deceptive nature of real estate photographs, Mr Skeen said.

“Can you really squeeze two cars into that space? On the brochure, it looks possible, but if you get the measuring tape out, it may only hold a Mini and a smart car,” he said.


‘Sought-after area’

Property investors would naturally want an area with high demand. Many buyer’s agent drop this line when promoting a property to increase the possibility of sale.

According to Mr Skeen, this leads to buyers “paying a ridiculous price for a fancy location”.

‘Renovator’s delight’

While certainly appealing to those who want to manufacture equity in the future, “renovator's delight” properties may also translate to “deceased estate,” according to Mr Skeen.

He explained: “It could mean every room has different wallpaper, there’s a funky smell and wild animals have taken over the overgrown garden.”

‘Tranquil location’

Mr Skeen’s interpretation of this cliché: “It’s miles from anywhere.”

“This may be appealing if you’re looking at retirement villages, but if you’re buying a home then you’d better be prepared to travel long distances to get a coffee or any shopping done,” the property professional said.

‘Price guides’

Some buyer’s agents can give frustrating answers about the asset’s price.

Seasoned investors and buyers who have spent time looking for property know that quoted prices are “always undercooked”.

“Add at least another 10 per cent to the higher end of the guide and go from there," Mr Skeen advised. 

‘Subject to council approval (STCA)’

Naturally, agents drop the STCA as a common selling line for a property that has potential for improvement. This may seem to be more attractive to property buyers, but according to Mr Skeen, they must be wary if they hear this from their agent.

“Agents add STCA to their marketing campaigns with little to no knowledge of what’s actually possible,” he said.

Dropping the STCA line doesn’t mean that any application to the council for property development is guaranteed.

‘Close to transport’

As one of the most used marketing tactic by buyer’s agents, close to transport can be misleading.

While transportation is one of the fundamental factors to look for when buying an investment property, investors are advised to be careful about just how close the asset is to major transport systems.

According to Mr Skeen: “When they say ‘close’, do they mean your windows are rattling every time a train goes past or you’re ducking every time a plane takes off?”

‘Will suit first home buyers’

Sometimes, this line can assure that you’re getting a bargain. However, this could also mean that you’re about to buy a bad property, according to Mr Skeen.

“This property may likely be so unappealing that only rookie buyers and investors would touch it with a 50-foot pole.

‘Plenty of potential’

Grand renovation projects and house improvements can be promised with this potential. However, renovation can cost much higher than what is anticipated.

Mr Skeen, therefore, advised investors to find a good property that does not need renovation and improvements to avoid parting with money.

On the other hand, they can work with professionals to come up with a fair budget for their renovation and improvement plans in order to maximise the potential of the property without overcapitalising and wasting time.

‘Recently renovated’

While this could mean that a house looks almost brand new, property buyers must learn to look past the aesthetics of good paintwork and shiny floorboards.

“Potentially, it could be a cheap renovation turnaround for a quick sale," Mr Skeen said.

Investment tip: What buyer’s agents say and what they actually mean
Investment tip
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