So, I finally bought a house, after starting to look in 2004 ;)
In fairness – life plans etc meant buying one earlier wasn’t the right move.
But I have some rants about the process so far.
- Include floorplans, holy hell. If your real estate agent doesn’t include creating a floorplan and having it on your listing – fire them. I’m sure we skipped over many suitable properties because they didn’t have floorplans. It’s a buyers market – make it easy for us to understand what we’re getting.
- Why the hell does one of Australia’s leading property sites include “under offer” properties in search results? I want to buy houses for sale, not houses that aren’t. Yes, agents might like to think their brand is valuable to buyers and that you will call them and say “oh, have you got another like that?”, and hey presto, the agent gets a lead – and I’m sure that happens, but it’s a big data world. We have sites, not affiliated with you, with specifications and pictures of the houses for sale. Your brand is of limited value.
- Talking to a friend who sold a house recently, some agents apparently don’t do open homes, they just want it by appointment, because it “feels more exclusive”. The last thing I want to do is become a lead for you, and I want to know how much competition there is for a property. We didn’t look at any properties by appointment.
- If your block can be subdivided, but isn’t – you don’t get to ask for the same amount as it would be if it had been subdivided. Especially in Perth’s very weak market, we saw a surprising number of properties for sale with inclusion of the standardly disclaimed “subject to council approval” subdivison potential. We did the sums on a couple of them, and we’d make maybe $50K, on a outlay and risk of around $950K. “But I need to make profit too!” .. yes, that’s the capital growth you got from land banking for 15 years.
- Likewise, if you are subdividing and building units – don’t get greedy. We walked away from one of the first places we looked at because they had subdivided into three properties, then built to maximum dimensions – and there wasn’t even space for a clothes line outside! We had a look at a $569K 4 bedroom+theatre new construction property – all the rooms were TINY. 3 and a theatre may have got our interest.
- Design is always an individual choice, and when developing you have a budget – but upper cabinets in a kitchen are necessary, as are non-laminex counter tops. If your kitchen design requires putting the fridge outside of the main kitchen area – build a wall around it so it doesn’t look like it.
- Photos – please have photos of the inside of the house. Good photos, without using wacky perspective to make stuff seem bigger than it is. Well lit, in focus. Furnished or unfurnished doesn’t matter too much.. but NOT 3D rendered furniture! This seems to be an up and coming trend.. I hope it stops.
But we’d just as soon be back in time, for all the chance you’d change your mind..